Friday, July 22, 2011

Top Ten Film Directors

This list is quite an undertaking in my eyes.  As I’ve grown up, my love of film has grown with me.  I’m no longer driven go see films just because it has a certain actor or actress in it.  I now research the writers, composers, cinematographers, and most importantly...the director.  A film can have amazing cast of endlessly talented actors, but if I see, “Directed by M. Night Shyamalan”....I’m like, “Well....shit.  This is gonna blow.” >( Seriously dudes...what the eff happened to that guy!!??  On the flip side, there are those directors that I can put my full faith in...the one’s that never cease to amaze me.  Here are those directors.

10.) Henry Selick
"You know, you could stay forever if you want.  There's one tiny thing we have to do first..."

Henry Selick is one of those wonderful directors that graces us with his genius once every few years, but every time a film of his pops up I’m always excited.  Selick has directed such works as The Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach, and Coraline.  I’m, of course, a giant fan of Nightmare and I feel that his vision meshed incredibly with Tim Burton’s writing.  But it was really the adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s novel Coraline that sealed the deal for me.  I had read the book quite awhile before the release of the film and it is by far one of my favorites of Gaiman’s work.  Selick’s adaptation floored me...never before had a director successfully brought such characters to life...beautiful eye popping LIFE.  All I can say is that I hope and pray everyday that he makes the adaptation of Gaiman’s The Graveyard needs to happen.

Forever...I shall adore thee!!!

9.) Guillermo del Toro
 "I am the mountain, the forest and the earth. I am... I am a faun."

The first film I saw directed by Guillermo del Toro was Hell Boy.  I didn’t know much about the comic it was based on but I was immediately drawn in by the film and it’s creatures that painted the picture.  The more del Toro films I see the more I realize how much of a genius he is with fantasy.  As I go through my list you’ll notice that there’s always that one film that drives it home for me...the one that makes me decide, “Yep...this director is at the top of my list.”  Pan’s Labrynth was the defining movie from del Toro’s mind that did it for me.  A great deal of people were disappointed that this film was so “real world” heavy, but I see that as a high point in the film.  Yes, the characters like Pan and that pasty naked baby eater are amazing, but it’s the real world that Ofelia lives in that I find the most compelling.  It’s dark, disturbing, fantastical, and an incredible story that only del Toro could pull off.  If you enjoyed Pan’s then I highly suggest you check out The Devil’s Backbone.  It’s another Guillermo del Toro flick that really sticks with you.

Beware Matt...there’s creepy children in this one.  >_<

 8.) Luc Besson
"Is life always this hard, or is it just when you're a kid?"

If you’re looking for films with lots of action, great plots, phenominal actors, and the occasional subtitles then look no further than Luc Besson.  He’s worked on over 50 films as director, producer, and writer.  Known best for, Leon: The Professional, The Fifth Element (my personal fav.), and of course the surprisingly enjoyable Taken.  His films may not be the deepest but they’re always compelling and well thought out.  His action scenes are always fast paced, believable and the relationships between characters always ring true. They’re the type of films that literally I can watch over and over again.  Besson is the kind of director that when I’m setting off to go watch one of his films, I know I’m going to enjoy the hell out of it. are a true bad-ass, sir.

7.) Edgar Wright

 "It's about two-feet tall, long slender neck, kinda orange and black bill..."

As I was putting this list together I had originally completely forgot about Edgar Wright...but when I remembered, and after I was done scolding myself, I promptly kicked a director out of the line up (I’ll leave it to you to guess who) and I found the number 7 spot (tehheh! 7 evil exes...get it!?) for Wright.  His work is the most light-hearted work on my list and his films just bring me so much joy.  Films such as Shawn of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and the TV show Spaced there’s not much to go wrong.  Especially when he’s paired up with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.  Wright’s most recent film adaptation of the manga Scott Pilgrim vs. The World was pure eye candy....beautiful, action packed, massively engaging, perfect eye candy.  He not only understands what makes a good action flick but he understands how to make it gut busting hilarious.  Let’s just all hope that soon...very soon we get the third installment to “The Blood and Ice Cream” trillogy from Wright, Pegg, and Frost...keep an eye out for The World’s End kiddies!

Eye popping right!!??

6.) Ridley Scott

"That was my profession. Ex-cop. Ex-blade runner. Ex-killer."

Ridley Scott’s work has spanned several decades now with incredible unforgettable films like Blade Runner, Aliens, Legend, Thelma and Louise, Gladiator...GLADIAAAATORRR!!!, Black Hawk I need to go on any more!?  Shit, the guy knows how to make a film.  Not only does he know how to entertain the movie goer but he does it with such a wide variety of films.  Thelma and Louise is an extensively different genre of film than say one of his more recent, Body of Lies.  Couple this array of films with his keen eye for what makes people want to keep coming back to the theater and you’ve got a director with staying power.  I will have to say that some of his most recent films are not my favorite of his (here’s to hoping for Prometheus), but it’s still great solid film making.  He also knows how to find incredible actors (Russell Crowe) and he sticks with them.

And he seems to have taken a liking to this guy...and I can really appreciate that.

5.) The Coen Brothers

"Prison life is more structured than most men care for..."

