Tarantino. Tarantino is clearly a style-plus auteur (a term I made up to help distinguish even the greatest auteurs on this list) influenced by exploitation cinema, De Palma, Scorsese, Woo, Leone, Godard (though QT disputes
Spike Lee. Spike has given us three masterpieces in three consecutive decades. BlackKklansman from 2018 wasn’t quite that- but a really strong film nonetheless and his best in 20 years (He Got Game in 1998).
Kieslowski. I’ll be the first to admit I still have some work to do on Kieslowski’s work in the late 70’s and early to mid-80’s. His strengths here are his brilliant 572-minute top 10 of
Fincher. Fincher has now spent 25 years as a top filmmaker. His includes 9 archiveable films, 3 in the top 500 (Fight Club, Zodiac, Seven), and another two (Social Network, Gone Girl) that should enter
De Sica. It feels late to finally be adding one of cinema’s great realists. Bicycle Thieves is an all-time film (14th all-time on my top 500) and with Umberto D, Shoeshine and Two Women we have four top
An impressive blend of Hong Kong-like action choreography and a Skyfall-like focus on set-piece background visualsThere’s a stunner of a teal stain-glass window The entire glass house section towards the end of the film (the
Episodic but interconnected- Jarmusch, the formal master, repeats the same set up (five conversations between strangers in taxis at night). This is, of course, is linked to his previous work which all employ a three-part
Another in a series of artistic triumphs for Jarmusch to close out the 80’s from Strangers in Paradise to Down by Law to this in 1989. Like the other two, it’s a film structured in
Melodramatic but entertaining and strikingly beautiful (both John Toll’s images and James Horner’s music)—Toll would win the Oscar here and again the next year in Braveheart but his best work would be Thin Red Line.
Another film to embrace the square 1.33 : 1 frame- First Reformed, Cold War, A Ghost Story, sections of Grand Budapest90’s nostalgia and some coming of age clichés- it’s a borderline recommend- but there’s enough
Wilder. Wilder is one of the best screenwriters in film history. You won’t get a ton of argument from me if you want to call him the single best but regardless- any list without him
Polanski. I’m higher than some on Polanski because of my esteem for both of his occult films: Rosemary’s Baby and Repulsion. I think both are masterpieces, which, when paired with Chinatown, made Polanski one of the world’s best filmmakers