Tossin’ It Out There: Who’s YOUR Favorite Director?

alfred_hitchcock[Alfred Hitchcock voice] Good morning. [/Alfred Hitchcock voice]

Yesterday’s “Rear Window” post brought some of the comments around to Alfred Hitchcock and his directorial prowess. That put it in my mind to turn this week’s discussion topic to the subject of directors.

Who’s your favorite? Will it be one of the big names, like Spielberg, Scorsese, Kubrick, or Hitchcock himself? Or will it be some of today’s auteurs, such as Paul Thomas Anderson or Darren Aronofsky? How about the Coen Brothers? Or Quentin Tarantino? I’m sure that everyone has a director or two whose projects they eagerly anticipate, or whose filmography they’re checking off like a check list.  

Which is (are) YOURS? Is there a director who speaks to you more than others? Is there anyone you think can absolutely do no wrong?

Let’s hear it! Who’s YOUR Favorite Director?

Daniel Fogarty

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174 thoughts on “Tossin’ It Out There: Who’s YOUR Favorite Director?

  1. I’ve never been much of directors fan. I’m more of actors fangirl, shocking, I know :)

    But Daren Arronofsky for me. I like his style and he seems to be a skillful director with good vision for all of his movies. Haven’t seen bad movie from him, but then again I’m only truly in love with one of his films. Plus he made my favorite movie of all time so that’s another point for him.

    • LOL. Shocker, indeed ;)

      Aronofsky is a solid choice, Black Swan or no. He’s really very expressive… the Fountain blew me away visually, The Wrestler broke my heart, and of course, Requiem makes everyone glad they never did Heroin. Except of course, the people who have done heroin. LOL 8O Plus, Black Swan is just epic. That movie is on a whole nother level.

      Cant wait to see what he does with “Noah”. I anticipate a more straightforward storytelling, but that doesnt necessarily have to be a bad thing ;)

  2. Hitchcock, Kubrick, and John Frankenheimer are a sort-of Trifecta with Me.
    I Love Michael Mann, Brian De Palma, The Coen Brothers, Clint Eastwood, and I’ll slip-in a little Otto Preminger, J. Lee Thompson, and David Lean. ;)
    GREAT QUESTION!!!
    -B.

    • Wow, John Frankenheimer in with Hitchcock and Kubrick? Are you related to him or something, Brad? LOL 8O ;)

      Clint Eastwood has done a lot of great things as a director. Nice to see him get a shout out here.

  3. I don’t really have a single favorite right now, I’m still trying to get through a bunch of filmographies before I make a decision. If I had to though, I’d pick Hitch because out of all the directors on my to watch list, I’ve seen the most films from him.
    The list: Alfred Hitchcock, Martin Scorcese, Quentin Tarantino, Billy Wilder, Paul Thomas Anderson, David Fincher, and Stanley Kubrick. Also Orson Welles, Ingmar Bergman, and Sergio Leone are on the periphery. And I only have one more of Ben Affleck’s films to see (The Town) and I really like him. Gene Kelly directed some musicals and I want to see those too.
    Great question, and I’m still working on my final answer!

    • Holy COW! You’re still working on narrowing the field, I’d say! LOL

      Still, good times. It was fun watching you work through the Tarantino filmography. Thats a nice way to approach things.

      I see you ended with “Gene Kelly directed some musicals and I want to see those too.” – if you havent seen Singin’ In the Rain yet, I’d make that one a priority. Such an incredible movie :D

      • Don’t even worry about it. I think I saw Singin in the Rain like before I was born. I can probably quote that entire movie, LOVE IT! I know he co-directed that one, and then he directed Hello Dolly! on his own (streisand is the title character) and I think he’s done some more too. I only learned that recently so it made an impression.

    • LOL @ the Jedi Council comment. Where’s Hitchcock? Is he a Sith in this equation? Off cackling in the corridors like Palpatine? :D

      Is Wilder there in Blue Ghost form? :D

      Fun stuff. Fun stuff. I see Mann as the weak Jedi in the council, there. I can see him dying in a lightsaber battle early on in order to establish the stakes of the film ;)

  4. I’ll be boring and list those named already because they are truly my favorites but The Coens and Kubrick, but also add that when pressed I’d likely say Woody Allen is my favorite

    • Woody Allen getting some love early on. ;) Ok, cool. You know what I think it is about Allen… his movies are so personal to him that he winds up showing through, and his fans connect with him very strongly.

      The Coens are just on another level, to me. I cant believe the diversity in their filmography. They can alternate between deadly serious crime movies to gut busting comedies. Few directors can do that at all, let alone well!

  5. So many great directors. I’d like to list all my favourites but I’d undoubtedly forget a few and feel bad. So I’ll stick with three:

    Stanley Kubrick, Martin Scorsese, and Paul Thomas Anderson.

