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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

The 109th Best Director of All-Time: Christopher Nolan

Nolan.  Christopher Nolan is right there with Iñárritu as the best director to have his first archiveable film in the 21st century. As I said with Iñárritu my main guidance for this list is the list

Taxi – 1932 Del Ruth

It may be an outwardly bad film without Cagney. He’s a dynamo. This is his “dirty rat” film, another rough and tumble Warners film from the early 1930’s. One year after his breakout The Public

Gangs of New York – 2002 Scorsese

A film with very high highs—but also one that has multiple 15-20 minute stretches where we are watching a really nondescript (but handsome) epic. The ultimate result is a very strong film that would be

The Lady and the Duke – 2001 Rohmer

A very unique film- on one hand it is a period piece set in the 18th century—almost Masterpiece theater shot on crude video with Rohmer’s typical captivating male and female moral debate/discussion. On the other

The 108th Best Director of All-Time: William Friedkin

Friedkin. Five achievable films total is a low number and that hurts- but clearly some great visuals (the shots below are an alarming reminder that I’m long overdue for a rewatch of Sorcerer and To

Monos – 2019 Landes

City of God meets Werner Herzog in Monos- a superb film from Brazilian director Alejandro LandesOne hell of a location find- the ethereal mystic mountains with a big structure that almost looks like Denis Villeneve’s

The Piano – 1993 Campion

The high-water mark from auteur Jane Campion (her third film- Sweetie and Angel At My Table) thus far—an almost bafflingly original love story shot with stark beauty off the coast in New Zealand. The most

The 107th Best Director of All-Time: Milos Forman

Forman.  I’m no slave to the Academy Awards by any stretch- but it’s a little crazy that an important figure in 1960’s international cinema (Czech) and a permissible two-time winner of the Academy Award for

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