Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Must-See Directors Part 2


After a hard drive crash and a little hiatus to clear my graying head I am rebeginning starting the blog over again revamping revitalized rejuvenating it and...ahem...sorry, let me start over again.


Forget it. Here's some more directors I like a lot. Read below.

The Must-See Directors Part Two

Frank Capra

If you haven't seen a Capra film...well, I'd be surprised. If you haven't seen Mr. Smith Goes To Washington or even It's a Wonderful Life, you probably have at least seen the Adam Sandler remake of Mr. Deeds Goes To Town. Capra's style was much loved and much maligned almost simultaneously. It was so positive and preachy at times it caused some to call his films "Capra-corn". I have to admit that some movies I once loved have waned because of the overt "preachiness", like Meet John Doe for instance, but It's A Wonderful Life remains one of my favorite films of all time. It has the right touch of sentimentality and realism. That one film alone makes Capra a must-see director!

Stanley Kubrick

The mad genius, as he's portrayed, is one of my favorite directors. He was in a world of his own in cinema history. I watched a documentary on him recently which destroyed the myths surrounding him. He wasn't a mean reclusive misogynist as he has been portrayed but a very cheerful, deeply intelligent, family man. His films are not normal in almost any sense. His most commercial film and probably biggest hit was Spartacus but he had little control over production. It was Kirk Douglas's film and Kubrick was brought in to replace a fired director. All of Kubrick's other films, good or bad, were interesting. As other admiring directors said, his film was the one you waited to see even if it took ten years. My favorite is his masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Martin Scorsese

Along with his contemporary Steven Spielberg, Scorsese is the greatest director of the last thirty years. Only recently has he been winning the kind of awards he should have gotten many years ago. I wouldn't say his films are "family friendly" by any means but there are some so good I never tire of watching them. Actually most of his films only get better with repeated viewings. The best to me are Raging Bull, Goodfellas, Gangs of New York, The Departed, The Aviator, Mean Streets, and The King of Comedy. Taxi Driver is a classic but a bit overrated for my taste.

Akira Kurosawa

If you asked me who is the greatest director of all time and I took my personal feelings completely out of the eqation, Kurosawa is the man. Besides he is a close second even then. There is a reason that his films are the most available Japanese titles in the Western world, they are the best. Like John Ford in America, Fellini in Italy, or Bergman in Sweden, Kurosawa is the master of his native land when it comes to film. His films have influenced everyone from Sergio Leone, to Coppola, to Speilberg, to George Lucas. Seven Samarai, Rashomon, Ran, Throne of Blood, The Hidden Fortress, Yojimbo, High and Low, and many, many more of his films are at the top in cinema history. If you haven't ever seen a Japanese film any of these titles is a good place to start, but I would recommend Seven Samarai. That is MUST-SEE!

Steven Spielberg

Obviously, I keep bringing him up, so you probably saw it coming that Spielberg is my all-time favorite. Not every film is great but he has the best in too many genres not to be the best. Raiders of the Lost Ark, one of my personal favorites, is STILL the greatest action movie ever. Saving Private Ryan is the greatest war film ever. Jaws is second only to Psycho in the thriller genre. With E.T. , Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and War of the Worlds he's sort of wrapped up the "alien" genre. And of course Schindler's List is not only the best non-documentary holocaust film ever made it is one of the greatest films period. Don't even get me started on The Color Purple or Empire of the Sun. Chances are you have probably already seen all of these films or at least Jurassic Park a few dozen times. I also really like Catch Me If You Can and Amistad. Just make sure to avoid 1941 and the last 20 minutes of Hook and A.I.

That's my list, but there are many more I consider must-see....I'm just tired of typing.