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

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

  1. Oh my, I don’t really even know where to begin. Different points in my life would get you entirely different answers. Like, for instance, I would have probably said someone like Robert Rodriguez during my high school years, though that’s certainly not the case today. But right now my favorite director around would be a toss up between Nicolas F’n Refn or Zack Snyder.

    Yeah that’s right, I said it, Zack Snyder! :P I just personally think Snyder has improved so impressively in leaps and bounds with each new film, and he’s pretty much the sole reason that, for the first time ever, I’m actually looking forward to a Superman movie.

    Wouldn’t go so far as to call either an “all time” favorite, however. Not sure I have one of those actually…

    • Wow, Robert Rodriguez. I think a few years ago he would have been a much more viable answer, too. That’s a star that’s kind of faded due to his indulgence in his love of Grindhouse stuff and his kiddie flicks. Though a man’s gotta work.

      Ref’n and Snyder are two pretty varied talents, there Chris. I think we’re ALL hoping “Man of Steel” rules, right? Superman is owed a great flick, the big screen fate of the DCU hinges on it, it’d be nice to see Snyder hit it big again… there’s tons of reasons to want that movie to do well!

      I dont think Refn has anything to worry about meanwhile. “God Forgives” looks pretty bad ass. I’m sure he’ll knock it out of the park. ;)

  2. Here’s what I did to resolve this. I took a list of my favorites: Scorsese, Spielberg, Curtiz, Hitchcock, Fincher, Nolan, Ford, Ashby, Eastwood, Coppala, Wilder, Scott, Wyler. If they made a single movie I did not like to some degree, they came off the list: I’ll leave you to guess most of them (Marty lost me with “New York, New York” and Clint left because of “Blood Work”)

    That leaves me with only two. I have yet to be disappointed by Hitchcock (Although I have not seen Topaz and Torn Curtain) or Steven Spielberg (Who lucked out due to my love of Indy despite the flaws in Crystal Skull and the weak but not terrible Munich).

    So I just had to choose between the two, and only one of them made the greatest adventure film of all time, so:

    Spielberg. He gets a pass on a lot of other weak entries because of JAWS.

    • My list of Hitchcock “to see”s is way longer than just two, but I can help you out with “Torn Curtain”. LOL. Its really good, and you’ll like it :D So I guess you only have to worry about “Topaz”.

      Meanwhile, Munich was excellent, I thought! I’d have knocked Spielberg off because of “War Horse” or “Jurassic Park 2″ or “Indy 4″ or “1941” by that criteria. I’ve yet to see “The Terminal”, to be honest, but that might join in. He’s had a handful of rough moments over his career. :o

      I enjoyed “New York, New York”, but I cant defend it much :(

      Anyways, Spielberg is a good answer. You know it’s fine be me. :D

      • OK, now that that is out of the way. Brian DePalma was once the most watchable director I could think of. His movies were not always good but they sucked you in visually. Somewhere after Mission Impossible, he went off the rails. I look forward to Ridley Scott movies, and the Coens are the most consistent hitters in the line up today. There are so many new talents that are only a few years into their careers, it is certain that many of them will stand the test of time. Hey, where is the Michael Bay fan we should have heard from at this point?

  3. Tough question, as a lot of people have said. I always respect seeing the names Spielberg, Howard, and Reiner attached to films. If a film is by Hitchcock, though, it’s pretty much automatically on the list of films to see, at least until I hit a few stinkers from him (which hasn’t happened yet). Christopher Nolan is also up there; while I do wonder if he can keep it up, all of his stuff I’ve seen so far has been 4 or 5 star work.

    And just to be different: Mel Brooks. I’ve seen all but two of his films (The Twelve Chairs and Dracula: Dead and Loving It), and the weakest of them was Life Stinks, which was still “OK”.

    • Vito beat you to the Mel Brooks “Just to be different” comment by like two comments, LOL. It’s still appropriate, but its no longer different ;)

      I don’t think you’re going to find that Hitchcock stinker, man, I just don’t think it’s out there.

