Submarine – 2010 Ayoade

Ayoade’s debut is splendid—so much cinematic energy packed into 97 minutesThe two lead characters- Oliver (Craig Roberts) and Jordana (Yasmin Paige) are represented by colors—red and blue respectively and it’s fascinating to watch this laid out in Ayode’s mise-en-scene and décor—he even fades to red (when falling in love) and blue in sections Ayoade is clearly a cinephile- there’s a lot of Wes Anderson here, The Graduate,  Harold and Maude—plenty of Truffaut – Salinger in the text New Wave influence in general—Melville’s Le Samourai poster in Oliver’s room, the parents (Sally Hawkins and Noah Taylor) going to see a

Submarine – 2010 Ayoade2020-07-03T10:29:13+00:00

Central Station – 1998 Salles

A well-earned poignant tale—neorealism blended with a road-trip journey movie through 1990’s BrazilRich landscapes—sand and floral colors – large murals and small items like a lime green fan blade Starts with a sad montage of illiterate people asking Fernanda Montenegro to write letters for her—and she’s essentially Ebenezer Scrooge here to begin withVery nice alley shot—cars on both sides and columns paving the way for the camera The young boy cries 3-4 times—really tragic. Salles is able to avoid some of the sentimentality with the hardness of Montenegro’s character and her performanceBeautiful stain-glass at restaurant where the bus stops,

Central Station – 1998 Salles2019-06-28T17:31:05+00:00

Too Old to Die Young – 2019 Refn

The 13 hour work from Refn has it’s throwaway stretches and astonishingly beautiful stretches—it’s too striking to ignore, and too flawed to be anything but a simple recommendIt’s Refn’s 8th archiveable film—the first 4 are different in visual style—the last 4, starting with Drive in 2011 are soaked in neon and feature electronic Cliff Martinez scores (Martinez started as a Soderbergh guy—TrafficRefn isn’t the controlling master Tarkovsky is—but there are really impressive sections where it does feel like Tarkovsky directing Bad LieutenantStoic performances-- drained—more like Bressonian models—or Dreyer performances from Ordet or GertrudUsing the cop high beams for neon

Too Old to Die Young – 2019 Refn2020-07-03T10:29:13+00:00

The 73rd Best Director of All-Time: Buster Keaton

Keaton. Keaton is the silent set-piece master of comedy (at least until Tati made Playtime). He’s ahead of Chaplin despite Chaplin having the better filmography as it grades out). The use of the locomotive (The General) and the movie screen (Sherlock Jr.) as a set-piece is an inventiveness that deserves recognition. Keaton dominated the top 100 of the combined 1910’s and 20’s list with a whopping 7 total films. One thing that makes it difficult to grade out Keaton as an auteur is its’s hard to attribute the direction of the films to Keaton. TSPDT does and that’s great.

The 73rd Best Director of All-Time: Buster Keaton2020-07-03T10:29:13+00:00

The 72nd Best Director of All-Time: Michael Haneke

Haneke. Haneke’s strength for the purposes of this list are the 3 top 500 films (very few of those left at spot #72 here) with remarkable stylistic and narrative consistency in his oeuvre. Dominant during the 2000’s—Haneke gave us 4 films that found their way into the decade’s top 100. I’m not sure he’s a “style-plus” auteur but his films follow a rigid form and are intellectually superior and consistent. He is certainly no caretaker or game manager of great films. Unlike many great auteurs on this list he got his start very late in the game. In fact, Benny’s

The 72nd Best Director of All-Time: Michael Haneke2021-09-26T13:31:43+00:00

The 71st Best Director of All-Time: Sidney Lumet

Lumet. It’s an incredible filmography (17 archiveable films, 5 in their respective decade’s top 100, spanning 50 years) and there’s enough consistency in his work to consider him an auteur for sure. Still, he’s a “style-minus” director on a list like this and doesn’t have the top 200 all-time film so it’s easy to see why he’d fall. I’m also sure he’ll eventually be passed but a handful of current auteurs that are still in their prime and adding major pieces to their resume. However, even if he is “style-minus” I have him ranked #53 in my filmography points

