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My Very Own Top 10 Directors List

Dan Taft Friday, April 11, 2008
I’m not like these other guys. I’m not just going to put together some shabby list celebrating the usual suspects. Quite the contrary- some will call me mad for compiling lists in this manner. And yet, the data suggests that I might just be completely right. Who to trust? Who to turn to for advice? With so many looming questions, one can always count on my top 10 lists to get them through tough times. So, once again, heeeerrrrreeee we go:

10. Tim Burton - Arguably my personal favorite, Burton is a very unique director who has his signature all over every frame of his films. Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice, the first two Batman movies, Big Fish, Ed Wood, The Nightmare Before Christmas; I can go on and on. Aside from his great directing, he also always has great casts. Nobody makes films like this man, and I love him for it.

9. Steven Spielberg - Ok, he’s extremely mainstream. But look at his filmography and then argue with me. Can’t be fucked with. Also, he’s a Jew, so, brownie points.

8. David Lynch - David Lynch is what I call a 90/10 guy, or maybe even a 95/5 guy, meaning that roughly 90% of people do not understand his work and absolutely hate his films, and the other 5 or 10%, whichever you like, just gets it. He’s dark, his films are surreal, and there isn’t a human being that ever existed that understands how to scare the shit out of people using this medium better than him. Watch Blue Velvet or the Twin Peaks mini series to ease yourself into his style and you might just fall in love with his work.

7. Francis Ford Coppola - Godfather and Godfather Part II. Apocalypse Now. The Conversation. Nuff said.

6. Martin Scorcese - I love Martin Scorcese, and not just because he shot me a friend request on MySpace or because he has the best looking eyebrows of all the great directors. The Last Temptation of Christ is one of my favorite films, even with Harvey Keitel portraying Judas like he was born in Bensonhurst instead of Israel. Throw Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, and Raging Bull in the mix, and you have yourself the sixth greatest director of all time.

5. Ingmar Bergman - Watch Persona, and then try to watch any film made after it with a multiple personality twist ending. Yes, they all copied Ingmar Bergman. A bit too deep for the likes of Willis, Bergman directed a plethora of great films that never would have come out of a place like Hollywood. There’s a reason Woody Allen always references him in his films- Ingmar Bergman is genius.

4. Akira Kurosawa - Ikiru, or “To Live”, in English, is a beautiful film that can only be described as life changing. Kurosawa also directed another one of my all time favorites, Seven Samurai, as well as The Lower Depths and Throne of Blood. Don’t expect to see Tom Cruise in any of these films, even though he is technically the last samurai.

3. Stanley Kubrick - R.A. The Rugged Man isn’t the only Stanley Kubrick fan out there. 2001, A Space Odyssey, Full Metal Jacket, A Clockwork Orange, Spartacus, and The Shining. Need I say more? I could, but I won’t. Check him out because he simply is one of the best.

2. Federico Fellini - Another Woody Allen favorite, Fellini’s two greatest works, in my most modest opinion, were 8 ½ and La Dolce Vita. One of the first directors to really create a surreal atmosphere within his films, Fellini was an absolutely brilliant film maker who was maybe the best ever at conveying his message and his characters’ emotions through the camera. Also check out Toby Dammit if you are a fan of the macabre. H.P. Lovecraft would have been proud.

1. Alfred Hitchcock - Wow, now that should stir up some controversy. No director is more imitated than Hitchcock. His family should be getting royalties from about 60% of today’s Hollywood
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