  6. I could write about this all day. Bergman’s #1. After that, it goes Buñuel, Malle, Kurosawa, Hitchcock, Scorsese, Truffaut, the Coen brothers, Jean Vigo, Sturges, Wilder, John Huston…

    Then you’ve got this huge glut of other awesome guys who are young and need to do more work before they can move up the list, but the potential’s there. Edgar Wright’s in that mix, PT Anderon’s definitely in that mix, Wes Anderson’s… sort of in that mix.

    • LOTS of foreign stuff in there. I should have expected as such, having visited TDYLF. ;) Some classics, too, which I also should have suspected too, seeing as in todays post you proclaim the 30s, 40s and 50s are better than every modern decade – except the 70s (Which is probably the correct #1 decade anyways, hard to top that one!) ;)

  7. Hmm.. Just to be random, I’m going to limit myself to currently working Directors.

    So.

    1. Joss Whedon
    2. Peter Jackson
    3. Marty Scorcese
    4. Christopher Nolan
    5. Guillermo del Toro
    6. Quentin Tarantino
    7. Paul Thomas Anderson
    8. David Fincher
    9. Ang Lee
    10. Ethan & Joel Coen

    Honorable Mentions: Steven Soderberg, Ron Howard, Katheryn Bigelow, Steven Spielberg, Woody Allen, Sam Mendes, James Cameron, Cameron Crowe, Jonathon Demme, Ridley Scott

  8. I really have never paid attention to the directors. (although i like Clint Eastwood) My daughter speaks of Christopher Nolan highly! Of course I am hoping one day down the line it is my “apparent future son-in-law” will be among the names I will be praising!

    • Oh yeah, that’s right, the film student! Nice! I hope that works out for him! :D

      Eastwood’s a fine choice, maybe his acting helped you isolate his movies, whereas these other guys who are just names behind the camera might not have registered. Just a theory.

      • Yes, that’s exactly right….I’ve been a big fan of Clint since I watched Dirty Harry for the first time! :)

        Yes, he transferred schools and is doing great!! Has worked on red carpet events in NYC, doing lighting etc. So he is getting a lot of great exposure! Still producing shorts, and so far people have been impressed. :D

  9. I’m not much of a director fan either, but I would have to say I always enjoy Tarantino, the Coen Brothers, and Christopher Nolan. I’ve liked all of their movies. Also, just saw Argo a couple of days ago and I think Ben Affleck shows promise.

    • Ben Affleck shows signs of being awesome, I think is the right way to say it. LOL. In my book, he’s released three great movies, and the one I like the least just won Best Picture 8O.

      I hope he can keep his streak of incredibleness alive! Who’d have thunk that Daredevil had this in him?

      • lol, I just didn’t want to say anything too definitive about him yet because I read your posts about shyamalan a little while back and they’re still with me. I didn’t want to jinx Ben!

      • HA! LOL. You dug up that series, huh? Well, lets hope Shammy finds his fastball again with “After Earth”. I’ve noticed that the marketing has basically almost HIDDEN the fact that he’s the director. His name hasnt been anywhere near this thing. You can see it in the fine print, if you look for it, but that’s about it! 8O

      • I did dig it up and I loved it! Your writing perfectly showcases your passion for all things film. And now I’m going to dig through your archives some more because I’m hooked and you make for good lunchtime reading :)

  10. Never thought I’d be one to be a fan of directors, but thinking about it there are always some that I do get excited about:

    Guillemo del Toro, Christopher Nolan (The only director who’s body of work I’ve pretty much seen, barring his very first film.), Ridley Scott (Even if I still get excited and partially let down.), Tarantino, The Coen Brothers. Directors who have their own style and who bring that to whatever project they do – those are the directors whose films I enjoy.

    • All great, no doubt. I’ll add this about Del Toro, too. He’s one of the most charismatic directors ever. I attended a couple of panels he was in at Comic-Con over the years, and he is just cool and funny as hell. You want to root for him to succeed. I think he’s awesome. I hope Pacific Rim delivers! :D

      Nice commentary on Ridley Scott. Aint that the truth :roll: :(

      • There isn’t a Ridley Scott film I don’t get excited about. He’s just got so much solid work behind him. Can’t help but get excited about anything he does.

        Have high hopes for Pacific Rim. Will be somewhat disappointed if a random Pan’s Labyrinth-esque goblin shows up.

  11. It’s not original – but it’s definitely Kubrick for me. Every single time. Visionary, way ahead of his time, so influential on today’s cinema, a real painter and a real story teller. I don’t have a top 3 films but if I did they could easily be 2001, Dr Strangelove and The Shining.