The 71st Best Director of All-Time: Sidney Lumet2020-07-03T10:29:13+00:00

The 70th Best Director of All-Time: Bela Tarr

Tarr. I might be another watch of The Turin Horse and especially Satantango away from shooting Tarr up to my top 50 directors of all-time. According to the consensus, Satantango is the 103rd best film of all-time and I have it as a Must-See (top 5 of the year) film- quite a ways apart there. Obviously I adore Tarr and his bravura so we’ll see if that changes with another viewing. Clearly the weakness for Tarr for the purposes of this list is he is extremely unprolific and can’t even round out a top 5. Beyond the filmography he’s a “style-plus” director in every sense

The 70th Best Director of All-Time: Bela Tarr2020-07-03T10:29:13+00:00

Death Proof – 2007 Tarantino

Tarantino’s weakest effort to date but still in the archivesHe serves as his own DP and it is the least accomplished film  of his visually- not sure what, if anything, that meansI like the attempt to ape the 1970’s B-movie aesthetics—he’s almost trying to simulate analog—vinyl or Atari here with the cigarette burns in the stock, pops—the film is missing frames (which leads to almost Godardian-like jump cuts in a few spots) and is physically starched film stock—he lays this on heavy up front in the film but it fades as the film goes along—disappointingly trails off It’s a

Death Proof – 2007 Tarantino2020-07-03T10:29:13+00:00

The 69th Best Director of All-Time: Jacques Demy

Demy. Demy’s 10-year run from 1961-1970 was something to behold. I did a demy study in 2014 and I’m both pissed it took me so long to get to him and thrilled to have finally “discovered” his oeuvre and to watch and rewatch and enjoy the rest of my days. I think he was overlooked by me, and is overlooked by many even today, for a few reasons. 1. He works in a genre that just isn’t as in-step today (musicals) 2. He came out in a time when cinema was at its absolute peak (debut in 1961) and

The 69th Best Director of All-Time: Jacques Demy2020-07-03T10:29:13+00:00

The 68th Best Director of All-Time: Terry Gilliam

Gilliam. There’s no way he’s on here ahead of many deserving auteurs if I didn’t think Brazil was much closer to the 50th best film of all-time than the 183rd best where TSPDT consensus has it. Man, I wish he made both more overall films and more archiveable films-  and without an archiveable film since 1998 I fear it may be over for Gilliam. Unmistakably, his case is hurt by having only 6 archiveable films but although there may be some misses along the way in his career there is no compromise in Gilliam. I adore his individual creative signature. production design bliss

The 68th Best Director of All-Time: Terry Gilliam2020-07-03T10:29:13+00:00

The 67th Best Director of All-Time: Jacques Tati

Tati. Tati has a very small filmography but was certainly a style-plus director with a distinct look and a tight marriage to mise-en-scene and comedic architectural set-up.  The consistency in his work is worth more than someone who had a higher scoring filmography but made films that could have been directed by another craftsman. Tati films are Tati films.  I’m also very close to a masterpiece on both Mon Oncle and Playtime. I’d be surprised if another visit of each doesn’t take them from strong “must-see” (typically reserved for the best 5-8 films of a year) film to “Masterpiece” (typically reserved to

The 67th Best Director of All-Time: Jacques Tati2020-07-03T10:29:13+00:00

Margaret – 2011 Lonergan

Another feat for Lonergan—magnificent characterizations, supreme acting, accomplished writing—literate and metropolitan Supposed to come out in 2007 but lawsuits and studio/auteur battles over the length of the filmNo character in the film with the title name—refers to Gerald Manley Hopkins poem read during the film by Paquin in a classroom sceneStarts with some beautiful grandiose slow-motion shots of New Yorkers on the streetIt’s a family drama, a character study (these are real people, flawed, inconsistent but in a good way- depth), but it also acts as group grieving and post 9-11 trauma Paquin is a tour-de-force here- volcanic one

Margaret – 2011 Lonergan2020-07-03T10:29:13+00:00
Go to Top