The Zone's Quest to Find the Greatest Director (CAGLE)

Which director made the best films, made the best visuals, or smelled the best? This is the forum to find out.

Postby thomasgaffney on Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:40 pm

John-Locke wrote:I personally would appreciate it if more people tried selling their choices to the rest of us or at least tell us who they have voted for.


Why? Are you going to change your choice? When I toss out Marnie, Psycho, North by Northwest, Vertigo, The Wrong Man, The Man Who Knew Too Much, To Catch A Thief, REAR WINDOW, Dial M For Murder, Strangers on a Train, Rope, Notorious, Lifeboat, and Rebecca (not to mention the fantastic tv show, Alfred Hitchcock Presents) are you really going to change your mind from Kubrick?

Besides, the only people who need to try and explain their vote are the two who voted Ridley Scott.....
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Postby John-Locke on Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:41 pm

ZombieZoneSolutions wrote:^ Oh yeah, I voted for KUBRICK, natch. In case
it wasn't painfully obvious! :D


I voted Kurbrick, you Voted Kubrick, Did Brock vote Kubrick? I thought he might have gone for Kurosawa?

I'd like to know why someone voted for Cronenberg, I'm not saying it's wrong because I wouldn't have put him on the poll if I was unaware of how highly some folks rate him, I'd just like to hear them state their case for Canadas greatest export.

Same goes for everyone who can put in the effort, this is meant to be about more than a poll.

I WANT A MASS DEBATE!
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Postby John-Locke on Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:46 pm

thomasgaffney wrote:
John-Locke wrote:I personally would appreciate it if more people tried selling their choices to the rest of us or at least tell us who they have voted for.


Why? Are you going to change your choice? When I toss out Marnie, Psycho, North by Northwest, Vertigo, The Wrong Man, The Man Who Knew Too Much, To Catch A Thief, REAR WINDOW, Dial M For Murder, Strangers on a Train, Rope, Notorious, Lifeboat, and Rebecca (not to mention the fantastic tv show, Alfred Hitchcock Presents) are you really going to change your mind from Kubrick?

Besides, the only people who need to try and explain their vote are the two who voted Ridley Scott.....


Yeah naming some films is explaining your choice, sure.

d00ch

Why are they the greatest ever for you? What is it about Hitch that sets him above the rest.

I'm not going to change my vote obviously but I may watch some of his films in a different light or watch something I've never seen as a result, plus maybe just maybe some people who haven't voted will read your post and be swayed to vote for your candidate to recieve our accolade.
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Postby Brocktune on Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:52 pm

MasterWhedon wrote:
Brocktune wrote:but then, you have jurassic park, saving private ryan, the terminal etc, that (imo, of course) are garbage.

YOU DON'T LIKE JURASSIC PARK?!!

Spider-Man 2--okay, but JURASSIC PARK?!!


well, if its any consolation to you, i did like the movie... until i read the book.
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Postby Brocktune on Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:54 pm

John-Locke wrote:I voted Kurbrick, you Voted Kubrick, Did Brock vote Kubrick? I thought he might have gone for Kurosawa?



busted.

i did indeed vote for kurosawa, but as he is tied with kubrick for number one, kurosawasan edged him out, because i knew there would be more kubrick support.
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Postby MasterWhedon on Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:55 pm

Just a few reasons why I believe Spielberg to be the "greatest":

1) His obivous talents as a storyteller. I'm talking everything from shot selection to acting direction to music choices to editing rhythms to everything else. The guy has the single greatest visual storytelling style I have ever seen.

2) Along with George Lucas, he birthed the blockbuster. No one else on that list has had such an impact on the world of filmmaking, from an economic standpoint if nothing else.

3) He helped make auterism the Hollywood mainstay. It was the group in the '70s that first started to bring European and Asian influences in American cinema, and Spielberg was the most visible figure.

4) He's furthered visual effects as much as any James Cameron or Peter Jackson (though of course Lucas is still their superior).

5) He made the following films: Duel, Jaws, Close Encounters, Raiders, ET, Temple of Doom, Empire of the Sun, Last Crusade, Hook (I have fond memories of this movie, despite its criticisms), Jurassic Park, Schindler's, Private Ryan, AI, Minority Report, Catch Me If You Can, War of the Worlds, and Munich--each of which has left an indellible print on me. (I skipped a few in there because they either weren't that great (Sugarland Express, Lost World) or because I still haven't seen them (The Color Purple, Always).)

6) He has also produced a gazillion other movies AND Tiny Toon Adventures, therefore furthering his influence into the pop culture lexicon.

These are a few of the reasons, but the ones that really make him my choice are the moments he gives throughout his films--Elliot and ET riding across the moon, Indy running from the boulder, the end sequnce from Close Encounters, D Day from Private Ryan, etc.--that make his films stick with me longer than anyone else's.
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Postby Brocktune on Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:56 pm

dustin hoffman was dope as hook!
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Postby thomasgaffney on Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:56 pm

John-Locke wrote:
thomasgaffney wrote:
John-Locke wrote:I personally would appreciate it if more people tried selling their choices to the rest of us or at least tell us who they have voted for.


Why? Are you going to change your choice? When I toss out Marnie, Psycho, North by Northwest, Vertigo, The Wrong Man, The Man Who Knew Too Much, To Catch A Thief, REAR WINDOW, Dial M For Murder, Strangers on a Train, Rope, Notorious, Lifeboat, and Rebecca (not to mention the fantastic tv show, Alfred Hitchcock Presents) are you really going to change your mind from Kubrick?

Besides, the only people who need to try and explain their vote are the two who voted Ridley Scott.....


Yeah naming some films is explaining your choice, sure.

d00ch

Why are they the greatest ever for you? What is it about Hitch that sets him above the rest.

I'm not going to change my vote obviously but I may watch some of his films in a different light or watch something I've never seen as a result, plus maybe just maybe some people who haven't voted will read your post and be swayed to vote for your candidate to recieve our accolade.


