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Who is the best film director working today?

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  • Chris Beachum
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    #164253

    Offer up your choice as the best film director working today. Give three films from the past decade to back up your choice. If you provide a good explanation with it, I may use your comments in an upcoming blog item.

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    Laactingnyc
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    #164255

    My pick would be Paul Thomas Anderson. However there are only two films in the past decade that I can back my choice up with so I guess it doesn’t count. I’m clearly talking about The Master and There will be Blood. I’ll have to think about it though.

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    Baby Clyde
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    #164256

    Ang Lee

    Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
    Brokeback Mountain
    Life Of Pi

    I’m not saying all of his films are great but he consistently makes interesting films encompassing all genres. There is no other director who I would specifically see a film by just because they made it. I particularly hate directors who stick to the same formula over and over again (Tarantino/Nolan/Anderson). What I love about Ang lee is that he can turn his hand to every genre imaginable and still make a decent film.

    My all time favourite directors are William Wylr, George Cukor and Zhang Yimou who would have been my choice for this who would have been my choice for this if he hadn’t lost the plot a while back.

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    Milo Kunis
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    #164257

    David Fincher!

    – Zodiac

    – Gone Girl

    – Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

    – The Social Network

    No other American director today is so artistically on point, and as consistent as Fincher. The man knows how to turn out a devilishly good product.

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    manakamana
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    #164258

    Jafar Panahi. The fact that he’s made TWO fantastic films (This Is Not a Film/Closed Circuit) while under house arrest and a 20 year ban on filmmaking shows the kind of audacity and vision that makes film exciting to me, and he’s just about the only person I can think of who’s truly been advancing the medium as a result with his digital experimentation and confining limitations. That with his freedoms he was still able to make (banned) works like Offside and Crimson Gold has always been so inspiring to me as a film lover even before the recent unfortunate events. 

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    M
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    #164259

    Paul Thomas Anderson for The Master alone.

    Runners up: Pedro Almodovar, David Cronenberg, Nicolas Winding Refn, Yorgos Lanthimos. 

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    Anonymous
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    #164260

    David Fincher, Ang Lee, Ben Affleck, Wes Anderson and Richard Linklater are my top five.

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    nkb325
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    #164261

    Richard Linklater:

    School of Rock
    Before Trilogy
    Boyhood

    I don’t know if I’d say the best, but certainly one of the best (and one of my favorites). He can do so many different things, and can work with so many different genres. He really cares about character over plot, and pays so much attention to the way people speak to each other. He can create a movie thats incredibly romantic and another thats just flat out fun. Music, editing, cinematography are all always on point, even if writing may be what he’s most praised for outside of directing. He can make a fun movie that just wants to be great, or he can try new things, experiment, and push boundaries. Just the fact that he had the balls to try the Before Trilogy or Boyhood makes him impressive, but god damn it if he didn’t also pull them off.  

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    KT
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    #164262

    Kathryn Bigelow.

    Only thing is she has directed two films in the past decade: Zero Dark Thirty and The Hurt Locker.

    She has proved she can out-gun the guys, bringing two ambitious stories to the screen in recent years.  In my opinion, there is no better director today of action cinema and at capturing war, particularly the mindset and obsessions of the different people who fight.  Her casting sense has been impeccable, giving people like Willem Dafoe, Jamie Lee Curtis, Keanu Reeves, Angela Bassett, Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Jessica Chastain, and Jason Clarke career igniters.  Zero Dark Thirty was a craft powerhouse of scoring, editing, sound design (the best in the biz Paul Ottison), and visual storytelling.  Plus, unlike many other directors like Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese (who are the best directors with the best resumes with the longest careers and still working), Bigelow is at a career peak.  Clearly the strong work over many years—Near Dark, Point Break, Strange Days, K-19—led her to this place and it is richly deserved.  Personally, I’d wish she would go back to sci-fi, but she’ll knock her new projects out of the park.

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    Anonymous
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    #164263

    Richard Linklater:

    School of Rock
    Before Trilogy
    Boyhood

    I don’t know if I’d say the best, but certainly one of the best (and one of my favorites). He can do so many different things, and can work with so many different genres. He really cares about character over plot, and pays so much attention to the way people speak to each other. He can create a movie thats incredibly romantic and another thats just flat out fun. Music, editing, cinematography are all always on point, even if writing may be what he’s most praised for outside of directing. He can make a fun movie that just wants to be great, or he can try new things, experiment, and push boundaries. Just the fact that he had the balls to try the Before Trilogy or Boyhood makes him impressive, but god damn it if he didn’t also pull them off.  

    + Bernie

    – that movie was just a masterpiece.

