Saturday, 15 September 2007

Top 5 Film Directors

Enough of the Football stuff then, its time for another biggy. I reckon if I was only allowed to watch the films made by these five (or six if you count Ethan) directors I'd still be pretty happy.

1. Quentin Tarantino

2. Joel & Ethan Coen

3. Ridley Scott

4. Martin Scorcese

5. Akira Kurosawa

Tarantino came crashing into my world with a late viewing of "Reservoir Dogs" at Richmond cinema. I'd never really seen anything quite like it before. Tarantino films are stamped all over with his personality; visceral action, lengthy dialogues and erratic timelines still make his films unlike anything else you're likely to see. Three of his films are in my all-time top ten ("Reservoir Dogs", "Pulp Fiction" & "Jackie Brown") and so is "True Romance" a film based on a QT screenplay but directed by Tony Scott (Brother of Ridley).

The Coen Brothers have also made a huge number of films (too many to list here) that I have really enjoyed. They manage to make films that still have the feel of an Independant release whilst working with all the benefits of the major studios. Like Tarantino, their dialogue is always good and the storylines unique.

If Ridley Scott had only directed "Blade Runner" it would probably have been enough to get him into my Top 5, that he was also responsible for "Alien", "Black Rain", "Thelma & Louise" and "Black Hawk Down" puts him in the legendary status for me. Scott does not have the distinctive styling of Tarantino or the Coen's, he's more of a traditional big screen Hollywood director, but unlike so many of his contemporary's he does his job well and rarely repeats himself. According to he also owns Shepperton Studios with his brother Tony, so we're kind of neighbours.

Although "The Godfather" is often considered the greatest gangster movie ever made, Scorcese is, in my opinion, the greatest gangster movie director. From "Mean Streets" to "The Departed" via "Goodfellas" and "Casino" he just knows how to create a good crime story. Add to those "Gangs of New York", "Taxi Driver" and "Raging Bull" and you've got an amazing canon of work. Scorcese makes me feel like I've lived my whole life in New York.

I've not seen the entire output of Kurosawa's work, in fact I've only seen three of his films, but two of them were so incredible that I could not leave this inspirational director out. "Seven Samurai" is worth the effort it takes to sit through a four hour, black & white, subtitled epic. A really moving film that spawned so many imitators. "Ran" is just as epic in scope and even more spectacular. The third film "The Hidden Fortress", whilst not as fascinating a movie, can claim to have been a significant influence on the characters of R2D2 and C3PO in George Lucas' "Star Wars".

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