I've spent the past couple of hours working on that directors list. I'm also listing every title I've ever seen by the director. It seems to me like just listing a favorite is meaningless unless you know the context of the other films by that director that I've seen.
Now, on to conversations...
Jason, I don't really have any problem with your reading of Meek. I'm just glad that you watched it. Now, you only need to POST MORE OFTEN.
Lisa, Pooh really is great. I wouldn't argue if you put it on the top of a 2011 list except that you're not keeping up with the competition. We're all discussing a way to rescue you from the depths of that evil PhD program so that you have more time for clubbing with us. When we're ready, it will look something like this:
Ben, yes, you need to watch more "classic" films. Start immediately with Only Angels Have Wings.
Jeff and Chris, first of all don't write off D. W. Griffith. Birth of a Nation has a deservedly bad reputation for its racism, but its good reputation as expert cinema is equally well deserved. This is one of the early high points of "movies as art." And it's worth seeing just to catch Raoul Walsh in an early acting role as John Wilkes Booth. I like Birth of a Nation more than Intolerance, which I guess makes me intolerant and racist.
Brandon's right about starting with the older directors and then maybe filling in newer holes.
One more modern exception is John Cassavetes, my favorite American director of the last 100 years. You need to watch everything he's ever made. Immediately. (To be fair, I still haven't seen EVERYTHING that he's directed). Brandon includes him on the "older directors" side of things, but he really straddles the line of classic Hollywood cinema and what we've come to think of as "independent" film (not that many of these films are independent in the same way that Cassavetes was or Jarmusch is).
Also, Harmony Korine. My boy.
I need to arrange a screening of Julien Donkey-Boy for the Howard Brothers. It's probably about time for Brandon to re-watch it as well. :)
Harmony Korine, strangely enough, is one of my favorite current directors. This is probably my most unpopular position in film club, but Brandon and I have hashed things out and come to an understanding of sorts. There's a few back and forth posts about JDB in our archives.
I haven't seen Trash Humpers yet and I have my doubts about it, but Humpers aside, Korine has matured with each picture he's made. I think that you guys should also love Mister Lonely, but maybe I'm wrong.
Let me state strongly right now that "nothing has impressed me thus far" in Brandon's responses to Korine's films. :)
Also, my oldest daughter, Mildred, is a huge Miyazaki fan. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind is her favorite movie. Shame on both of you for your Miyazaki ignorance. Not to mention letting a 9-year-old (and her younger sisters) see more Chaplin films than you both. For shame.
Brandon, I'm hoping that you meant Mr. and Mrs. Smith as Hitch's worst film is still a precious gem to be loved and enjoyed.
This directors list thing sucks. I've just wasted a bunch of time on it and I'm hardly finished. Maybe I'll finish by the end of the week.