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 whoseย filmography they’re checking off like a check list.ย ย 

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. Good question. Right now my picks would be:

    Peter Jackson – For the LOTR trilogy alone. Return of the King is my all-time #1 and Two Towers is #5.

    Christopher Nolan – It’s impossible for him to make a bad movie. Also, he is able to make blockbusters with an arthouse touch and still be so successful with audiences and critics alike.

    Sidney Lumet – 12 Angry Men and Dog Day Afternoon are PERFECT!

    Clint Eastwood – He has made some of my favourite films (Million Dollar Baby, Unforgiven, Mystic River)

    Billy Wilder – One of the highest quality and diverse filmographies of any director ever.

    • Peter Jackson is always going to have that trilogy to point to as evidence of his greatness. Kind of like Coppola and the first two Godfathers. I’m sad to say that his poorer tendencies have gotten in the way of anything as great as those, though, subsequently. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

      I dont know that I’d agree that it’s impossible for Nolan to make a bad movie… he’s still young. LOL Im not as high on TDKR as most, either ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

      LUMET! That’s a great call right there Squasher. Seriously. That guy is so severely underrated, its criminal! Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead and Serpico are awesome too!

  2. I’m going to have to go with Quentin Tarantino, Nicolas Winding Refn and Terrence Malick. I just love the way they hypnotically transform you into their world.

    • Refn makes the list! Hopefully Only God Forgives will be as good as “Drive”! That movie was awesome!

      I hope Malick’s “To the Wonder” is as good as Tree of Life, too. I’m sure it will be cryptic and divisive, but who does that better than Malick!!?

  3. Hi, Fogs:

    This is an entirely too wide a question for just one specific answer. Could you have at least chosen a timeline or a genre?

    In lieu of that, I shall endeavor.

    Old School: Hawks, Hitchcock, Wilder, Kurosawa and Kubrick.

    Contemporary: Coen Brothers, Scorsese, Eastwood and Nolan.

    • “Could you have at least chosen a timeline or a genre?” Nope. LOL ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

      Fine choices across the board. Your endeavor worked out fine. I havent been playing tough guy today and forcing commenters to choose just one. Although that might be fun in a future installment. LOL ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. There are so many good ones listed. I don’t really have a favorite. But I do see a hole. Maybe because he is so far into the past. Maybe because people just don’t think of silent films much. But I think Fitz Lang should be considered. Although he was involved with films in a variety of capacities up into the 1950’s, I usually think of his silent films and early black and white films. Or Robert Wiene. Those old, silent, German melodrama’s were really great and formed a core or base for nearly all the Horror films to follow. It’s hard to pick who was best.

    • Not an era I’m all that familiar with, though of course, everyone knows of Fitz Lang. Robert Wiene is new to me, though I’ve heard of (and have had recommended to me “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari”). I’m woefully uneducated in silent stuff. Seriously ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

      • I sometimes have trouble sitting through the start of silent films. I ahve to adjust to them for a bit to get into them. Its a different way of watching because film speed is slightly fast and movements seem off. I don’t like all silent film but I tend to like those two.

  5. There are quite a few directors I like so hard to pick but these three hardly disappoint.
    Chris Nolan
    James Cameron (he did disappoint with Avatar but hey, he’d done plenty of great ones before.)

    • I dont know that I’d call Avatar a disappointment. A) I love that film B) Audiences around the world turned it into the top grossing movie of all time.

      It was vulnerable to criticism in a lot of areas (especially how badly it borrowed from other films and how bad some of the supporting characters were), but I’m firmly on the side of that movie.

      • I know, the whole world went crazy when it came out but I don’t think it is that great. It is definitely impressive visually BUT when it comes to Cameron I want more than that.

  6. It changes periodically depending on what mood I’m in and what I’ve been watching recently so I’ll have to say Tarantino and Christopher Nolan for now.

