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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

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

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