Saturday, April 25, 2009

Just Because

I'm just killing time in the middle of the night.

My top twenty living, working, American film directors (followed in parenthesis by my favorite film from that director), ranked roughly in the order in which I'd get most excited about a new release:

[the only real rule that I've made for myself is that I'm excluding directors who are not American, even if they've made more than a few American films; guys that I like such as Peter Weir and Michel Gondry - even Herzog might qualify. I'm pretty sure that everyone on this list is American born and raised, even though a couple of them may have gone expatriate.]

20. Woody Allen (Sweet and Lowdown)
19. Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction)
18. David Gordon Green (Undertow)
17. Tim Burton (Mars Attacks!)
16. Neil LaBute (In the Company of Men)
15. Wes Anderson (The Darjeeling Limited)
14. Ron Howard (Willow)
13. Harmony Korine (Julien Donkey-Boy)
12. Brad Bird (Ratatouille)
11. Michael Mann (Collateral)
10. Richard Linklater (The School of Rock)
9. Martin Scorsese (Bringing Out the Dead)
8. Stephen Spielberg (Raiders of the Lost Ark)
7. David Mamet (House of Games)
6. Andrew Stanton (Wall-E)
5. Clint Eastwood (Unforgiven)
4. Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood)
3. Joel and Ethan Coen (No Country for Old Men)
2. Jim Jarmusch (Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai)
1. Terence Malick (The New World)

These are twenty names of twenty people, all of whom I'll follow wherever they want to take me, even if I haven't always liked all of their previous films (for example, in the case of Scorsese, I actively dislike most of his films, but I always respect him and I usually find things that I like buried in the films). I'll most likely be there in the theaters when a new movie directed by one of them comes out. There are a few other names like Ed Harris, Soderbergh, Jonze, Van Sant, Kaufman, Lynch, Reichart, and Fincher who are floating around the edges of this list. I'm sure that I'm forgetting lots of others. There were also a few other names that I thought of of living guys making films (Joe Dante, Frank Oz, Curtis Hanson, a few others) whose output recently has been pretty low and their work has always been hit or miss with me anyhow.

What's interesting to me is that looking at the list, I don't think that my tastes are that far left of center. I like American films. I really do! I'm not hanging out at the video installations or watching avant-garde experiments. When I'm watching American films, I'm watching studio films for the most part and I'm enjoying them. There are lots of great films and filmmakers in America. I only wish they weren't often drowned out by the glut of Mindless Multiplex Movies.

Happy 4am.

1 comment:

Summer People said...

Great post brother. I'll be sure to give it some thought and follow it up with my own top twenty american directors. I'm happy to see a lot of the dudes that I see on this list. It brought a hangover smile to my face.