    • Well, if you wind up changing your mind, I’m sure we’ll be around later. LOL

      No issues w/you choosing either of those two, though I’m pretty surprised at the massive amount of mentions that Nolan has received today. Wow…

  7. I’ve got to go with Tarantino, but Christopher Nolan is a close second. Neither one has made a bad film yet in my opinion, only Nolan stays in a range of very good to great whereas Tarantino ranges from pretty good to amazing

    • Annnnnd, speak of the devil. LOL. I just finished replying right before this that “Iโ€™m pretty surprised at the massive amount of mentions that Nolan has received today. Wowโ€ฆ” and here’s another. With Kevin Clare adding yet another below.

      I must have seriously underestimated this guy’s appeal. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

      • I know some people think he’s overrated but I just love his style of storytelling. Between memento, inception, the prestige, and even his batman movies to some extent, his movies consistently give off the sense of originality that I look for in a film maker

  8. tough one, can’t say I have a clear fave. Michael Mann, Christopher Nolan, Paul Thomas Anderson, but perhaps Spielberg just because of his extraordinary body of varied work

    • Who’s this Christopher Nolan guy?

      (LOL, sorry, I had to. Check out the string of mentions Nolan’s gotten, here)

      Spielberg is a great choice. I’m a little amazed that he’s not leading the world in mentions today. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

  9. I would have to go with Scorsese because while I always had a passion for film, it was when I saw one of his films for the first time is when I really started appreciating the art.

  10. This question is killing me. I’d have to go with either Woody Allen or Steven Spielberg as my favorite movie director. Maybe David Lynch, as well, but I just haven’t seen enough of his films to say so.

    • “This question is killing me.” Oh, cmon now, wouldnt want that!! ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

      ๐Ÿ˜€ Lynch is a cool choice, I dont know that I’ve seen him brought up here yet. Definitely very unique. Weird and wonderful. He’s not without his share of misses, but his hits are undeniably awesome! ๐Ÿ˜€

  11. My pick is and will probably always be Martin Scorsese. I just think he is the best filmmaker whose work I’ve ever seen. His stuff has an energy unlike anyone. Also an absolute encyclopedia of film knowledge.

    Darren Aronofsky will always be special for me because at 16 years old I saw Requiem For a Dream and was shown for the first time the absolute devastating power film can have.

    Recently both Derek Cianfrance and David O Russell have been portraying people that feel like they were taken right out of my childhood memories. The characters are so refreshingly genuine, raw and real.

    If my pick weren’t Scorsese I’d say Orson Welles.

    • Scorsese’s awesome. I know he’d be on my list, too.

      LOL, I imagine seeing “Requiem” at that age was good for you. Probably more effective than after school special BS. ๐Ÿ˜€ Heh.

      I dont know about Cianfrance, personally. He’s only done two movies so far. I suppose its worthy of keeping our eye on him, though. His films do feature pretty decent characters, he’s brought some good performances out of today’s best stars, too

    • What amazes me about Hitchcock is that he’s never made a movie I havent liked. Every one that I’ve ever seen, I thought was at least “good”. And of course, several are great. He was so prolific… at some point you’d think he’d have a stinker or two mixed in. Oh well, we’ll see. I want to see all of them before all is said and done, and I still have a long way to go!

    • No, but a man might have ๐Ÿ˜‰ LOL

      I’ve never seen Moulin Rouge, never seen Strictly Ballroom, and passed on Australia as well. To be honest I only saw Romeo and Juliet once, and that’s been my sole exposure to his work. For what its worth, I’m looking forward to Gatsby. It looks hyper-stylized and uber dramatic. LOL

      • That is so sexist, Fogs! I just love how he uses hyper realism as a device without it taking over the story. I think that’s a real talent.

        I’ve probably seen all of those (except Australia, which was a little bit less great) a good ten times each.

      • “Whats wrong with being sexy?” – Nigel Tufnel, Spinal Tap. ๐Ÿ˜€

        LOL. I try to keep that sort of shit in line, but… listen, Abbi, Baz Luhrman is not a very manly choice, that’s all I’m gonna say. LOL I would have had to have called it like I saw it, that’s all. ๐Ÿ˜€

        I’ll be giving him a fresh shot in a couple of weeks. I wont bring in any preconceived notions. Promise.