Much like all lists like this, it's totally subjective. I love all the movies listed above. Rear Window is probably my second fav of all time. Even The Birds, which I didn't list because I think he mailed it in, is still a good movie to watch.

But like you said "I'm not going to change my vote obviously", then why should people give reasons for their pick? Why shouldn't they just say "I voted for him"? If you're going to be close-minded about it, others probably will be as well. I'm reading this thread more to see where people's tastes lie (R.Scott?) then to read detailed explanations as to why someone should be considered the best.

Because.....

If you're looking to read a bunch of technical reasons why someone should be the best, then we should all be on the same page as The Ginger Man and vote Orson Welles. The dude directed Citizen Kane which is the most influential movie of all-time in terms of innovative direction. I just didn't vote for him because, while I recognize his genius with that movie, I just didn't like it. I voted personally and I love Hitch.
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Postby John-Locke on Wed Mar 29, 2006 9:11 pm

thomasgaffney wrote:But like you said "I'm not going to change my vote obviously", then why should people give reasons for their pick? Why shouldn't they just say "I voted for him"? If you're going to be close-minded about it, others probably will be as well. I'm reading this thread more to see where people's tastes lie (R.Scott?) then to read detailed explanations as to why someone should be considered the best.

If you're looking to read a bunch of technical reasons why someone should be the best, then we should all be on the same page as The Ginger Man and vote Orson Welles. The dude directed Citizen Kane which is the most influential movie of all-time in terms of innovative direction. I just didn't vote for him because, while I recognize his genius with that movie, I just didn't like it. I voted personally.


Well what I meant was I'm not going to change my vote because I've already voted and I can't, I'd still like to hear the resoning behind the choices as it promotes some healthy conversations into the nature of what cinema is about for us.

As I said just a few post earlier some folks rate entertanment above all else (Spielberg to a degree), other how influencial in terms of technical and structural techniques (Welles with Kane maybe).

We've both been here from the beginning of this forum and know each others tastes pretty well I'd guess, I don't know about you but I'd like to get to know the other newer Zoners better. Their views on who makes the greatest examples of cinema ever is a pretty good way to garner an opinion on where they are coming from.

Maybe thats just me.
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Postby Theta on Wed Mar 29, 2006 9:17 pm

MasterWhedon wrote:
John-Locke wrote:
Theta wrote:"The Shining" I feel doesn't work because Kubrick can't generate sympathy for anyone in the goddamn movie. You're right about the engine Stephen King used to create the horror of the book (which is very scary and arguably the best book King has ever written), but I just don't care about these characters, especially the wife as portrayed by Shelley Winters.


:shock:

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

SHOOTSHIMSELFINTHEFOOTILASH!!!



Hint: Theta, the only appropriate response is " :oops: " Do not try for a "you know what I meant."


Yeah, I fucked up.

But you still like "Crash."

IT JUST GETS FUNNIER!!!
This comment is in no way meant to insist your opinion is wrong or be considered an edict, solely this poster's opinion. That said, you are still a fool and will kneel before me in supplication.
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Postby ONeillSG1 on Wed Mar 29, 2006 9:18 pm

With me it was a tie between Spielburg and Hitchcock.

What gave it to Spielburg was his range of films.

He has done the epic ("Jaws", "Close Encounters"), the popcorn action flick ("Jurassic Park", "Minority Report", "Indiana Jones") and the dramatic piece ("Munich", "Schindler's List", "Saving Private Ryan").

Hitchcock relied on and is known for the suspense thriller, which is fine.

It just isn't the range and repitoire Spielburg has.

VOTE: Spielburg
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Postby thomasgaffney on Wed Mar 29, 2006 9:18 pm

John-Locke wrote:Well what I meant was I'm not going to change my vote because I've already voted and I can't, I'd still like to hear the resoning behind the choices as it promotes some healthy conversations into the nature of what cinema is about for us.

As I said just a few post earlier some folks rate entertanment above all else (Spielberg to a degree), other how influencial in terms of technical and structural techniques (Welles with Kane maybe).

We've both been here from the beginning of this forum and know each others tastes pretty well I'd guess, I don't know about you but I'd like to get to know the other newer Zoners better. Their views on who makes the greatest examples of cinema ever is a pretty good way to garner an opinion on where they are coming from.

Maybe thats just me.


That's cool. I see where you're coming from now... My quick reasons for why I voted as I did then:

Best "technical": Welles. Citizen Kane. Landmark film. Loses points and didn't get my vote because I found the film boring. Still, he doesn't get the credit he deserves because people today who watch the film are seeing framing and shots that they take for granted and don't realize how he changed the face of filmmaking.

Best "entertainment value": Spielberg. Jaws, ET, Raiders. The man invented the summer blockbuster. Loses points and didn't get my vote because being a great director also involves being choosey and critical when it comes to selecting movies to direct. Also, being a good director also involves knowing how to make a tight film that ends when it's over. Things like Hook, The Terminal, and the tacked on ending to Minority Report make me think that he's lost his vision.

Best combination of the two: Hitchcock. Great sctipts, great actors/actresses, great direction and pacing. He gets my vote. 1981-82, I might have given it to Spielbergo, but everything after that has dropped him down.....
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Postby MasterWhedon on Wed Mar 29, 2006 9:24 pm

Yeah, Theta, you fucked up those quotes too. I could fix them for you, but I don't want to.
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Postby havocSchultz on Wed Mar 29, 2006 9:24 pm

okay... seeing as how i can't vote 4 havoc... i feel i must explain myself...

i was THIS close to voting for Kubrick... on almost any given day - if you ask me - i very well could say i believe kubrick is the greatest/my most favorite director... i can also see why some people might find his films cold - and un-approachable - they are - to an extent - how he appeared on the outside and to the masses... but if you listen/believe anything anybody who knew him well would say - you would know he was deep and caring and a very good person... the reason i think alot of people feel his films are cold and un-approachable - is because they don't seem to take the time "to get to know them" - there are always so many different levels working and so many emotions being thrown about - but you have to di to get there - you have to sit back - and completely let the film absorb you - to take you over - get completely lost in his utterly brilliant visual genius and let things unfold... and for that - if i'm in the right mood - kubrick is the master - in many ways - hands down...

