Wes Anderson. Wes’ strength for the purposes of this list is that a film as good as moonrise, rushmore or fantastic (all of which I have in my top 5 of their year) could be his 5th best film. That’s remarkable. It would be great if he eventually had a tree of life-level film but at this point if he adds a few more at or near the quality he has this decade (he’s on fire) he’ll work his way closer to the top 30/25/20 directors over time.

best film:   the royal tenenbaumsGrand budapest feels the closest but I’m still pretty comfortable here. It’s still one of the dozen or so most beautiful bluray’s I’ve ever seen.

most overrated:   bottle rocket. Scorsese had this as the #7 film of the 1990’s. I love Scorsese– but 7th best film of the 90’s?!? No way. Bottle rocket is easily wes’ weakest visual effort and even if you didn’t like life aquatic (it’s definitely grown on me) there’s nothing in bottle rocket like the dazzling set designs, framing, and the wonderful editing during the helicopter crash sequence in aquatic. I guess you could argue the characters and writing are better in bottle rocket but I’ll take the superior visuals all day.

most underratedDarjeeling. It’s his lowest rated film on TSPDT and I think it’s pretty damn good (both aquatic and bottle rocket have a strong following). Ok it’s not a home run but there’s no way there are 25 better films from 2007 (TSPDT)—even if 2007 is a great year. Honestly I’m closer to 10th and just can’t ignore the visual brilliance.

gem I want to spotlight:  rushmore. It’s received universal praise by now but I still feel like it gets a pat on the head as a “great comedy but stay in your comedy lane”. It’s not directed like a typical comedy. It’s directed like an auteur film. This is clearly the 90’s film Scorsese could’ve justified having in his top 10 of the 90’s.

stylistic innovations/traits:  Wes is one of the true masters of mise-en-scene and production design in the history of film. Like Lynch and QT and a select few others of great auteurs- he has created an unmistakable world that is easily parodied (their films themselves walk the fine line of self-parody at times). Characters act and dress differently in Wes’ world. Even those that aren’t a fan of his world and eccentricities have to marvel at his craftsmanship, colorful compositions and fastidious attention to detail. His content, father-figure/father complex/mentor and protégé content fixation is even consistent than PT’s even if he never achieves the depth of exploration (perhaps because it’s his own shortcomings or perhaps because of the genre he works in).

Top 10

  1. the royal tenenbaums
  2. the grand budapest hotel
  3. moonrise kingdom
  4. rushmore
  5. fantastic mr fox
  6. the darjeeling limited
  7. the life aquatic with steve zissou
  8. bottle rocket

 

Top 100 directors running list

100) Fuller– 3 must-see, 1 HR, 12 archiveable films

99) Cukor– 1 masterpiece, 2 must-see, 1 HR, 18 archiveable

98) Demy- 1 masterpiece, 1 must-see, 1 HR, 5 archiveable

97) Jackson– 1 masterpiece, 1 HR, 3 archiveable

96) Miller– 1 masterpiece, 1 must-see, 1 HR, 5 archiveable

95) Kazan- 1 masterpiece, 1 must-see, 3 HR, 12 archiveable

94) Sofia Coppola- 1 masterpiece, 3 HR, 5 archiveable

93) Zemeckis- 1 masterpiece, 2 must-see, 1 HR, 7 archiveable

92) Preminger– 4 must-see, 15 archiveable

91) Miyazaki– 2 must-see, 4 HR, 10 archiveable

90) Lubitsch- 4 must-see, 2 HR, 11 archiveable

89) Tati– 3 must-see, 1 HR, 5 archiveable

88) von Stroheim- 1 masterpiece, 1 MS, 2 HR, 6 archiveable

87) Dardenne- 3 must-see, 3HR, 7 archiveable

86) Nicholas Ray- 1 masterpiece, 2 must-see, 2 HR, 11 archiveable

85) Iñárritu- 1 masterpiece, 2 must-see, 1 HR, 4 archiveable

84) De Palma- 3 must-see, 3 HR, 11 archiveable

83) Minnelli- 2 must-see, 6 HR, 10 archiveable

82) Curitz- 1 masterpiece, 6 HR, 17 archiveable

81) Aronofsky- 2 masterpieces, 1 must-see, 1.5 HR, 5 archiveable

80) Preston Sturges- 4 must-see, 1 HR, 8 archiveable

79) Walsh- 1 masterpiece, 1 must-see, 5 HR, 9 archiveable

78) Gilliam- 1 masterpiece, 2 must-see, 1 HR, 6 archiveable

77) Tarr- 2 masterpieces, 1 must-see, 4 archiveable

76) Nichols- 2 masterpieces, 1 must-see, 12 archiveable

75) Melville- 3 must-see, 4 HR, 9 archiveable

74) Sirk- 2 masterpieces, 1 must-see, 1 HR, 9 archiveable

73) Stone- 1 masterpiece, 2 must-see, 2.5 HR, 9 archiveable

72) Almodóvar- 1 masterpiece, 2 must-see 4 HR, 12 archiveable

71) Roeg- 2 masterpieces, 1 must-see, 2 HR 5 archiveable

70) Mizoguchi- 5 must-see, 3 HR, 8 archiveable

69) Wyler- 4 must-see, 8 HR, 18 archiveable

68) Jarmusch– 2 masterpieces, 2 MS, 1 HR 9 archiveable

67) Michael Mann– 1 masterpiece, 2 must-see, 2.5 HR 8 archiveable

66) Visconti- 2 masterpieces, 3 HR 10 archiveable

65) Haneke- 3 masterpieces, 3 HR, 9 archiveable

64) Linklater– 3 masterpieces, 5 HR, 12 archiveable

63) Satyajit Ray– 1 masterpiece, 3 must-see, 1 HR, 8 archiveable

62) Cuaron- 3 masterpieces, 6 archiveable

61) Cassavetes– 2 masterpieces, 4 HR, 9 archiveable

60) Cameron– 5 must-see, 7 archiveable

59) Huston- 2 masterpieces, 2 must-see, 5 HR, 17 archiveable

58) Bertolucci- 1 masterpieces, 2 must-see, 1 HR, 9 archiveable

57) Eastwood– 3 masterpieces, 2 must-see, 1 HR, 15 archiveable

56) Fincher- 3 masterpieces, 2 must-see, 9 archiveable

55) Ozu- 1 masterpiece, 5 HR, 9 archiveable

54) Capra- 3 masterpieces, 4 HR, 11 archiveable

53) Keaton– 2 masterpieces, 1 must-see, 4 HR, 9 archiveable

52) Peckinpah– 2 masterpieces, 2 HR, 8 archiveable

51) Chaplin– 3 masterpieces, 2 must-see, 1 HR, 10 archiveable

50) Spike Lee– 3 masterpieces, 1 HR, 9 archiveable

49) Kiewslowski– 3 masterpieces, 3 HR, 10 archiveable

48) Dreyer– 1 masterpiece, 3 must-see, 5 archiveable

47) Von Sternberg- 2 masterpieces, 1 must-see, 3 HR, 10 archiveable

46) Fassbinder- 5 must-see, 4 HR 11 archiveable

45) Nolan- 3 masterpieces, 2 must-see, 1 HR 8 archivable

44) WKW- 2 masterpieces, 1-2 must-see, 1 HR 8 archiveable

43) Herzog– 2 masterpieces, 1 must-see, 2 HR, 9 archiveable

42) Ridley Scott– 2 masterpieces, 3 HR, 11 archiveable

41) Wes Anderson- 4 masterpieces, 1 must-see, 1 HR, 8 archiveable