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Top 10 Modern Directors

I’ve no doubt that I’ll receive a large amount of email and comments claiming someone else should be listed or someone on the list shouldn’t be. Relax, seriously. As with anything I write here, this is my perception and opinion. These happen to be the ones that I feel are the best. Though I’m thinking of editing out Joel Coen for Tim Burton. Anyway, on with the show:

1. Francis Ford Coppola

  • Vital Statistics: He was born April 7, 1939 in Detroit, Michigan, USA. He is 6ft tall and married to Eleanor Coppola.
  • Current Movie: Tetro (2009)
  • Tendencies: Often casts his relatives in his movies; Re-releases his work later.
  • Best Movie: The Godfather, Part II (1974)
  • Good Movies: The Conversation (1974), The Godfather (1972), Dracula (1992), Apocalypse Now (1979)
  • Worst Movie: Jack (1996)
  • Quotation: “In a sense, I think a movie is really a little like a question and when you make it, that’s when you get the answer.”

2. Roman Polanski

  • Vital Statistics: Born August 18, 1933 in Paris, France. Stands 5ft 5in tall. Currently married to Emmanuelle Seigner.
  • Current Movie: None
  • Tendencies: Has a tendency to shoot a sequence from an actor’s point-of-view and pan around the room.
  • Best Movie: Chinatown (1974)
  • Good Movies: The Pianist (2002), Oliver Twist (2005), The Ninth Gate (1999), Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
  • Worst Movie: Pirates (1986)
  • Quotation: “Cinema should make you forget you are sitting in a theater.”

3. Steven Spielberg

4. Jean-Pierre Jeunet

5. Martin Scorsese

6. David Fincher

  • Vital Statistics: Fincher was born in Denver, Colorado, USA, on August 28, 1962. He is presently unmarried.
  • Current Movie: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
  • Tendencies: Single-frame inserts; Fluid tracking shot pioneer; Uses lots of wide shots.
  • Best Movie: Fight Club (1999)
  • Good Movies: Se7en (1995), The Game (1997), Panic Room (2002)
  • Worst Movie: Zodiac (2007)
  • Quotation: “People will say, ‘There are a million ways to shoot a scene,’ but I don’t think so. I think there’re two, maybe. And the other one is wrong.”

7. Darren Aronofsky

  • Vital Statistics: Darren was born February 12, 1969 in Brooklyn, NY, USA. 6ft tall. Presently he is engaged to Rachel Weiscz.
  • Current Movie: The Wrestler (2009)
  • Tendencies: Short, repeated sequences of actions with very quick edits, accompanied by music
  • Best Movie: Requiem for a Dream (2000)
  • Good Movies: Pi (1998), The Fountain (2006)
  • Worst Movie: Protozoa (1993)
  • Quotation: “To me, watching a movie is like going to an amusement park. My worst fear is making a film that people don’t think is a good ride.”

8. Luc Besson

9. Quentin Tarantino

  • Vital Statistics: He was born March 27, 1963 in Knoxville, TN, USA. 6ft 1in tall. He is presently unmarried.
  • Current Movie: Inglorious Bastards (2009)
  • Tendencies: Mexican stand-offs in his movies; Avoids product placements with fake products; Often casts Samuel L. Jackson.
  • Best Movie: Pulp Fiction (1994)
  • Good Movies: Reservoir Dogs (1992), Four Rooms (1997)
  • Worst Movie: Jackie Brown (1997)
  • Quotation: “When people ask me if I went to film school I tell them, ‘no, I went to films.'”

10. Joel Coen

  • Vital Statistics: Joel was born November 29, 1954 in Minneapolis, MN, USA. 6ft tall. Married to actress Frances McDormand.
  • Tendencies: Often casts wife Frances McDormand; Movies often have a victim who seems like they may deserve what happens to them.
  • Current Movies: Burn After Reading (2008)
  • Best Movie: Fargo (1996)
  • Good Movies: The Big Lebowski (1998), Miller’s Crossing (1990), Barton Fink (1991)
  • Worst Movies: Intolerable Cruelty (2003)
  • Quotation: “Ethan [Coen] had a nightmare of one day finding me on the set of something like The Incredible Hulk, wearing a gold chain and saying, ‘I’ve got to eat, don’t I?’

Runner-up: Sam Mendes

  • Vital Statistics: Born August 1, 1965 in Reading, Berkshire, England, UK. He is 5ft 10in tall. Sam is married to Kate Winslet.
  • Current Movie: Revolutionary Road (2008)
  • Tendencies: Beginning his films with narration from a prime character; Sometimes repeats this tendency at the end of his movies.
  • Best Movie: American Beauty (1999)
  • Good Movies: The Road to Perdition (2002)
  • Worst Movie: Jarhead (2005)
  • Quotation: “If you shout in the theater, people think you’ve gone a bit mad. But if you raise your voice on a film set, people just work a bit harder.”

Again, thanks to Amazon.com and IMDb.

2 comments for “Top 10 Modern Directors

  1. razvan
    April 25, 2008 at 2:10 am

    Check Kim Ki-duk (Especially Bin Jip). Best under 50 director.

  2. April 25, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    Interesting comment. I had not heard of him before, but I’m headed to the wonderous world of IMDB to check him out!

Comments are closed.