spielberg - on the other hand - is - almost not even arguably - the greatest LIVING director - one of the best of all time - but i think he's dropped the ball on one too many endings to be the complete be all end all director... and it's unfortunate - cause alot of the time - no matter how good a movie is - if the ending sucks - that's usually what people remember - but he is probably the most confident and "simple" directors working - i mean - to get WotW and Munich put in the same year - 6 months apart - and probably not break a sweat - either way - that takes a filmmaking genius...

alas - all that being said - my vote - went to ALFRED HITCHCOCK...

after contemplating - and weighing the issues - i just believe that hitchcock was and is the most confident and surest directors out there - you can just feel that every single thing that went into a movie - was exactely how he wanted it to happen and to be... even if it didn't "work out" that way - the confidence that appears on screen - oozes through the celluloid... he also believed that yes - there was alot of ART that went into the filmmaking process - but in the end - the audience needed to be entertained - in some way or another - and like it or not - in some way, shape, or form - Hitchcock was an entertainer - in front of and behind the camera - there was just "something" about him... Director Magic that oh so few have - and oh so many can only dream to wish to have...

in the end - the ART and Visual brilliance that kubrick used to weave unforgettable characters together PLUS the pure fun, adventure, terror, and emotion that Spielberg could make you feel with just a couple of camera moves = The Hitch... he has the best of the "visual artistry" mixed with "mass audience appeal" to be called The Greatest Director EVAR!!!!!!!!1111111222....
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Postby Theta on Wed Mar 29, 2006 9:30 pm

Brocktune wrote:
Theta wrote: "Lolita" is only worth watching for Peter Sellers.


uh, you must have been watching it in spanish or something. thats the worst assessment of quality ive seen since i read a review of Mr. Bungle's "Disco Volante" in which the "critic" called mike patton a "lesser anthony kiedis"

either that or perhaps you are confusing peter sellers with jeremy irons. in which case i would still disagree, as the scorching dominique swain is the best thing about lyne's snoozefest.


Lyne's is vastly superior, partially because it, you know, actually has something to do with the book on which it claims to be based. Lyne's "Lolita" is remarkable because he keeps a lot of his directorial trademarks (namely the association of water with sexuality) while being faithful to the text. I love the book and greatly enjoy Lyne's adaptation.

Kubrick's "Lolita", on the other hand, seems to decide that since they can't really adapt the novel in any way shape or form, that they can just take the title and piss all over the text. You should seek out Nabokov's unused screenplay, which was a realistic attempt by the author to bring the novel to the screen under the strictures of the day...and was promptly rejected by Kubrick.

This did not stop Kubrick, however, from using a small portion of it and giving Nabokov sole screenplay credit to make it appear as though Nabokov had wrote the entire script and approved of the project (far from the case, although he was generally satisfied with how the film turned out.) He had some very amusing things to say about the Oscars when, even though everybody knew he had nothing to do with the script, he was nominated for it anyway.
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Postby thomasgaffney on Wed Mar 29, 2006 9:39 pm

havocSchultz wrote:alas - all that being said - my vote - went to ALFRED HITCHCOCK...


I never NEVER thought I'd say this, but Havoc..... You da man!
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Postby havocSchultz on Wed Mar 29, 2006 9:41 pm

thomasgaffney wrote:
havocSchultz wrote:alas - all that being said - my vote - went to ALFRED HITCHCOCK...


I never NEVER thought I'd say this, but Havoc..... You da man!


dude - it's like u said - we're conjoined twins... we both think Hitch is the greatest - we both love bogey and Casablanca - and we've both seen you naked...

























:wink:
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Postby thomasgaffney on Wed Mar 29, 2006 9:43 pm

havocSchultz wrote:
thomasgaffney wrote:
havocSchultz wrote:alas - all that being said - my vote - went to ALFRED HITCHCOCK...


I never NEVER thought I'd say this, but Havoc..... You da man!


dude - it's like u said - we're conjoined twins... we both think Hitch is the greatest - we both love bogey and Casablanca - and we've both seen you naked...

:wink:


I've never seen myself naked..... :(
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Postby Brocktune on Wed Mar 29, 2006 9:46 pm

Theta wrote:Lyne's is vastly superior


im sorry, but no it isnt. i realize that this is quickly degenerating into a pissing contest, but boy is that wrong. even if it were worth consideration to think that lyne might have aced a nuance or two from the book that kubrick missed, your use of the word "vastly" is highly, highly dubious.

Theta wrote:I love the book


me too. laughed my ass off!

Theta wrote:You should seek out Nabokov's unused screenplay, which was a realistic attempt by the author to bring the novel to the screen under the strictures of the day...and was promptly rejected by Kubrick.


well, i havent read nabokov's screenplay. but i would imagine that as nabby was not primarily a screenwriter, kubricks was better. take the shining for example (WARNING! EXTREMELY UNPOPULAR OPINION TO FOLLOW) stephen king is a fucking hack. kubricks treatment of the shining was the best thing to ever happen to a stephen king book. now, not to say nabokov was a hack, far from it. but he wasnt a filmmaker. kubrick was. but its like... kubrick knew the movie he wanted to make, and they dont always follow the book point for point. if i wanted the super faithful to the book adaptation, i would just read the book. and i did. i even read the book after seeing the movie many times. and unlike the jurassic park scenario, kubricks suffered no loss in light of the original text. kubrick's lolita is a complex blackly comedic satire. lyne's is a swain oglefest.

