MovieMaker Magazine's 25 Most Influential Directors of All-Time

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Arman, Apr 24, 2005.

  1. Arman

    Arman Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2003
    Messages:
    1,625
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Just read it this morning - I did not see any discussion of this list which was published 2 months ago.(?)
    [/size]

    Let the HTF nitpicking begins [​IMG].

    Though I disagree with few of the rankings (and some unavoidable glaring omissions of Dreyer, Lean, Tarantino, Bresson, Ozu and co.) I thought it's a good, credible and a worth-reading list to be posted here.
     
  2. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2000
    Messages:
    15,766
    Likes Received:
    398
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Manchester, England
    Real Name:
    Steve Christou
    Totally agree with Hitch at no.1, but where's David Lean? Tarantino surely deserves a place on a list of influential directors for his first two films alone, replace Cassavetes with Tarantino, and D.W.Griffith with Lean and you've got it.[​IMG]
     
  3. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2001
    Messages:
    8,189
    Likes Received:
    411
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    Real Name:
    Chuck Mayer
    I'd put Cameron before Tarantino. But I wouldn't remove any of the names on it for him, so there it is. I wouldn't remove anybody for Tarantino either.

    Lean, on the other hand, I'd remove (or bump) quite a few folks...

    Take care,
    Chuck
     
  4. MarcusUdeh

    MarcusUdeh Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2003
    Messages:
    785
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Spielberg should be number two
     
  5. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2001
    Messages:
    13,063
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    A pretty good list considering that it's not going to please everyone. But as for me, I'd certainly change things around. There's only one slot that I think is exactly right - Hitchcock at #1.

    Too Low:

    Chaplin
    Spielberg
    Coppola
    Hawks
    Lang

    Way Too low:

    Wilder
    Huston
    Allen
    Lubitsch

    Too High:

    Ford
    Eisenstien
    Fellini
    Cassavetes
    Truffault

    Way Too High:

    Griffith
    Godard
    Renoir
    Bunuel

    About Right:

    Welles
    Kubrick
    Scorsese
    Kurosawa
    Bergman
    Keaton

    Missing:

    Curtiz
    Polanski
    Brooks
    Zemekis
    Capra
    Cukor
    Leone
    Sturges
    Tati
     
  6. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 1998
    Messages:
    31,351
    Likes Received:
    6,601
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Michigan
    Real Name:
    Robert
    George,
    You might think John Ford is rated too high because of your dislike for some of his films, but his influence on filmmakers cannot be denied. There have been too many noted directors like Scorsese and Spielberg who have stated time and time again on how much that man's work influenced their own style. The same can be said about others you have rated too high. Personally, I'm not a big fan of Griffith, but I also recognized his influence on the film industry, thus I think his rank is about right. This listing isn't about like and dislike, but which directors were the most influential in their craft. We can argue to the cows go home about such rankings, but overall, I think this list is a pretty good one which is saying a lot coming from me because I usually have a negative opinion about such listings.







    Crawdaddy
     
  7. Evan Case

    Evan Case Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2000
    Messages:
    1,113
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I liked the list on the whole, but it seemed rather typical that they had to "qualify" Spielberg's high ranking with an entire paragraph demeaning his post-1970s work.

    No one else listed besides Griffith was slammed like Spielberg. I guess Jack is the work of an artist whos has "settled comfortably into the role of director-for-hire", but Saving Private Ryan or A.I. or Empire of the Sun or E.T. are "self-indulgent, lazy and sentimental."

    It was as if they had to soothe certain anti-Spielberg cineastes... "Yeah, we put him at #10, but don't worry, we don't really think he's that good either!"

    Maybe I'm just getting worked up over nothing, but it seems to be disturbingly popular trend in some cinema circles. Outright dislike of the guy or his films is OK by me, but don't give him credit and then tear him down so as not to seem too "common."

    FWIW, my rank of directors would go:

    Hitch
    Kubrick
    Spielberg
    Kurosawa
    Scorsese

    with Lean, Chaplin, Keaton, Renoir, Fellini, Ford, Huston and Hawks all hanging around too.

    Godard is the only one on the main list I don't really care for.

    Evan
     
  8. Seth--L

    Seth--L Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2003
    Messages:
    1,344
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0


    Stagecoach is pretty much the bible on how to make a narrative film. Even Welles, ranked at #1, watched it 40 some times when preparing to make Kane.

    This list only contains narrative directors, neglecting hugely influential directors such as Stan Brakhage, Maya Deren, Frederick Wiseman and Robert Flaherty.
     