    • No need to be original. These threads would be rough if the only people that got to express their favorites were the first ones to answer that answer! 8O

      Kubrick was incredible. No doubt. Not very prolific, but incredible, for sure. His best flicks are well represnted in my favorite films as well (though I’m talking top 100, not top ten ;) )

  12. For me, it’s Kubrick, Hitchcock, Kurosawa. Of those who are working today, I’d say the Coen brothers, Wes Anderson, and Chris Nolan are my absolute personal favorites.

    • Wes Anderson has a style that’s going to alienate a lot of mainstream viewers, but create a hardcore fanbase on the other hand. He’s awesome, and I look forward to every new release, but I can see how he’s just too quirky for mainstream audiences.

      Kurosawa is incredible too. I need to seek out more of his movies… I’ve only seen five or six. He was a pretty prolific guy, too. :o

  13. You are always so damn though provoking Fogs! :)
    I’ve never really sat down and thought about it before.
    I’d have to go with Spielberg, Scorsese, Eastwood and Hitchcock as all-timers.
    As for current, I’m a big fan of Affleck and Nolan.

    • “You are always so damn though provoking Fogs! :)” Not always. I tend to save it for Tuesdays. LOL. Most of the week I wander about, dully, going “uhhhhh….” :D

      You’ve really never thought about who your favorite directors were? Hm. Well, I’m glad I chose this topic then!

      I figured Spielberg would be getting a LOT more love than he has been so far. Maybe he’s just not “profound” enough for the blogging crowd. I dont know…

      Nice list, regardless, Joe!

  14. The three I admire most, Kubrick, Hitchcock, Kurosawa all had visual arts backgrounds before directing. Kubrick was a photographer for “Look”, Hitchcock was a graphic designer for a film studio and Kurosawa was a painter. This brings a lot more into directing than writing(e.g. Woody Allen). Their visions are unique and come from the scenes as well as the story.
    Kubrick is the one I choose. He did more with fewer films in multiple genres. I can easily see Kubrick doing “Rebecca” but I can’t see Hitchcock going “Dr. Strangelove” or “Lolita”!

    • Huh. That’s an interesting common thread you’ve found there. I cant speak for the others, but I’m fresh off of some Hitchcock research, and I know he extensively previsualized his movies, with notes and storyboards, etc. Definitely indicative of an artistic angle on things.

      Kubrick certainly did do more with less. It’s like he chose to only release great movies, no matter how long it would take!

  15. Great question.

    Tarantino alone on a coke island.

    Followed by Kevin Smith. Love me some dialogue.

    Rob Zombie – Love everything this guy makes, and I’m not a huge horror fan.

    I’d also say Whedon, and of course Scorsese is thee man!

    • I’ll back you up on Tarantino, no doubt Shane. Love his films, and he’s obviously an A list director…

      I’ve always felt Kevin Smith was overrated as a director though. He’s a great self promoter. I mean, incredible. And a great celebrity… he really does seem as if he’s down to earth and personable, and there’s no wonder his fans love him. But his filmography is pretty weak, if you ask me.

      I’m not even gonna touch the Rob Zombie thing though. LOL. Kudos to you on a bold choice, I guess LOL 8O

  16. For me it cant be distilled down to less than 3. As I get ready to do a two – part feature on the greatest director most people never heard of, about Luc Besson … he now joins the ranks of James Cameron and Clint Eastwood in my pantheon!

    • Hmm. Really? I mean, no problems with Cameron or Eastwood, but Besson? It’s been a long time since Leon, Nikita and 5th Element, man…

      And we’re definitely just talking directorial efforts, right? Cause his resume as a screenwriter is pretty sketchy. Most recently? Taken 2! 8O

      • Yeah, its a total body of work thing for me, even though his recent efforts havent been as superlative. I think its an overall diversity of projects that catches my eye too

  17. I don’t know from directors, but I’d have to say that after watching Beyond the Sea the other day, I’m going with Kevin Spacey. That movie had such a great flow to it, considering he wrote, starred in, and sang all the songs for it, too.

    • I’ve never seen it! I want to, too. Dammit. LOL Big fan of Spacey, and who doesnt love Bobby Darin?

      I doubt Spacey would rise to the ranks of the greatest or anything just based on that one flick, for me, but I do want to see it for sure!

  18. Hayao Miyazaki! Spielberg and Scorsese is on the top as well! Oh and…Pang Brothers have done some of my favorites as well :) Thats hard to choose though since I look at movies not for the directors…

    • Heh heh heh heh. Miyazaki, huh? Who’s he? ;)

      For real though, I’ve never heard of the Pang brothers. A quick check of their filmography reveals I HAVE heard of several of their films though, so they must be good, right? :D

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