Theta wrote:This did not stop Kubrick, however, from using a small portion of it and giving Nabokov sole screenplay credit to make it appear as though Nabokov had wrote the entire script and approved of the project (far from the case, although he was generally satisfied with how the film turned out.) He had some very amusing things to say about the Oscars when, even though everybody knew he had nothing to do with the script, he was nominated for it anyway.


ooh! *shakes fist* that big bad evil kubrick. thats it, im throwing my whole collection in the trash.
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Postby havocSchultz on Wed Mar 29, 2006 9:46 pm

thomasgaffney wrote:
havocSchultz wrote:
thomasgaffney wrote:
havocSchultz wrote:alas - all that being said - my vote - went to ALFRED HITCHCOCK...


I never NEVER thought I'd say this, but Havoc..... You da man!


dude - it's like u said - we're conjoined twins... we both think Hitch is the greatest - we both love bogey and Casablanca - and we've both seen you naked...

:wink:


I've never seen myself naked..... :(


i'll send you those pictures i stole from bantha and kirk...
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Postby ZombieZoneSolutions on Wed Mar 29, 2006 10:06 pm

Theta wrote:Lyne's is vastly superior, partially because it, you know, actually has something to do with the book on which it claims to be based. Lyne's "Lolita" is remarkable because he keeps a lot of his directorial trademarks (namely the association of water with sexuality) while being faithful to the text. I love the book and greatly enjoy Lyne's adaptation.

Kubrick's "Lolita", on the other hand, seems to decide that since they can't really adapt the novel in any way shape or form, that they can just take the title and piss all over the text. You should seek out Nabokov's unused screenplay, which was a realistic attempt by the author to bring the novel to the screen under the strictures of the day...and was promptly rejected by Kubrick.

This did not stop Kubrick, however, from using a small portion of it and giving Nabokov sole screenplay credit to make it appear as though Nabokov had wrote the entire script and approved of the project (far from the case, although he was generally satisfied with how the film turned out.) He had some very amusing things to say about the Oscars when, even though everybody knew he had nothing to do with the script, he was nominated for it anyway.


LOLITA is my favorite novel of all times, and Kubrick's
version, though slightly altered, is far closer to the darkly
comic and satiric tone of Nabokov's novel then Lynne's
unbearably somber and inept direct-to-cable atrocity.

Kubrick did not reject Nabokovs screenplay. He edited it
out of necessity. One reason was to get it past the censors.
The other, because Nabokov's original script would have
resulted in something like an 8 hour long film. This is not
a knock on Nabokov, he did write my favorite book after all,
but the man is a novelist, not a screenwriter. He didn't
understand the mechanics of film.

I would argue that Kubricks version is far closer to the darkly
comic tone of the novel, even if Kubrick did shoot some scenes
out of sequence (for instance, beginning with Humbert confronting
Quilty). And the obvious substitution of an older actress --
the absolutely perfectly cast Sue Lyon; a necessity due to the
time it was made.

Lynne's adaptation, on the other hand, completely missed the
darkly comic aspects of the book -- the driving thrust of the
novel, if you will -- in favor of a humorless, somber affair which
seemed to completely and utterly miss the point.

(In addition to being my favorite book, LOLITA is also my
favorite film; KUBRICK's version, of course, in case that
wasn't obvious. Now whereas KUBRICK didn't pwn Nabokov,
he PWNED the living shit out of King; creating a far more
frightening and deeply spooky gothic masterpiece out of
King's novel than King. Man, that must've pissed him off
but good! That must've been why he made his inept tv
mini-series. To prove that KUBRICK was better than him
once and for all!)
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Postby brendonconnelly on Wed Mar 29, 2006 10:57 pm

Gilliam. No brainer.

The decision, that is. Not Gilliam.
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Postby Flumm on Wed Mar 29, 2006 11:55 pm

I'm not going for my favourite director. Or who directed my favourite movies overall, or the person who I percieve was the the most technically capable, had the most consistant career, or even for that matter who influenced other directors and film makers the most...

I'm basing my choice on the fact that he made movies, and one movie inparticular, with which he managed to achieve something BEYOND the narrow world of movie making.

I spent a long while considering what was truely of value when a director makes a movie. Afterall how much of an achievement is it that somebody influences others in their own artform? Or even other arts? Hell, even making somebody LOVE your film? Untill recently I would have said they were all vital things. We are all here at the end of the day, myself included, because we are drawn to movies more so than most other people. But I'm making my choice based on what I see as an effect larger than perpuating a love of movies, or furthering the art form. If society remains in anyway as it is, then there will always be art, there will always be artists and there will always be people like us to love art... Whether the mediums stutter forward, or due to someones ability, ingenuity and skill it takes a leap forward, they will always be people to revel in it and seek rewards from it's riches. As long as there is humanity, there will be expression...

That's why I sought to choose my guy on something else. To me, I've kind of come the conclusion, that no matter who I pick based on the traditional catorgories, they are all essentially one and the same. Whether they make films for entertainment, or from a compulsion to the craft, it's about them, as much as is about the audience. I belive my guy made the concerted effort to achieve something larger with his films - to make the world a better place. And although his work may not be of as much relevance as it once was, I don't think the sentiments of his films, and the amount of people they really and genuinely have reached and effected, within the industry and without, can be matched. Ultimately, I believe he tried and succeeded in his aims, probably further than he could have imagined. I believe he gave people hope...


Therefore, my vote for greatest director of all time, for It's A Wonderful Life and beyond, goes to Frank Capra...
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Postby havocSchultz on Wed Mar 29, 2006 11:59 pm

Flumm wrote:I'm not going for my favourite director. Or who directed my favourite movies overall, or the person who I percieve was the the most technically capable, had the most consistant career, or even for that matter who influenced other directors and film makers the most...

I'm basing my choice on the fact that he made movies, and one movie inparticular, with which he managed to achieve something BEYOND the narrow world of movie making.