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    manakamana
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    #164264

    Who in the xenophobic hell gave my vote a 1 star?! lol 

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    KyleBailey
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    #164265

    I have a few personal ones that I know is not unanimous: 

    Baz Luhrmann- I really really really love Baz’s films. I know they aren’t for everyone but I really love the spectacle of his films. When he jumped off that style with Australia  it didn’t work because it really just wasn’t him. Romeo and Juliet, Moulin Rouge!, and The Great Gatsby are some of the most visually beautiful films thanks to he and his wife’s partnership of outstanding costumes and production design. 

    Tim Burton- I will admit he has been starting to fizzle but I enjoyed his last two Dark Shadows and Frankenwieene. Like Baz, you either love him or hate him when it comes to artistic style. Sweeney Todd, Corpse Bride, and Alice in Wonderland (I love it) are amazing films from the past decade by him. 

    Wes Anderson- I don’t like alot of Anderson’s earlier work but his last three have been all amazing. Fantastic Mr. Fox, Moonrise Kingdom, and especially The Grand Budapest Hotel are cinematic achievements. Like Baz, Wes has some of the most beautiful films visually with outstanding style in production design and costumes. 

    David Fincher- Everyone has pretty much said it all about him, Gone Girl, The Social Network, and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo are excellent. His passion in perfection with his hundreds of takes for scenes always come out worth it and perfection and I love his style too. 

    Steven Soderbergh- Like Fincher, he is outstanding when it comes to style. Like my next director, Soderbergh rarely makes the same movie twice. Behind the Candelabra, Contagion, Side Effects, and Magic Mike just in these pass few years have been extraordinary  Taking on something like Magic Mike with a little plot and making it much more. He says he retired but it doesn’t look like that accoriding to The Knick. 

    Ang Lee- Like I said with Soderbergh, rarely makes the same movie twice. The same man that made Life of Pi made Sense and Sensibility that is just remarkable. Of course Brokeback is his other achievement and we won’t talk about that awful Hulk movie. 

    Christopher Nolan- He re defines genres. He is partly the reason to this big superhero craze and now he is making all these Sci Fi movies that don’t deal with aliens or post apocolyptic worlds, just human stories involving wormholes and dreams. 

    Darren Aronofsky- Arronofsky is not one to hold back on anything and I applaud him on that. Black Swan is a masterpiece. 

    Alexander Payne- His films are just so human and so well written and performed. All six of his films are amazing and I just don’t imagine him ever making a dud. 

    There are just so many I could go on for days 

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    CAROL-CHANNING
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    #164266

    It’s so hard for me to say…  All of the directors listed have made some terrific movies, but some ones I’ve seriously disliked as well.  I can’t think of one film director whose entire canon I have loved.  Or if I have really liked all of their movies, I don’t think they’ve shown the versatility to be considered the “best”, overall.  Now, I definitely have favorites, but I have no idea who I would name the “best”. 

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    Macbeth
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    #164267

    I have to say Paul Thomas Anderson, but he’s been mentioned above.  So I will then give some love to the other Movie Messiah, Quentin Tarantino.

    He may be very divisive as a filmmaker, but most people who hate him despise him for the silliest reasons – too much violence, no originality. In the last decade, he as made Kill Bill, Inglorious Basterds and Django Unchained, which may not be as brilliant as his films from the 1990s, but they were all great throwbacks to their respective genres. He is one of the best writers working today, and he creates some really brilliant, original characters and knows how to use his actors to their fullest potential. No actor in his films are ever given unsatisfying roles, and he squeezes every little bit of story out of his films, making them visually stunning and very enjoyable. The thing about Tarantino is that he isn’t like a Spielberg/Cameron type of director who just seems to have been born a director, he is instead a symbol of the crazy movie fan who absorbs films and actually decided to make them. He is less of a regal directorial figure, but instead seems like that friend that makes movies. He is one of very few directors working today who have a built-in fanbase. His films are an event – people don’t even need to know what the movie is about and they will line up around the block to see his films anyway. He is the greatest director working today because he has both mainstream appeal and he is an auteur and intelligent filmmaker, so he appeals to basically everyone, from casual viewers to hardcore cinephiles. 

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    Eddy Q
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    #164268

    I think Paul Thomas Anderson is the best American director right now – four of his films are probably better than anything Scorsese’s done since GoodFellas. In Europe, I’d say the finest is Michael Haneke, who is a worthy successor of Bergman, Bresson and Dreyer, and whose work will be studied for decades to come. No other director at the moment understands the id the way Haneke does, and how what we consider to be unacceptable or perverse thoughts and desires are merely different aspects of the human condition which should be analysed empathetically. I’m still debating whether The White Ribbon or Amour is my favourite (I love the contrast between Berger’s and Kondji’s cinematography in those films), but some others say Caché, which is Hitchcockian in its understanding of cinema (or in this case, video) as a tool for voyeurism and exploitation. Haneke has also directed actors such as Isabelle Huppert, Daniel Auteuil, Juliette Binoche, Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva to give some of the greatest performances in their careers, and even in film history.

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