      Reiner doesn’t get enough credit for the run he had in the 80s and early 90s. He really strung together a great run there :)

  4. I have 6 that I like so much that I try to get their entire body of works.(Even those that weren’t too good) From America it’s Woody Allen and Joel & Ethan Coen. From England it’s Alfred Hitchcock. From Spain it’s Pedro Almadovar and from Japan it’s Akira Kurosawa. Just need a couple more films and I’ll have the entire collection of Almadovar.

    • Wow. You got a real “Directors of the World” thing going on there, Al. I like it. I might suggest Neill Blomkamp from South Africa, Timur Bekmambetov from Russia and Guillermo del Toro from Mexico. LOL Still a bunch of countries left! We could get a cool game out of this!

  5. My favorite director is without a doubt Stanley Kubrick. He’s mastered many genres and he’s a visual perfectionist. Some of my other favorites include Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, David Lynch, the Coen brothers, Paul Thomas Anderson, Orson Welles, Yasujiro Ozu, Akira Kurosawa, Ingmar Bergman, and Alfred Hitchcock.

  6. I’ve enjoyed every Tony Scott movie I’ve seen, but there are several holes. I’ve enjoyed all but one David Fincher film I’ve seen… but again, holes. Sam Raimi has a couple stinkers I’ve seen, with very few holes there. I’ve never outright hated a Richard Linklater movie, but I haven’t seen them all… because some of them just look horrible. Haven’t seen enough Hitchcock to declare him the winner either.

    I guess I’ll have to go with James Cameron. The only one of his films I haven’t seen is Piranha 2… and I’m reasonably sure I wouldn’t hold that against him, since I was pretty disappointed by Avatar and I don’t hold that against him.

    • Man, you Avatar haters are a tough crowd. Thats a good freaking movie, even if it is derivative, Spike. 8O

      You crowned him king though anyways, huh? (See what I did there?)

      Which Linklater movie did you hate?

      • I’ve never completely hated a Linklater. Waking Life is my least favourite that I’ve seen, but it’s impressive visually, and that was good enough at that tumbly, tumbling, tumbleweed time.

        The guy I mentioned with one movie I’ve seen and didn’t care for was Fincher. And that was Zodiac. Haven’t given him a chance since. Not purposefully boycotting or anything, just haven’t been interested in the three he’s done since then.

        I’m not an Avatar hater. I was for a while, but it held up better on the partial rewatch. I didn’t care that it was derivative… what Cameron movie isn’t? I was just really disappointed by it. Not as bad as say, DKR last year, but pretty bad. The visuals really didn’t blow me away. I remembered being more, or equally, impressed by Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. I was a victim of the Hype Monster is all. It was a fun popcorn flick, which is just fine, when that’s what I’m expecting.

        …and I pretty much just wrote a blog post. That could have easily been a Review Grab Bag in the bank.

      • Lol!!! :D Ohhhh god. Funny. I know that feeling! If I added up all my replies, I could get an extra MTESS a week in.

        I liked Waking Life. It was pretty daring. I saw it after the tumbleweed era, personally, but I imagine if I had seen it then I would have worshipped it. LOL.

        Can’t believe you didn’t like Zodiac, though man, that movie is incredible. :D

      • Yup… Inconvenience for you, I’m sorry. Wrong serial killer movie, all together.

        Saw a comment below me praising it, and thought… no one could ever say that about that movie… unless…

        As I went through Fincher’s credits, and saw that, I was thinking of Spike Lee’s Summer of Sam… I haven’t seen Zodiac. So Fincher’s batting 1.000 of what I’ve seen, which is everything before Zodiac.

      • Ah, well, at least you gave me the chance to break out the “Wrong Mr Pickford” pic again. LOL That was a fun exchange.

        Zodiac is pretty sweet, man, you should check it out. Definitely not your typical serial killer flick, and I liked that.

        Meanwhile, I can concur with you on Summer of Sam. Big let down for me. Disappointing film, as I recall. ;)

  7. I can’t say I have a fave director Fogs. Great question. I do like Nolan quite a bit and I like F. Gary Gray who did The Negotiator and The italian job. But, I also gotta say as much as people don’t like M. night Shyamalan, I like how he keeps his name in the lights regardless. Haha

    • LOL. I understand that that’s a figure of speech, but as I pointed out earlier, they’re pretty much hiding the fact that he’s involved with “After Earth” altogether. I realized it when I caught a featurette waiting for a movie to start (you know, the stuff they roll before they even start the previews) I was like, DAMN, since when do they not even have the director in these? I guess the answer is NOW.