I spent a long while considering what was truely of value when a director makes a movie. Afterall how much of an achievement is it that somebody influences others in their own artform? Or even other arts? Hell, even making somebody LOVE your film? Untill recently I would have said they were all vital things. We are all here at the end of the day, myself included, because we are drawn to movies more so than most other people. But I'm making my choice based on what I see as an effect larger than perpuating a love of movies, or furthering the art form. If society remains in anyway as it is, then there will always be art, there will always be artists and there will always be people like us to love art... Whether the mediums stutter forward, or due to someones ability, ingenuity and skill it takes a leap forward, they will always be people to revel in it and seek rewards from it's riches. As long as there is humanity, there will be expression...

That's why I sought to choose my guy on something else. To me, I've kind of come the conclusion, that no matter who I pick based on the traditional catorgories, they are all essentially one and the same. Whether they make films for entertainment, or from a compulsion to the craft, it's about them, as much as is about the audience. I belive my guy made the concerted effort to achieve something larger with his films - to make the world a better place. And although his work may not be of as much relevance as it once was, I don't think the sentiments of his films, and the amount of people they really and genuinely have reached and effected, within the industry and without, can be matched. Ultimately, I believe he tried and succeeded in his aims, probably further than he could have imagined. I believe he gave people hope...


Therefore, my vote for greatest director of all time, for It's A Wonderful Life and beyond, goes to Frank Capra...


and here i was waiting for "Thumbs Up Uwe Boll"

j/k... well stated and "argued" Flumm... your programming must be set to HIGH 2night... :D
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Postby Flumm on Thu Mar 30, 2006 12:07 am

havocSchultz wrote:and here i was waiting for "Thumbs Up Uwe Boll"....


It had crossed my mind. :D :wink:




But I spent all day putting up my brand new Uwe Boll print wallpaper, so you know, I didn't want to overstep my daily quota of Boll... :roll:
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Postby tapehead on Thu Mar 30, 2006 12:13 am

Well, he did make a lot of World War 2 propaganda.... but Flumm's piece is just so eloquent
and I dig Cary Grant in Arsenic and Old Lace
and Jimmy Stewart punching that dude out in 'Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
I find 'It's a Wonderful Life'' depressing, but he makes a happy ending. I see Capra as an American Myth-maker,
definitely a filmmaker expert at evoking an emotional response from his audience.

and not kubrick or senor spelbergo
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Postby John-Locke on Thu Mar 30, 2006 12:21 am

Theta wrote:I'm currently arguing with John-Locke over at the "greatest director" thread and wanted to spin off an argument for larger consideration.

I think there's too much of an inclination to say "This film is a classic/this director is a genius", shove it under glass, and that's that. They are never reappraised, EVER. Any discussion of it is verboten: if you do not like a set list of films and directors, you're a troglodyte who has no understanding or appreciation of art. I find it astounding that film fans have dogma, but dogma we seem to have.

So what do you think? Who do you think needs to be re-evaluated, and why?

My list:

Kubrick, obviously. I think the man was a great director, but his films don't live up to his reputation, and I think his lack of warmth and control freak nature hamper many of his films. Basically I just want there to be some wiggle room, for him to be called A great director, not one of the five all-time greats (in fact I think lists in general are kinda silly.)

Fellini's earlier work really needs a second look; a lot of people can be turned off by his later films because they were so self-indulgent (hey, you in the back! No "Annie Hall" jokes, especially in light of who made them and his work recently.)

Woody Allen. I think an evalution of his earlier, funny movies and his later output is in order, although I do agree that this might have the effect of swinging a cudgel against a pane of glass.


I'll answer this here because Whedon Locke'd the thread you started (did you see what I did there, oh never mind) well it's in Movie Reviews so I can't stand up for the plight of the common man in his forum and unlock the thread so here is as good a place as any.

I know what you are saying Theta, some people are regarded too highly and could do with a little re-evaluation, but for me anyway Kubrick is someone I was never told to like and discovered for myself, any opinion I hold on him has been evaluated by myself without being tainted by outside influences.

When I first watched Barry Lyndon I wasn't aware of the total use of natural light or the compositions of the shots, I liked the story of a scoundrel with a historical backdrop along with the acting and music. Over the 5 or so years since I first saw it I have come to love it more and more but not because the books tell me too, because I just like it.

The Shining scared me the first time I saw it and it still creeps me out to this day, are there many horror films that remain scary on repeat viewing once you know whats coming? I think not.

Strangelove gets better every time I see it. When I was 18 I'd heard of the film but had no real idea who was in it or what it was about until late one Monday night when I caught it on BBC1, I almost turned it off, I wasn't a big Kubrick fan at the time and I was weary of Black & White films, Stan wasn't getting as much attention back then, this was before all us movie geeks descended on to the internet and expressed our opinions and before I had the inclination to look at films made outside the years of my birth through personal choice. It all changed that night as I realised I knew a lot less about the possibilities of cinema than I had previously considered. In my opinion no one has made a better film ever.

I thought Clockwork Orange was crap when I saw it as a kid, I had it on Pirate and was expecting a video nasty like the other banned films I used to track down. I was severely disapointed because I wasn't ready for it, now I get it, I live in the same British society he was ripping on, I can tell you it's not that far from the truth in some places, utter brilliance, again no one forced this high opinion on me.

2001 I still don't completely get to be honest, I interpret it one way and many others see it another, I'll give it some more time soon.

I got Matthew Modines Full Metal Jacket Diary for Xmas and yes Kubrick always strived for his vision for a film if it was the best idea on offer, but he also held strong the ideal that whatever works best for the film is the most important thing. The Ending of the film was changed based on a conversation with Modine. Maybe this was a rarity but thats what makes him so great, he was obsessed with getting the end product as close to perfection as he could, thats his job and he didn't want actors doing things the way they wanted, he called the shots and the results speak for themselves. Who else accomplishes that to the same level? He'd rarely comprimise a thing, wouldn't you want that?

Blah Blah Blah...

I could go on but I won't, obviously I'm going to argue these points.

Having said that there are more than likely people who do rate people highly based on reputation rather than through their own evaluation of the artist. I might be guilty of this myself with other directors, not sure who though, maybe it's more down to changing tastes but I'm not as big a fan of some directors as I used to be.

