Best Directors in the World 2019

Here’s my annual stab at listing and ranking the best directors on the planet. Usually I look at the last 10 years’ worth of work with a heavy emphasis on even more recent work in

Guys and Dolls – 1955 Mankiewicz

A step back for Mankiewicz after Mrs. Muir, Letter to Three Wives, All About Eve, Julius Caesar and Barefoot Contessa- there are some nice color cinemascope sequences and shots but he’s just not a natural


best film: Roma- Cuaron is a proven master of cinema with a top 100 of all-time film under his belt (Children of Men in 2006) who may have topped himself (though I’m not there yet).

The Barefoot Contessa – 1954 Mankiewicz

Checks many of the boxes laid by the previous works in Mankiewicz’s oeuvre—there’s heavy voice-over narration (again—like Letter to Three Wives and All About Eve)multiple voices/POV’s, flashback narrative structure, cynical- biting dialogue—this one is even

Cold War – 2018 Pawlikowski

It’s a stylistic supernova— it actually has so much in common with Cuaron’s Roma—but certainly from Antonioni (l’eclisse, l’avventura) If it wasn’t brazenly evident already with 2013’s Ida, Pawlikowski has arrived as one of this generation’s

Ida – 2013 Pawlikowski

A second look as revealed what could be the best film of 2013Crisp monochrome photography- Arri Alexa 35mm Mise-en-scene compositions—photography—among the best of the decade 1.37: 1 box aspect ratio- influences Schrader’s First Reformed Another

Velvet Buzzsaw – 2019 Dan Gilroy

A very flawed film—it won’t sniff my top 10 of 2019 and I may move it out of the archives with a rewatch but for now I’m putting it in by the skin of its

My Summer of Love – 2004 Pawlikowski

Pawlikowski before he was Pawlikowski- this is a fine film but he hasn’t yet found his voice and this doesn’t transcendAbsolutely a relative to Peter Jackson’s Heavenly Creatures from a decade earlierShot in 16mm The

Spider Baby or, the Maddest Story Ever Told – 1967 Jack Hill

A true cult film- a supposed lost film until the 1990’s—hints (and pre-dates) of David Lynch’s Eraserhead and Tobe Hopper’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (both films have odd family dining sequences that make it hard

What Price Hollywood? – 1932 Cukor

Most famous now for being the first unofficial of the A Star is Born filmsStars Constance Bennett who is very good, another Cukor and Selznick picture—and it’s pre-code so some of the high Hollywood living

The Thing – 1982 Carpenter

A masterful thriller—a remake of course- superior to the 1951 Howard Hawks film of the same name#296 at this time on the all-time TSPDT list—the top-rated Carpenter film- above Halloween- I have them neck and

Julius Caesar – 1953 Mankiewicz

It’s a Shakespeare adaptation of course but it’s in-line with Mankiewicz’s work- multiple characters perspective driving the narrative, dialogue on fire, and top-notch acting—not that different than All About EveThe third nom in 4 years

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