  9. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2001
    Messages:
    13,063
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I didn't say he didn't deserve to be on the list, only that he was rated "too high". I consider #5 too high for Ford, just like I consider #2 too high for D.W. Griffith. And this is based on influence. Griffith gets talked about a lot, was influential for his time, etc., but more influential overall than Welles and many others? Not in my opinion.
     
  10. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2000
    Messages:
    15,766
    Likes Received:
    398
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Manchester, England
    Real Name:
    Steve Christou


    And if Griffith never existed someone else would have eventually "invented the narrative film as we know it", if Gagarin failed to go into space, Shepherd would have been the first man in space etc
     
  11. Seth--L

    Seth--L Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2003
    Messages:
    1,344
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0


    And someone else would have figured out e=mc^2, so I guess Einstein isn't much of a genius...

    The fact is, Griffith did it, and thus, his model was copied.
     
  12. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 13, 2001
    Messages:
    8,172
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I like the reasoning behind Griffith, but I don't necessarily agree with his final placement. Great technique yes, but story hell no.

    I'd put Kurosawa ahead of Scorsese and Spielberg. The biggest disappointment to me is the lack of David Lean on this list.

    Otherwise, it's a nice list and given my limited knowledge it's hard for me to argue a lot of the other placements. I'd like to see Kubrick rank ahead of Godard, but I've only seen one Godard, Breathless, a very influential film which I admittedly don't care for much.
     
  13. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 13, 2001
    Messages:
    8,172
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0


    Where's that other Seth when ya need him? [​IMG]
     
  14. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2000
    Messages:
    15,766
    Likes Received:
    398
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Manchester, England
    Real Name:
    Steve Christou
    If all Griffith did was "invent the narrative film as we know it" than he is the odd one out on the list since that would have happened eventually. A distinctive style, form or genius in their field is what the others have in common.
     
  15. Seth--L

    Seth--L Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2003
    Messages:
    1,344
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0


    At the time, what he was doing was quite "distinctive," such as his editing and structuring of the narrative, but since everyone after him just copied him, in hindsight his style has become diluted because of all the imitators.

    EDIT: The list is titled "influential" directors, so a premium should be placed on directors who were first to do something, who then as a result, established style/methods which have subsequently been copied. You're missing the point if you say 'if Griffith didn't do it, then someone else would have.' People say the same thing about Andy Warhol and his tomato cans. As I've already said, you can say this about anyone famous person in any field. By being the first, Griffith placed HIS stylistic stamp on narrative filmmaking.
     
  16. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 1998
    Messages:
    31,351
    Likes Received:
    6,601
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Michigan
    Real Name:
    Robert

    It's quite amusing to see how directors from past eras like Griffith and Ford can be so easily dismissed by some people.





    Crawdaddy
     
  17. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 1998
    Messages:
    7,585
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    End Griffith rant

    LOVE FORD that high. He was a well-noted influence on 2 of the other directors on this list, Scorsese and Kurosawa (among others I'm sure), so he has to be on there just for that fact. But his style and methods are also huge.

    Lubitsch is too low. No Murnau, no Sturges.



    Chaplin I can't totally agree with as a DIRECTOR. As an all-around producer and star, he was a major influence, but I don't think people looked to copy his directorial style as much.

    Same with Woody Allen. He has a couple of well directed films, but much of his power comes from great writing and performances. Good director, great filmmaker.

    Coppola? I definitely don't see him on this list. Great films, good direction, but I don't know about influential direction. As a producer and H'wood power broker he is far more influential.


    Curtiz - yes, I do think he really needs to be on this list.

    Lean as well. I can't imagine any director post-Lean not at some point wanting to emulate his shooting style, mise-en-scene, lighting and framing.

    Tarintino is close. I know he is modern, but his influence on the types of films being made, how people are making them, how films look and feel, is extremely strong for the last decade.
     
  18. Seth--L

    Seth--L Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2003
    Messages:
    1,344
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0


    You're missing the point. While his films were staged with a quasi narrative structure (National Geographic films pretty much operate the same way), he helped turn the documentary into a commercially viable product.
     
  19. Kevin Hewell

    Kevin Hewell Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2003
    Messages:
    2,227
    Likes Received:
    122
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    The one glaring omission that no one else has mentioned yet is Robert Altman.
     
  20. Kirk Tsai

    Kirk Tsai Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2000
    Messages:
    1,424
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The Neo Realists, Rossellini for example, and Murnau are the biggest omissions for me.
     

Share This Page