I would come up with examples but I'd rather spend my time talking about things I like and why than things I don't, seems a little to negative to me.

Debate away (not that you need my permission) but be warned I will defend those artists I hold dear to my heart as well as I can. It's mainly that I don't like the insinuation that my opinions were not formed by myself but through reputation, seems like a cheap way to try and win an debate to me.


WOW this turned into a real rant didn't it.
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Postby Theta on Thu Mar 30, 2006 12:52 am

No problem! I love to argue. And you gave me my new avatar, so I owe you one (although Adam Balm's "name drop" sorely tempted me.)

I just honestly think a lot of directors (far more than just Kubrick) get a free pass and that reflects on all films.

For example, "Citizen Kane." I read a review that had a great point: there's "Citizen Kane" the reputation and "Citizen Kane" the actual MOVIE, and people confuse the two. They act like watching it is going to be eating an entire bowl of Colon Blow as opposed to watching a great involving drama. It poisons everything; that people would take a "Do I HAVE to?" attitude towards "Casablanca" is fucking depressing.


And, to be totally honest, I hate a good chunk of what passes for art in film because of that very distinct attitude that watching art film means suffering. I means you need to be bored, that the films are long and slow (and maybe hard to understand) but they're about Serious Issues of Deep Importance to the Human Soul, so you need to pay attention or else you're a bad person. So the audience might very well be bored out of their skulls, but they can't say anything for fear of looking like an idiot.

I hate that. Film shouldn't be a chore, and if a film is boring, then it's not doing the audience or the artist's message any favors and needs to be called on it. So I do that. And, I don't mind telling you, it got me into a HELL of a lot of trouble in college. But that's another thread.
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Postby thomasgaffney on Thu Mar 30, 2006 12:57 am

Theta wrote:that people would take a "Do I HAVE to?" attitude towards "Casablanca" is fucking depressing.


I don't normally agree with you, but in this case I do. Casablanca remains my all-time favorite movie, and I'm dumbfofunded that so many people haven't seen it, or reply "Why would I watch THAT?"
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Postby RogueScribner on Thu Mar 30, 2006 1:01 am

I'm torn between Hitchcock and Spielberg and Kubrick. They all have an AMAZING body of work. Gah, I can't decide!
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Postby havocSchultz on Thu Mar 30, 2006 1:29 am

RogueScribner wrote:I'm torn between Hitchcock and Spielberg and Kubrick. They all have an AMAZING body of work. Gah, I can't decide!


Hitchcock...


there - see - i just decided for you... ain't i a doll... :wink:
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Postby RogueScribner on Thu Mar 30, 2006 2:23 am

havocSchultz wrote:
RogueScribner wrote:I'm torn between Hitchcock and Spielberg and Kubrick. They all have an AMAZING body of work. Gah, I can't decide!


Hitchcock...


there - see - i just decided for you... ain't i a doll... :wink:




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Postby Lady Sheridan on Thu Mar 30, 2006 2:44 am

I picked Hitchcock. It's a tough call as all the directors on there have their iconic moments. But everything Hitchcock did was iconic--and the man himself was.

Spielberg and Kubrick come close. Spielberg would probably be my number two pick because again, he has created images that are now iconic. But his Oscar-grubbing in recent years has left me quite disillusioned and his work is missing the heart it used to have.

Kubrick, same thing--famous stuff, but most of it is so icy cold I don't connect to it. It lacks a human element--I watch them, I appreciate them, but I am not left with anything at the end except "Wow, neat." "Spartacus" is probably the only exception and I'm not sure how much of that is a true Kubrick film.

Except for the Godfather, I've never really liked anything Coppola did...I mean, Bram Stoker's Dracula, anyone?

Scorcese's recent films have fallen very flat for me. They build and build, and then they sort of trickle out, for lack of a better word. With both Gangs of New York and The Aviator, I left wondering WHY I should care.

Peter Jackson is still a "newcomer." I love LOTR, but stories from the set, and some of the cut scenes show what a fine line he often walked between awesome and total crap. I honestly feel that the reason those films turned out was that everything came together just right, and you had a cast who cared, and who said "Umm, no" when they needed to. I haven't seen King Kong yet, but I know just in the Zone, reactions were mixed. Let him churn out 2 or 3 more films on the level of LOTR and see how they age in 10+ years and he could outdo Spielberg for me.
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Postby Carolian on Thu Mar 30, 2006 3:03 am

I voted for Kurosawa, but now, I kind of feel like an asshole--as I mentioned on the "Greatest Female Directors" thread, I just haven't seen enough movies to really judge. I went with my heart and made a spur-of-the-moment decision based on the Kurosawa films I've seen, but I haven't seen enough by Welles or Kubrick or Hitchcock or Scorcese or any of the other directors on the list.

I almost wish I could take back my vote, bide my time, watch a few hundred films, then come back a year from now and finally make my pick. I'm too uneducated. My vote shouldn't count! Heh.
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Postby Brit Pop on Thu Mar 30, 2006 5:08 am

I'm fairly surprised the way this poll is going... Hitchcock IMO was a great suspense builder, but how could he direct properly with those two poodles yapping and biting at his ankles all through the shoot?!?
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Postby magicmonkey on Thu Mar 30, 2006 5:33 am

Well, I voted. I thought long and hard, but ultimately there was no question about it. Kubrick.

No matter what mood I'm in, he has a film for me. No matter how many times I've watched his films there is always something to look out for or pay closer attension to. The dude was a craftsman.

His films are instantly recognisable as his work. He puts alot of time and effort into his films and it shows, it leaks out of the screen, everything is composed, sculptured almost. Sure, Hitchcock had his own style and trademarks, but it could easily be argued that ultimately he was all style without substance, but hey, what style he had!

