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 29th Best Director of All-Time: Howard Hawks

Hawks. The last five years have not been kind to Howard Hawks on my rankings here. He was not just a supervisor as a director. He’s no byproduct and benefactor of an efficient studio system.

The 28th Best Director of All-Time: Steven Spielberg

Spielberg.  I have Spielberg’s filmography point totals higher than his #28 ranking here which would suggest, correctly I believe, that his oeuvre is stronger than he is as a director. I love Spielberg’s films. I

The 27th Best Director of All-Time: Woody Allen

Allen. I’m a great admirer of the work of Woody Allen. I hesitate saying “fan” because I feel like that implies some sort of personal affinity or preference and I don’t think that’s an accurate

The 26th Best Director of All-Time: Josef von Sternberg

Josef von Sternberg. Von Sternberg’s strength is his top three films and his overall landmark and meticulous aesthetic approach and innovation. It’s hard to ignore someone so synonymous with mise-en-scene, obviously an important aspect of

The 25th Best Director of All-Time: F.W. Murnau

Murnau. It’s hard not to imagine where Murnau would be on this list if he hasn’t died in a car accident at age 42. Top 10? He was a master of cinematography (both the Oscar

The 24th Best Director of All-Time: Terrence Malick

Malick’s case is incredibly strong for a relatively modern auteur.  He is certainly having a puzzling decade by first giving us perhaps his best career work- and then falling on his face with a weaker

The 23rd Best Director of All-Time: Sergei Eisenstein

Eisenstein. I don’t have a ton of Eisenstein films in the archives but they all have fantastic grades (and 5 in the top 500) and certainly he warrants the distinction of “style-plus” direction.  It’s more

The 22nd Best Director of All-Time: Kar-Wai Wong

Kar-Wai Wong. For the purposes of this list his strengths are his two giant masterpieces and the fact that he is certainly a “style-plus” director.  It’s hard to think of an auteur that is more

The 21st Best Director of All-Time: Fritz Lang

Lang. Lang is an early master- he gave us the 4th best film of the 20’s and 3rd best of the 30’s- that’s remarkable. I think I looked past Lang initially because he doesn’t have

The 20th Best Director of All-Time: Sergio Leone

Leone. There are no easy choices on this list/project. By and large, I think much more of all 3 Leone/Eastwood collaborations than the TSPDT critical consensus. Also, I view Leone’s style as a huge plus

The 19th Best Director of All-Time: Carl Theodor Dreyer

Dreyer. The strength of Dreyer’s case is not in his production quantity but quality.  Oddly enough, Dreyer only one archiveable film a decade for 5 straight decades from the 20’s to 60’s- wild. I’ve seen

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