Kundun – 1997 Scorsese

As just a film, it’s a fine effort, certainly in the archives, handsomely mounted with some nice photography and soft elliptical editing that matches material. However, as a Scorsese film—it’s a disappointment. It seems aggressively

The 112th Best Director of All-Time: Michael Curtiz

Curtiz. Curtiz is the pretty far down this list for someone with a masterpiece on the level of Casablanca. He’s not a “style-plus” director and his auteur status can’t match his own filmography (he has the

The Lighthouse – 2019 Eggers

A confirmation of Eggers’ prodigious gifts and his auteur standing after the 2015 debut- The WitchHypnotically beautiful to look at (and listen to) but more than that really: distinctive, meticulous – I called The Witch

Force of Evil – 1948 Polonsky

Part film noir, part political allegory buried in a crime genre movie --- Abraham Polonsky’s debut film (background as a screenwriter- Body and Soul with Garfield in 1947) has strong performances, visuals and writing79 perfectly

Unrelated – 2007 Hogg

It’s a rough sketch, Joanna Hogg’s first feature film, and just a faint indicator of her future brilliance (notably in her follow-up sophomore effort the 2010 film Archipelago)Being transparent—I saw this before Archipelago and didn’t

Archipelago – 2010 Hogg

An announcement of a burgeoning auteur- Joanna Hogg- it is her second film after 2007’s Unrelated Archipelago is much prettier than the crassly shot debut—much more attractive in its photography and decidedly more poised in

The 111th Best Director of All-Time: Hsiao-Hsien Hou

Hsiao-Hsien Hou. I’m in a difficult spot with HHH. The ranking of the best directors of all-time is a project I started in early 2019 (largely based on my list of the top 500 films

Loro – 2018 Sorrentino

Is there an auteur that makes a better first 15 minutes of his/her films? Il Divo, The Great Beauty-- both explode out of the gates. Loro is no exception, the spectacle (both in gaudy content

The Witch – 2015 Eggers

A debut brimming with self-assurance and specificityThe specificity is two-fold-- the detail in the production design (Eggers background) and the vernacular. The corn stalks are real. The dialect is clearly authentic- the “thee’s” and “thou’s”.

The 110th Best Director of All-Time: Elia Kazan

Kazan. Kazan’s strength is his unparalleled work with actors and that just gets eclipsed by so many auteurs with a superior cinematic style. That said- his filmography and impact on naturalism and acting is still

The Aviator – 2004 Scorsese

Scorsese’s The Aviator is stunning to look at, it moves with an incredible speed (it’s an easy a 170-minute watch as there is), and it features DiCaprio giving us a tour-de-force lead performance (debatably his

Farewell My Concubine – 1993 Kaige Chen

A handsomely-mounted, classically told biopic/drama epic with political backdrop the opening- magnificently beautiful use of lighting from Kaige Chen Apparently Miramax mangled it a bit and there’s a shorter cut out there but I was

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