      You gotta look to find his name on this poster now, man!

    • Fincher’s making a great comeback here, Im glad to see it! Zodiac, Se7en and Social Network ARE pretty awesome, it’s true.

      Fight Club, though? … Lol, naw, Im just kidding, I can’t even joke about it not being good. :D Such a great flick. Amazing movie.

      Nice Gravatar there, Cappie!

  8. There’s dozens, if not hundreds of great directors, but I think I absolutely had to pick one director, I would probably pick Krzyszstof Kieslowski, is my personal favorite. I love a lot of directors, too long a list to name, but every-so-often, I have to go back and take time to rewatch either “The Decalogue” or the “Three Colors Trilogy” again. (I did the later recently, when I posted “Canon of Film” entries, for each of the Trilogy films.) It’s nourishing to me. Helps me, rebirth my love of cinema, when I see Kieslowski. So, he’s the director I go to, when I absolutely need to watch something inspiration and amazing, so Kieslowski is my number one.

    • I’ve never seen any of his stuff, Dave, sorry to say. Though I’ve heard of The Three Colors trilogy and Veronique, of course. Just really kept clear of foreign films (for the most part) until blogging. :(

      • You should see them. I try to rewatch, something from him, every couple years or so, it’s ingrained in me. You have to go through the “Three Colors”, “The Decalogue,” and definitely, “The Double Life of Veronique”. I haven’t gotten to much of his earlier stuff before that, other than a few of his TV documentaries, although they’re on my Netflix, but yeah, they’re really incredible films.

      • If you want to put Veronique into the queue for the “Readers Recommendations” series, Dave, I’d be glad to check it out and write it up. I’d be a couple months from now, but I’m sure it would be an excellent addition to the series… Let me know!

  9. Sure he’s been heavily represented already in the comments but it’s gotta be Stanley Kubrick for me. I don’t think he’s made a bad film. I studied his films in quite a lot of depth at university, which can sometimes completely destroy a film, but it only made his better, debating about whether certain shots mean certain things or whatever. It’s really sad he’s no longer with us.

    • Yeah, definitely is sad. I really would have loved to have had him do AI. :( Not that Spielberg did a bad job or anything…

      That’s a cool education, right there, btw :D Fun subject to study at least. ;)

  10. It’s a tie between Scorsese & Tarantino. If you hold a gun to my head and tell me I’m cheating, then Scorsese edges it due to sheer numbers of quality produced :)

  11. Spielberg for his prolific book of films.
    He knows how to turn out a story in varied genre:
    The Terminal, Catch Me If You Can, and Minority Report are all solid, modern-era films in very different categories and that’s beyond his indelible, classic films like Raiders of the Lost Ark, ET, & Jaws. There is a case to be made for more nuanced style of a newer era director, however the mainstay mountain of work lies in more established directors. For me, that is Steven Spielberg.

    “Two little mice fell in a bucket of cream. The first mouse quickly gave up and drowned. The second mouse, wouldn’t quit. He struggled so hard that eventually he churned that cream into butter and crawled out. Gentlemen, as of this moment, I am that second mouse.”
    -Frank Abagnale Sr. (Christopher Walken), Catch Me If You Can (2002)

    • Spielberg is fantastic, of course. Glad to see you’re a “Catch Me if You Can” fan, I think that’s one of his more underrated flicks! He certainly IS very prolific. I mean, sometimes he’s putting out two movies a year… and we rarely go a year without one. 8O Massive props to Spielberg, he’s what we call “the man”. ;)

  12. Hard to say just one, but I count Ridley Scott, Michael Mann, Christoper Nolan as my faves. As for classic directors, I’d say William Wyler.

  13. Kubrick would be my top choice, with Alfredson a close second(I know he’s only done 2 movies so far but i loved his style in both of them). I am also a big Mary Harron fan

    • I suppose when the two movies are Let the Right One In and Tinker Tailor, it’s only proper that people pay the man some attention, huh? :D Nice choice!

      I’m a big fan of American Psycho, but I havent seen any of Harron’s other work… :(

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