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
Joel and Ethan Coen
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.)