Kubrick delivered substance in spades, he didn't take sides, he didn't point out that someone is particularly heroic or evil, but just as a product of who they are, he knows we're all fallible, so when he does put something "warm" in his films it means something. Just check out "Paths of Glory", see Kirk Douglas defend humanity in the face of violent conflict, power struggles and corruption, then see the product of his struggle, the soldiers jeering almost heartbreakingly at a captured German girl, before weeping as she sings.

If you like your independents and you like your blockbusters, then Kubrick is your man. The dude IS without a "Shadow of a doubt"(heh) the greatest director eva!!!!!1111111
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Postby ZombieZoneSolutions on Thu Mar 30, 2006 7:29 am

I find KUBRICK's coldness to be the most honest. He speaks
to the mind. In my soul I know he's right. I think everybody
knows his view is true; thats why his work is off putting; he
deals in the harsh truths that people can't escape. He holds
up the mirror to the dark heart of a cruel world and it's frightening
(in edition to being ofttimes, darkly hilarious; what to do but
laugh, right?)

I would love if the world were like a Spielberg movie where
everything is nice and pretty and love is real and everything
works out in the end. Unfortuantely, the real world has
shown me otherwise.

Not only is the glass half empty, its shattered, and the shards
are shoved in the faces of the innocent. Again and again and
again. No good deed goes unpunished. The dark heart of a
cruel world.

KUBRICK takes the cold, objective view, and in so doing, has
made some of the most honest and unflinchingly real works
of art ever in human history....

God, how I miss him...
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Postby Nordling on Thu Mar 30, 2006 8:10 am

Kurosawa. No one else comes close.
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Postby thomasgaffney on Thu Mar 30, 2006 8:51 am

Lady Sheridan wrote:I picked Hitchcock.


Woo-Hoo!
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Postby havocSchultz on Thu Mar 30, 2006 10:07 am

thomasgaffney wrote:
Lady Sheridan wrote:I picked Hitchcock.


Woo-Hoo!


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Postby unikrunk on Thu Mar 30, 2006 11:08 am

MasterWhedon wrote:
unikrunk wrote:Just a quick reality check; Joss Whedon < Ridley Scott.

/that is all

That's totally, like, your opinion, man.

And also not at all what's being discussed.


Hey, I was just throwing it out there... :D

Also, I will never be able to read your posts again without hearing them read by Lebowski in my head...crap.
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Postby unikrunk on Thu Mar 30, 2006 11:17 am

thomasgaffney wrote:
unikrunk wrote:Just a quick reality check; Joss Whedon < Ridley Scott.

/that is all


Yeah, but Joss Whedon obviously didn't make this list and get two inexplicable votes.....


I was just having a laugh. Regarding the votes for Ridley, who the shit knows? I am the 'loner with a boner' with a vote for Fellini.

Should have just gone with the pack, and pushed Spielberg.
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Postby Peven on Thu Mar 30, 2006 11:28 am

Hitchcock gets my vote. he was not only a superbly talented director in a technical sense, with an impressive body of work, he wasn't so arrogant to think his job wasn't ultimately to entertain his audience, and he did so quite well. he looked at film as art, but as art that an audiences should enjoy experiencing as entertainment in the end. he could scare you as well as make you laugh, or keep you on the edge of your seat in suspense, and his influence on filmmaking even to this day is undeniable.

sure, Kubrick did quality work, and made some insightful statements in doing so, but more times than not seeing his films is akin to a dentist appt, something you endure, to brag about surviving afterward. for all its accolades, "2001" is a snoozer, sorry, and doesn't do the book justice in more ways than one. and too many times, imo, people use his films, and their viewing of them, as proof why they are more insightful or enlightened than those who either haven't seen them or don't care for them, i.e., "A Clockwork Orange". and no, i don't believe Kubrick's vision was always "the true one", or the most realistic. cynisism does not equate to truth. and am i the only one who feels like someone in the pews being preached down to while watching a Kubrick film? while deserving a lot credit for some quality, unique perspective as a filmmaker, i have to say i think Kubrick is over-rated.

Spielberg is accumulating quite a body of work, and maybe by the end of his career he will have earned the title of "best ever" among film fans. from "Jaws" to "Munich" he has pushed himself to grow as a filmaker and made more quality films than flops along the way. he has at least probably 20 yrs left to work with, and i am one who is looking forward to seeing what he has left to give us.


now, my own personal favorite filmmaker currently working is Wes Anderson. he is similar to Hitchcock in the amount of detail he puts into planning his films and the personal stamp he puts on them. as much as i loved the LOTR films and think PJ is very good at what he does, i am looking forward to Anderson's next film more than PJ's.

in the end, film is art, and art is subjective, so all that matters is if a filmaker pushes your buttons, whether he does it for others or not. while it is good to stay open to new things, to expose yourself to different styles and pov's, there is no shame in liking what you like, even if there happen to be those who look down their nose at your taste as being sub-par. as the dude with the small dick said to his date after she asked "who are you going to please with THAT small thing?", "Me", he replied.
Last edited by Peven on Thu Mar 30, 2006 1:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby HollywoodBabylon on Thu Mar 30, 2006 12:15 pm

This is a completely impossible list to choose from, but that's half the fun. I mean, Bergman, Chaplin, Coppola, Fellini, Godard, Hawks, Herzog, Hitch, Keaton, Kubrick, Kurosawa, Lang, Scorsese, Tarkovsky, Welles....how the hell do you decide who's the greatest? (let alone no Murnau, Dreyer, Ford, Renoir etc).
Intellectually, you can make a case for most of the nominees on show.
So, I'm going with the heart here. Not just on reputation, innovation, storytelling and influence.
But on the basis whose movies have, continue and will continue to mean something personal to me. Films that will always live with me for the rest of my life. Movies that have given me joy, pleasure, made me laugh, cry, challenged, provoked, made me think as a person as well as entertained me.
In other words, a director whose movies I couldn't live without.
By that criteria, and no other, my vote goes to Ingmar Bergman.
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Postby The Vicar on Thu Mar 30, 2006 1:18 pm

HollywoodBabylon wrote:This is a completely impossible list to choose from, but that's half the fun. I mean, Bergman, Chaplin, Coppola, Fellini, Godard, Hawks, Herzog, Hitch, Keaton, Kubrick, Kurosawa, Lang, Scorsese, Tarkovsky, Welles....how the hell do you decide who's the greatest? (let alone no Murnau, Dreyer, Ford, Renoir etc).
In other words, a director whose movies I couldn't live without.
By that criteria, and no other, my vote goes to Ingmar Bergman.


