Friday, June 8, 2012

The Ten Best Directors of All Time Relay Race

Looks like Nostra has got another meme floating around the blogosphere. This time Stevee tagged me for this. First actors, then actresses, now directors. (Wonder what'll be next...) The rules:
So what’s the idea behind the relay? I’ve created a list of what I think are the ten best directors. At the end of the post I, just like in a real relay race, hand over the baton to another blogger who will write his own post. This blogger will have to remove one director (that is an obligation) and add his own choice and describe why he/she did this. At the end the blogger chooses another blogger to do the same. We will end up with a list (not ranked in order) which represents a common agreement of the best directors. If you are following the relay race it is also a great way to be introduced to new blogs!
The previous participants:
And the directors:

Paul Thomas Anderson

Ingmar Bergman

Joel and Ethan Coen

Alfred Hitchcock

Stanley Kubrick

Akira Kurosawa

Hayao Miyazaki

Martin Scorsese

Quentin Tarantino

Now who to omit? Hmm...Anderson, Coen, Hitchcock, Kubrick, Kurosawa, Scorsese and Tarantino are faves, so definitely not them. Bergman I'm starting to like more, so saving him. Although I haven't seen one of his films in years, I'm still keeping Miyazaki. That only leaves one name left, so with deep apologies to Tyler, I'm cutting Krzysztof Kieslowski from the list. (Tell you what, Tyler. I'll watch The Double Life of Veronique to make up, okay?)

Oh, now here comes the "fun" part of making my choice. I would have gone with Billy Wilder because, let's face it, I love his work. But I realized it would be too obvious. After all, variety is the spice of life. And considering I have come across a menagerie of directors in the last few years, many of them dead, I thought I should choose one of them. But there are so many.

Then I got into a New York state of mind. Well, more so I started thinking of directors from my home state. Scorsese and Kubrick are already on the list, so who else? Woody Allen? Maybe. John Cassavetes? Perhaps. And immediately I thought of someone who best captured the Big Apple and wasn't even from there. Who is my mystery director? Sidney Lumet.

Seriously, this man could capture the city just as spectacularly as Scorsese can. (Not bad for a kid from Philly.) He worked with some of the biggest names in the industry, often getting career-defining performances from them. (Examples: Henry Fonda in 12 Angry Men, Paul Newman in The Verdict, everyone in Network...need I say more?) I had the fortune of hearing him speak at Lincoln Center a few years before he died, and it's honestly an event I will remember forever. Also, how many other directors can you think of that started (12 Angry Men) and ended (Before the Devil Knows You're Dead) their careers not with a whimper but with a bang? (You can imagine how upset I was when I heard of his passing last year.)

Who to pass the baton onto? (I always hate choosing.) Sam is on hiatus, so not him. Andrew? Maybe. No, wait! Variety, remember? I'm passing this onto the splendid and lovely Ruth. I look forward to whom she chooses.


  1. Another quick update on the list, I'm amazed by the speed of some bloggers. Lumet is a great choice, although I think Tyler isn't going to be very happy with the removal of his choice.

    As for the next relay race? I already have ideas, but will be a while before I start that one ;)

    1. Hence why I made the plea deal with The Double Life of Veronique. (Hopefully that'll work.)

      Looking forward to the next one!

  2. Great Great Choice, definitely one of my all time favorites !! I have loved almost every Lumet movie I have seen.

    I will also be intrigued to see who Ruth chooses given Miyazaki is already here. :)

  3. How did I know, how did I fucking know?? Don't worry Anna, I forgive you because you added Wilder and I love him too.

  4. Replies
    1. Thank you, but Nostra added them as did the previous participants.

  5. Your choice of the word "menagerie" of course makes me now want to see your film "The Glass Menagerie of Directors".

    Lumet is a fine choice, for one he directed Kate to a fine performance when he was so young (LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT) and he directed one hell of a film only a few years ago which belied his age (BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU'RE DEAD).

    I certainly approve of this choice.

    1. "The Glass Menagerie of Directors"...sounds like a good post idea.

      Well, Lumet's definitely among my top five, so I had to give him a mention.

  6. Argh, goodbye Kieslowski. :(

    1. Tyler told me I'll regret my decision of removing him once I see a film of his, but for now I'm stickin' to my guns.


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