Friday, December 16, 2011

Top 50 Directors: Part III (#30-21)

30. Danny Boyle

One of the most diverse of any active director, Danny Boyle has tackled sci-fi, horror, comedy, and drama, never faltering. Coming off of several critical success, including Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours (which ranks among my favorite movies of the past decade), he shows no sign of slowing down, and I'll be anxious to see what he can do next.

Favorite movies:
- 127 Hours
- Slumdog Millionaire
- Trainspotting

29. Christopher Nolan

The greatest action director of recent years, Christopher Nolan brings far more than flashy effects to his movies. Directing incredible psychological dramas like Memento, Nolan has proven himself to be quite possibly the strongest, and most consistently enjoyable filmmaker working today.

Favorite movies:
- Memento
- The Dark Knight
- Inception

28. Carl Dreyer

Dreyer, the influential Danish director of the acclaimed silent masterpiece The Passion Of Joan Of Arc, unlike many directors from the silent era, managed to continue producing strong dramatic material after his conversion to talkies.

Favorite movies:
- The Passion Of Joan Of Arc
- Ordet
- Vampyr

27. Michael Powell

Though his career may have been destroyed upon release of the controversial Peeping Tom, Powell's legacy lives on today. Frequent collaborator with Emeric Pressburger, Michael Powell's skill with psychodrama rivals that of Alfred Hitchcock.

Favorite movies:
- Peeping Tom
- The Red Shoes
- Black Narcissus

26. Werner Herzog

Probably the greatest German director of all-time, Werner Herzog's films always set a bizarre atmosphere -- possibly due to the frequent presence of the terrifying Klaus Kinski. What it is exactly that I like about Herzog is impossible for me to pinpoint, but I admire his movies, so that's good enough for me.

Favorite movies:
- Aguirre, The Wrath Of God
- Woyzeck
- Nosferatu The Vampyre

25. Paul Thomas Anderson

Having only directed five movies so far, it's hard for me to put him any higher on this list, but due to the consistently high quality of work that he produces, his absence from this list would be unforgivable. Eagerly anticipating The Master, whenever he finally gets around to making that...

Favorite movies:
- There Will Be Blood
- Boogie Nights
- Magnolia

24. Robert Bresson

Probably who I would consider to be the "quietest" director ever (I know it's a strange claim to make), Robert Bresson's ability to channel emotion through his often downplayed actors is very unconventional. Unconventional in the brilliant kind of way.

Favorite movies:
- A Man Escaped
- Au Hasard Balthazar
- Pickpocket

23. Hal Ashby

One of my favorite directors of the '70s, Hal Ashby's blend of dramatic and comedic material made for some of the most enjoyable and effective movies of his time. It's a pity to have to leave off Being There and Coming Home from this list, for all 5 of these movies are incredible.

Favorite movies:
- The Last Detail
- Harold And Maude
- Bound For Glory

22. Jean-Pierre Melville

Another pioneering director in the French New Wave movement, Jean-Pierre Melville's movies had a style unlike anything we see today. To put into a single paragraph what exactly makes his movies so remarkable would be impossible, so I won't even try: Just watch Le Samourai and you'll see what I mean.

Favorite movies:
- Le Samourai
- Le Cercle Rouge
- Army Of Shadows

21. William Wyler

One thing I often find myself liking about William Wyler's productions, is that you can never tell when his movies are going to have happy endings. Going against the grain of usual Hollywood directors of the time, Wyler's dramas often packed more of an emotional punch than others, which is just one of the many things that I find great about his movies.

Favorite movies:
- Wuthering Heights
- The Best Years Of Our Lives
- Roman Holiday


Tom_Film_Master said...

Another great post Jeff! I am watching a Herzog film tonight actually and it's Nosferatu. Please check out some of my latest reviews when you get the time.

Rodders said...

glad to see Chris Nolan and Danny Boyle have made it in, great list Jeff

Sara C said...

I love Danny Boyle! After I do my Woody Allen fest I plan on doing a bit of a Hal Ashby fest. From what I've seen of him, he's great!