Well played.

Putting directors in context with the history of the art of film making should exert an influence over who gets picked as "the best".

Bergman was/is a master - Face to Face, for example, had Liv Ullman giving the most complete lead actress performance I'd seen. So many of his films schooled or inspired how many of the directors who came after him with larger budgets and loftier aspirations?

How many here have seen Chaplins opening sequence in City Lights?
Considering when he made it, and where film was when he made it, the sequence is awe inspiring in its lyric beauty & mastery of what was still a young & developing art.

Kong inspired Peter Jackson, who isn't feeling the love in this poll.

But the point is, guys like Hitchcock, or Murnow or Bergman or Chaplin ( or insert your choice here) made it possible for those who came after them to aim higher, direct larger & make far more cash than they ever did.

I couldn't chose a "best", because there really is no such thing.
There are cinematic geniuses, from different eras, styles, languages & genres.
One director might be better than another, going by his whole catalog, but perhaps that other directors best film is better than the first guys best.
( Jesus, did I hack that sentence up ala Freddy Kreuger)

Maybe the trick should have been to name Most Admired Directors.
Getting into Best Director is like starting a political discussion in the Zone....you'll all soon find yourselves in the EFBR.

Just rambling.
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Postby Brocktune on Thu Mar 30, 2006 2:44 pm

Carolian wrote:I voted for Kurosawa, but now, I kind of feel like an asshole--as I mentioned on the "Greatest Female Directors" thread, I just haven't seen enough movies to really judge. I went with my heart and made a spur-of-the-moment decision based on the Kurosawa films I've seen, but I haven't seen enough by Welles or Kubrick or Hitchcock or Scorcese or any of the other directors on the list.

I almost wish I could take back my vote, bide my time, watch a few hundred films, then come back a year from now and finally make my pick. I'm too uneducated. My vote shouldn't count! Heh.


its ok.
you have made the right choice, my child.
you will find at the end of your journey, that most of the other stuff aint shit compared to kurosawa anyway. :P
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Postby John-Locke on Thu Mar 30, 2006 7:44 pm

Oh come on, only 43 votes? We need more than that if someone is going to get a substantial lead.

VOTE PEOPLE, VOTE

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Postby Brocktune on Thu Mar 30, 2006 9:55 pm

John-Locke wrote:Oh come on, only 43 votes? We need more than that if someone is going to get a substantial lead.

VOTE PEOPLE, VOTE

BUMP


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VOTE PEOPLE, VOTE

ARE YOU REGISTERED PEOPLE?
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Postby Flumm on Thu Mar 30, 2006 9:55 pm

Carolian wrote:I voted for Kurosawa, but now, I kind of feel like an asshole--as I mentioned on the "Greatest Female Directors" thread, I just haven't seen enough movies to really judge. I went with my heart and made a spur-of-the-moment decision based on the Kurosawa films I've seen, but I haven't seen enough by Welles or Kubrick or Hitchcock or Scorcese or any of the other directors on the list.

I almost wish I could take back my vote, bide my time, watch a few hundred films, then come back a year from now and finally make my pick. I'm too uneducated. My vote shouldn't count! Heh.


Carolian, you're far from uneducated, my friend. Humbleness is something some people may never learn, no matter how many films they watch, or how long they live. As long as it doesn't fall into self pity, your attitude will set you in good stead. And mate, you never need worry about about the value of your opinions in this place...

Although you may have to watch out for the odd angrily flung chair or Zzzaaaaackt!!! coming your way, but that's just part of the package I'm afraid. :wink: :)


Well played.

Putting directors in context with the history of the art of film making should exert an influence over who gets picked as "the best".

Bergman was/is a master - Face to Face, for example, had Liv Ullman giving the most complete lead actress performance I'd seen. So many of his films schooled or inspired how many of the directors who came after him with larger budgets and loftier aspirations?

How many here have seen Chaplins opening sequence in City Lights?
Considering when he made it, and where film was when he made it, the sequence is awe inspiring in its lyric beauty & mastery of what was still a young & developing art.

Kong inspired Peter Jackson, who isn't feeling the love in this poll.

But the point is, guys like Hitchcock, or Murnow or Bergman or Chaplin ( or insert your choice here) made it possible for those who came after them to aim higher, direct larger & make far more cash than they ever did.

I couldn't chose a "best", because there really is no such thing.

There are cinematic geniuses, from different eras, styles, languages & genres.

One director might be better than another, going by his whole catalog, but perhaps that other directors best film is better than the first guys best.
( Jesus, did I hack that sentence up ala Freddy Kreuger)

Maybe the trick should have been to name Most Admired Directors.
Getting into Best Director is like starting a political discussion in the Zone....you'll all soon find yourselves in the EFBR.

Just rambling.


No, nicely said, Vic. I think you make some really excellent points and put them across really well.

You mentioned comparing directors. That was the thing I tried to reconsile before making my vote, how to judge one man's abilities and achievements against anothers? But at the end of the day, how could I judge such a thing? How do I know who put more of their soul into their work than another? How do I know who had more inate ability? Who stretched themselves beyond what they originally were capable of? In my honest opinion, these things aren'y just subjective, they're absoloutely impossible to divine. You would need abilites beyond even Gaffer's scale of diety. That's ultimately why I personally had to choose on a different criteria...
Last edited by Flumm on Thu Mar 30, 2006 10:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Alex DeLarge on Thu Mar 30, 2006 10:00 pm

My vote went to Scorsese
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