Tuesday, February 20, 2007

20 Greatest Film Directors

So, I was bopping over at EmpireOnline earlier to check out their movie news and the likes when this caught my eye. Irked by the misuse of the word "your" on the title screen, but intruiged enough to play, I logged in and quizzed. I've taken various Movie Quotes quizzes over the years and this one was especially tough, I felt. Well, kinda. Many were the very obvious, famous movie quotes ("Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn!", "Rosebud", "Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night") and some were just stupid ("E.T. Phone Home" Ooh, ooh, I know this. I know this. Don't tell me..On The Waterfront, right?) but others just stumped me completely. In the end, my score was a pitiful 36 out of 105. Ouch. Made me consider the huge, gaping holes in my movie knowledge. For example, let me indulge myself and run down through Empire's 20 Greatest Directors of All Time, which I have here in my hands.

20. Sam Peckinpah Haven't seen a single Peckinpah. Don't particularly want to, mind. He doesn't seem like my type of director.

19. Billy Wilder I'm okay here, I've seen "Sunset Blvd" and "Some Like It Hot", both of which I love. The former more than the latter though, the ending of "Sunset" gives me chills.

18. John Ford Nada.

17. Sergio Leone

16. Oliver Stone Again, zilch.

15. Francis Ford Coppola I'm starting to embarrass myself here. I've never seen a Francis Ford Coppola film and yet I've seen two Sofia Coppola's. This obviously means I've never seen The Godfather. Hmm.

14. James Cameron Yeah, I've seen Titanic along with everyone in the world. Except my sister. But I didn't like it. And I dislike Cameron from what I've heard of him, so yadda yadda.

13. The Coen Bros. Seen "The Hudsucker Proxy", such an underrated little flick, and "The Big Lebowski". Never seen "Fargo".

12. David Lean Sorry, Mr. Lean. I haven't gotten around to seeing Lawrence yet. One day, I promise!

11. Clint Eastwood Thinking...thinking...nope.

10. Woody Allen "Manhattan" and "Hannah & Her Sisters". Have to be careful with Allen, he seems very hit and miss. Still, I've been careful to the point of obsessive avoidance. Will see "Annie Hall", "Everyone Says I Love You" and other essentials. Eventually.

09. Orson Welles Will I redeem myself by saying I always mean to rent "Citizen Kane"? Thought not.

08. Quentin Tarantino "Pulp Fiction", "Reservoir Dogs", "Kill Bill Volume 1". He doesn't have a huge output - I'll see the rest soon enough.

07. Peter Jackson *brandishes LOTR Extended DVD Trilogy boxset* Also, "Heavenly Creatures" is a creepy, brilliant film.

06. Akira Kurosawa "Ikiru" is on my "To-Watch" list.

05. Sir Ridley Scott Seen "Thelma & Louise" and "Matchstick Men". I didn't know he was a Sir. Hmm.

04. Stanley Kubrick "A Clockwork Orange" and "The Shining".

03. Martin Scorsese "Taxi Driver", two Christmasses ago at about 2am. Made a big impression on me.

02. Alfred Hitchcock Thank God for Hitch, else I would've made a complete fool out of myself. "Psycho", "The Birds", "Rear Window", "Dial M For Murder", "Rope", "Vertigo", "Strangers on a Train", "Notorious" and "Rebecca". I think that's it...still missing some good ones, I'm sure.

01. Steven Spielberg Umm..Indiana Jones, E.T. and that's...it. Really? Yeah, in so far as I can remember.

So, there we go. As you can see, gaping holes. I feel there are some great directors missing up there, most notably Howard Hawks (who does make the top 4o, but Cameron > Hawks? Pfft. Show me another director who so effortlessly switches from two genres so unlike as screwball comedy and film noir, and I'll eat my proverbial hat) and Pedro Almodóvar. If Pedro was there, I could easily reel off his films that I've seen (Talk To Her, Bad Education, Volver, All About My Mother, Atame!). That reminds me, I still have "Live Flesh" to watch, on dvd upstairs. Yo.


Damien Kelly said...

Spielberg also worked on Revenge of the Sith with Lucas ;)

Catherine said...

Oh yes, and that film was just the pinacle of cinematic achievment. :p Just kidding...

Ann Marie said...

I've only really started to pay attention to directors recently so I don't really have a clue. I'd say Spielberg saves me on this and Jackson. I'm sure they're all on my to see list anyway.

Ninquelosse said...

I really need to see Heavenly Creatures...and to say I'm not doing well with Hitchcock would be a massive understatement (only seen Vertigo and, er, didn't like it...*embarrases*)

JFK (Stone) and the Godfather are possibly the two best films ever made (in my opinion...which is a tad skewed, especially as I never managed to see the end of the former!), and I think Sergio Leone is great, in an only-seen-one-of-his-films sort of way.

I'm with you on Orson Welles though...I have seen Citizen Kane, but as I was about 4 at the time, I may not have picked up on some of the more subtle plot nuances :)

Catherine said...

I wasn't too gone on Vertigo either. I love Jimmy Stewart, but hated the technicolour and I also found it kinda...hilarious. I doubt that was Hitch's intended effect, now.