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Hugo – 2011 Scorsese

From a content and storyline standpoint it’s a changeup for Scorsese- a softer subject matter, it isn’t violent, modern or set in New York. It’s a period film, Dickensian -- an orphan set in London.

The 113th Best Director of All-Time: Dario Argento

Argento. Dario Argento is the master of Italian Giallo- a horror subgenre. His filmography (mostly on the strength of Suspiria) ranks him 98th and he’s definitely a style-plus auteur. That’s his case (and that’s why

The Town – 2010 Ben Affleck

Affleck’s sophomore directorial effort after the impressive 2007 debut Gone Baby Gone (also set in Boston)Like Gone Baby Gone  there are a ton of glorious helicopter establishing shots- this isn’t The Lord of the Rings-level

Shutter Island – 2010 Scorsese

It is a gorgeous film—full stop.  It has an engaging narrative—and unlike their first collaboration in 2002 with Gangs of New York- features a terrific lead performance from DiCaprio- who is in every scene unlike

Exhibition – 2013 Hogg

Although it’s a step back from Archipelago it is a confirmation of Hogg’s talent and observational style. Static camera, often shot in long takes, about intellectuals or the bourgeoisie, strong compositions (the window theme set

Meantime – 1983 Leigh

I haven’t seen Mike Leigh’s 1971 Bleak Moments which was his debut, but after a decade of directing television episodes this he made Meantime- albeit a made for TV movie. In an era in the

Parasite – 2019 Bong Joon Ho

Bong’s strongest achievement to date—a razor sharp script, engaging narrative, funny, sociopoliticalA brilliant opening shot from the basement of the Kim’s semi-sunk apartment (with drying socks as their chandelier). It ends on the same note

The Departed – 2006 Scorsese

Sep 2017 which was probably the 10th time I’ve seen it There really aren’t that many films in history that are both this high in quality, and have so many big actors doing such superior

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

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