      • In case you run across this again, Abbi, I did just recall that Baz Luhrmann was involved with “Everybody’s free (to wear Sunscreen)” ๐Ÿ˜€ I like that “song” quite a bit.

        So, there’s that… ๐Ÿ˜€

  12. Oh man. This is tough. I don’t think there is any director I really rush out to see. It’s a case by case basis most of the time.

    Howard Hawks and John Ford probably? If their name is on a Western, I am all about it. Their movies are the bomb diggidy!

    Oh, and John Milius. It doesn’t matter if you agree with his politics or not… his movies are the SHIZZLE! Conan, Magnum Force, Red Dawn… There’s a warrior’s code theme infused in them that I don’t see in any other movies.

    On the artsier side, I gobble up any movie directed by Ron Fricke, cuz his cinematography is off the hook.

    And this ends my abuse of outdated 90’s catchphrases.

    • Im sure that Howard Hawks and John Ford are very happy to hear that their work has survived all these years, and is now being referred to as the bomb diggidy! ๐Ÿ˜€ Good times, Santo.

      I’ve never checked out any of Fricke’s movies, but I want to. They look incredible… definitely off the hook. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      At least you didn’t totally go 80s on us, fer sure!

  13. Wow…you’re really gonna make me choose? I’m too young to be getting grey hairs, staahhppp!!!

    Ok, David Fincher. Hands down. I can’t think of another director who I’ve never been disappointed with, and who consistently makes thrilling, slow paced (the right kind of slow), violent yet not graphic or funny, surreal, need I go on? His films are timeless and hit my movie sweet spot.

    I was alllllmost tempted to go the Ritchie or the Nolan route, but Ritchie’s films start to feel the same, at least the earlier ones like Snatch. and RocknRolla (still excellent movies). As for Nolan, I could not get into Memento, and I need a guy who can make R rated stuff. Imagine how much more awesome Dark Knight could have been if they went just a little farther…and a little farther…*sad face*

    • Well, thank you for choosing Fincher. Even if it put you through the ringer. LOL A) He’s not nearly getting enough shout outs today (though he’s gotten a few, certainly) B) I was getting sick of Nolan. LOL. He’s been in every other comment, and now he faces “reply backlash” (trademark pending)

      Ritchie is an interesting choice. I wish he’d quite doing Sherlock Holmes and go back to giving us crime comedies. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

      • I miss Ritchie’s good old swearing jolly British psychos…aw Brad Pitt as the unintelligible fighter in Snatch. HAAA the memories are coming back now… even RocknRolla was good because we got to see Tom Hardy’s sensitive side…good for the women to see, I mean ๐Ÿ˜€

      • Tellin’ you, those movies were great fun. I’d ten times rather see him crank some of those out again than another Sherlock Holmes movie. (Though IMDb says his next movie will be “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.”, sooo…. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ )

  14. Jesus H. Christ, there’s so many that I love. Let’s see…

    Sofia Coppola, Darren Aronofsky, Quentin Tarantino, Stanley Kubrick, Gus Van Sant, Todd Haynes, Lars von Trier, Nicolas Winding Refn, Andrei Tarkovsky, Wes Anderson, Paul Thomas Anderson, Andrea Arnold, Lynne Ramsay, Sergio Leone, Alfonso Cuaron, Guillermo del Toro, Krzystof Kieslowski, Wong Kar-Wai, Terry Gilliam, Terrence Malick, Francois Ozon, Pedro Almodovar, Werner Herzog, Martin Scorsese, Francois Ozon, Robert Altman, Whit Stillman, and many, many others.

    If I have to pick one, it’s Sofia. She makes some of the most gorgeous films out there that can beautiful, engrossing, fun, and also melancholic.

    • Holy cow. JH Christ is right, lookit that list! WOW. You win the “No Prize” for most listed, how’s that Nin? LOL ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

      I like my share of Sofia Coppola movies, though I havent seen her latest. “Somewhere” it was called. Definitely looking forward to “The Bling Ring”, that’s an interesting story, and right up her alley. I think she’ll do well with it !

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