Witty, dark, compelling, inventive, smart and hilarious are all words I use to describe the work of the Coen brothers.  For those who don’t know they’ve graced us with movies like; Raising Arazona, Fargo, The Big Lebowski, O Brother Where Art Thou?, The Lady Killers, No Country for Old Men, and the latest remake of True Grit.  Not only do they direct but they also write their own films and unlike some directors who try to write at the same time (Zach Snyder) the Coens are phenomenal at it.  I just...LOVE the way they think...I’ve watched their films over and over again and I’m still surprised by the elements and how everything falls into place by the end.  Personally I feel the bowling alley dream sequence in The Big Lebowski is a work of art.  And I’m proud to say that my home state hosts the annual Lebowskifest...which I tragically miss every flippin year...and I just realized that it was last weekend...DAMN IT. >:(

I know bums me out too.

4.) Quinten Tarintino
"Get ready to fly, bitch!"

Yes, his films may not be for everyone but for me they’re everything I could ask for in cinema.  Some are put off by the great deal of talking that he likes to make his actors do, but when it’s fantastic writing I just eat that type of stuff up.  I grew up watching a lot of older films and I’m not afraid to sit still and listen to a story unfold.  On the flip side when Tarintino does action you better hold to your hat because he does it right...and bloody. XD  This=Tressa likey.  He has a knack for the over-the-top gore, but more importantly he knows how to make a female lead bad-ass....really bad-ass.  I had always loved Tarintino’s work growing up and I think over the years I’ve appreciated his unique style, but it wasn’t until Inglourious Basterds when I realized that I had found a new love.  A love that says, “Tarintino, never work without Christoph Waltz, and dear God please finish Django Unchained as soon as possible!!!”

I mean...there are worst things to look at right before you die or get your head carved into.


3.) Matthew Vaughn
"In the world I lived in, heroes only existed in comic books. And I guess that'd be okay, if bad guys were make-believe too, but they're not."

You must be thinking, “Holy crap Tressa, Matthew Vaughn has barely been on the map long enough for most (non-geeks) to even know what he’s done!!!  I can’t believe he’s so high on your list!” :^O  Settle’s because EVERY thing he’s directed I effing love love LOVE.  It’s no mystery that Stardust is one of my favorite movies but after seeing Kick-Ass....hold on guys cause I have to pause from the overbearing amount of awesome..... >_< …...ok...ok...I’m good.  Kick-Ass is one of the best, not only comic book movies, but action movies too.  It’s not opinion it’s fact.  If you challenge me I will swiftly do a roundhouse kick to your face.  So you can imagine my joy when I learned that Vaughn was to direct the newest X-Men film, and people fought me on it and they doubted me when I said it was gonna be good...look who was right suckers!!!! *ahem*...sorry.  Like Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class was not only an incredible comic book film, it’s a great piece of cinema all together.  Vaughn just has the magic touch.  I’m ecstatic to see what he works on in the near future and I of course can’t wait for Kick-Ass 2: Balls to the Wall.


2.) Steven Spielberg

"You can come and play now."

Spielberg is like a warm fuzzy blanket to me...wait...his films gives me warm fuzzies?... >-<  I grew up watching his films.  There are those like E.T. and Close Encounters that I was able to watch as a child and enjoy and understand.  But as I grew older I of course wanted more adult films and of course there was always a Spielberg film to entertain me.  I remember very vividly getting my Mom to by me and my friend tickets to go see Saving Private Ryan.  I was becoming more of a war film lover but I wasn’t old enough to buy tickets to a rated R movie...I definitely didn’t look old enough.  I was determined, I used my mother for my bidding and I commanded her to sneak me into a rated R WWII film...I was not disappointed and it doesn’t hurt that Spielberg always uses one of my favorite actors, Tom Hanks.

So what if he dies in almost all of Speilberg's movies!!! >.<

1.) Christopher Nolan

"We all need mirrors to remind ourselves who we are. I'm no different."

Right, I know...derp.  In all seriousness though, Christopher Nolan is hands down my favorite director of all time.  He can do no wrong in my eyes.  It all started when I saw Memento when it was first released and I was enthralled with the story telling and it’s characters.  As the years passed Nolan came out with one glorious film after another then in 2005 he did the unimaginable....he resurrected the Batman movie franchise.  Not only did he breath life back into the character that had been pummeled my Schumacher, but he did it with the idea that Batman could live in a real world with real threats.  He made it easy for the audience to identify with Bruce Wayne and his fears...basically he made a comic book film that people respected.  With The Dark Knight he did it once again and better.  Last summer was the release of Inception and the first words out of my mouth when I walked out of the theater were, “Christopher Nolan is my favorite director.” and then I think I said something along the lines of “I want to have his babies”....anywho!  His films are invoking, awe inspiring, inventive beyond belief, and I put my full faith in everything he touches...everything.  To me, Christopher Nolan’s work is the very definition of perfection in film and if you don’t agree in the slightest...then you need to have your head checked.


So there you have it, my top ten favorite film directors.  There were some that made it very close to making the list, but they’re also those who don’t instill confidence that their work is going to amaze me every harder Tim Burton.  I’m glad that my tastes in film have adapted to the point where I will see a film based solely on who directed it.  My list is ever changing but there are those who will never leave it.

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