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Down by Law – 1986 Jarmusch

An accomplishment for its Jarmusian qualities: first and foremost a three-part structural film—New Orleans, then prison, then the escape/swamp. Shot in crisp b/w (Robby Muller is the dp from Paris, Texas- the remarkable Kings of

Stranger Than Paradise – 1984 Jarmusch

A stunning achievement and the announcement of Jim Jarmusch as a major force in world cinema—deadpan comedy, formal master so few films are ambitious in their structure- and I don't mean complicated the film is a

The Chocolate War – 1988 Gordon

A different kind of coming of age film—you keep thinking it’s going to turn around and have the mood shift up, or even turn into a star-crossed lovers teen love story with the girl at

The 35th Best Director of All-Time: Michael Powell

Powell…Or Powell and Pressburger. The team of “The Archers” as they are known and proclaim (complete with their own mission statement long before von Trier and the Dogme 95). I usually only consider Powell, not

Triple Frontier – 2019 Chandor

It’s not Bigelow’s Hurt Locker or Zero Dark Thirty (military story, Mark Boal script) – Chandor doesn’t have Bigelow’s talents for action direction--- it’s also not Ocean’s 11 (male-heavy, star-studded heist film)—Chandor doesn’t ooze breezy

The 34th Best Director of All-Time: Robert Altman

Altman. It’s an incredible filmography. Altman has 16 archiveable films, 6 top 500 films, and 9 top 100 films of their respective decade. His 1970’s decade was incredible—a whopping 9 films in the archives and

The 33rd Best Director of All-Time: David Lean

Lean. Lean is quite a juxtaposition from the other European directors that flourished in this era (Lean’s best film was 1962 and second and third best just before and just after) like Godard, Antonioni, Truffaut

The 32nd Best Director of All-Time: Roberto Rossellini

Rossellini. Rossellini is one half of the Truffaut/Godard of Italian Neorealism movement with De Sica and I’m not sure there’s a Bicycle Thieves without Rossellini. Rossellini is the Godfather and unofficial founder of Italian neo-realism (though realism

The 31st Best Director of All-Time: Luis Bunuel

Bunuel. To some it may feel like Bunuel should be closer to the top 10 but he’s got some really well reviewed films that don’t qualify for me (docs and experimental films) and several films

Reversal of Fortune – 1990 Schroeder

a great combination of who-done-it mystery and an investigative/courtroom dramaadored by Ebert and Travers- 4 stars a piecethe narration is a pulpy choice (it’s from Glenn Close as she’s in a coma—reminiscent a little of

The 30th Best Director of All-Time: The Coen Brothers

The Coen Brothers. If you look at my top 500 films of al-time count (7 films) and top 100 films of the decade count (11) it would look like the Coen Brothers should be a

The Petrified Forest – 1936 Mayo

A stagy depression allegory—notable for the fine performances- particularly of an up and coming young Humphrey Bogart- a Warner’s contract player at this point—he’s 5th billed- apparently Leslie Howard (who did the stage version together)

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