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Which Director Would Be Tops For The 1990s? (1 Viewer)

Pete-D

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I was thinking about this and to me it boils down to three, but its tough to choose between them:

a.) James Cameron: Terminator 2, True Lies, Titanic. Terminator 2 really started the CG era and I think that film might be the biggest turning point in the modern blockbuster era since the original Star Wars (1977).

True Lies was a hit, albiet not exactly a masterpiece. Titanic was the biggest grossing film of the 90s and no.1 all-time without accounting for inflation. A true international phenomenon.

b.) Steven Spielberg: Jurassic Park, Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan, Hook, The Lost World, and Amistad... Mr. Spielberg was very busy in the 90s. Jurassic Park took CGI to the next level and was a monster hit, while Schindler's List rang up the Oscars. Saving Private Ryan was hailed for its realism. While I like both Hook and Amistad, I know those film's have their detractors. The Lost World was a bit of a dissapointment, but still has some brilliant sequences.

c.) Quentin Tarantino: Resevior Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown. Also penned Natural Born Killers and From Dusk 'Till Dawn. Certainly brought forth a style that's been copied and imitated to death by now.

No denying the impact. Jackie Brown maybe wasn't the same home run his previous two films were, but it was still a solid (perhaps a bit more mature) piece of filmmaking. I get the feeling his films will be closely identified and associated with the 1990s and the violent popular culture that infused movies, television, and music at the time.



I don't know who I'd vote for. I'm leaning more towards Cameron since T2 really I think opened a lot of doors that other filmmakers like Spielberg, Lucas, and Peter Jackson (who I might add, should be the current favorite for this decade's top director) utilized as well.

And while its become a popular film to knock on these days, there's really no denying that Titanic was an incredible phenomenon.
 

Fred Bang

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I'm more a fan of Spielberg, but I would say Tarantino is the most influencal director of the nineties.
 

Chris

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Tarintino is the most influential director of the nineties, in my mind. Love him or hate him, he opened the doors to a whole new era of independant films.
 

JoshuaB.

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If it wasn't for Tarantino's success, perhaps we wouldn't have had the indie new wave of folks like Todd Solondz, Wes Anderson, PT Anderson, David O. Russell, Richard Linklater, Neil LaBute, etc. (although Steven Soderbergh, Jim Jarmusch, Hal Hartley were just as influential).
 

Andrew_Sch

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I agree. The other two made some great films, but QT really cast some much-needed light on a whole sector of the film industry that was pretty much neglected before. Because of films like Reservoir Dogs and especially Pulp Fiction quirky, "indie" films became acceptable and cool to the mainstream.
 

Kevin Grey

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My only quibble with selecting Tarantino is that it seems like its his writing thats been copied much more than anything in his directorial style.
 

Jose Martinez

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Here's my vote for James Cameron. Steven Spielberg has won one more Director's Oscar but not one of James Cameron's movies in the nineties disappointed me. Yes, I LOVE TITANIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

Dan Rudolph

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What about David Fincher: Se7en more or less kicked off the neo-noir genre, at least in its 90s incarnation and I don't think I need to spell out why Fight Club is important.
 

Bruce Hedtke

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If not him, then Yimou Zhang. Both make great films and influence directors around the world.

Bruce
 

Phil L

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That's an interesting choice, it reminds me to rent some of his more recent movies. I've seen the earlier ones but only Hero (which I liked but didn't love) after Shanghai Triad.

I wish that Criterion would do a special edition of Ashes of Time. Despite having watched it three or four times, I don't feel I've ever really seen it, due to the atrocious subtitles.

Oh, second thought, answer to the topic: Hirokazu Koreeda. Maborosi and After Life were two of the best films of the 90s. Though I don't know if two movies that weren't seen widely are enough to qualify.
 

Jason_Els

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I like Cameron for the blockbuster genre but the blockbuster genre already has a king. Cameron made the biggest bigger but he's following a formula that's already been established by...

Steven Spielberg. A monumental name who has his ups and downs but since were limited to just the 90s I'd say his influence started in the 70s and has continued since then.

For the most broadly influential director, Tarantino wins hands-down. When Pulp Fiction debuted it was something nobody ever seen before. The dialogue was fresh, the editing downright shocking, and the genre undefinable. Tarantino created a trademark style that is highly influential and will continue to be for some time.

I'd like to throw in a pitch for Lars von Trier. I'd put him in as the second most influential new director of the 90s. Breaking the Waves is a masterpiece. While his Scandinavian style is unmistakable he's created a genre I call neo-nihlism. Solondz owes a great debt to von Trier.
 

Jose Martinez

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I think this thread is about the body of work that a director did during the nineties. Not on how one influenced others.
 

Mark_vdH

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Martin Scorsese should be mentioned just for his work during the first half of the nineties: Goodfellas, The Age of Innocence and Cape Fear.

Another mention for Lars von Trier, not only for Breaking the Waves but also for The Kingdom/Riget.

Still, I think Tarantino will be remembered as THE director of the nineties.
 

Nick C.

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With Wong Kar-wai, Zhang and Fincher already mentioned, a few other favourites are Egoyan (Sweet Hereafter, Exotica, Calendar...), Kieslowski (Three Colours Trilogy), the Coens (Miller's Crossing, Fargo, Lebowski...) and Sayles (Lone Star, Passion Fish...).

I'm not a big fan of his, but critics (Euro especially) always seem to praise Abbas Kiarostami.

I was also going to throw out Kubrick (hell, one film's all you need when you're Kubrick) but how about another Asian auteur--Takeshi Kitano, with Hana-bi, Sonatine, Kikujiro, and so forth
 

Carl Johnson

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Tarantino gets my vote with Cameron a close second. Pulp Fiction literally changed the way I watch movies while Cameron's films set the bar as to what I expect in an action flick.
 

Ernest Rister

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My choice for Best Film of the 90's is Breaking the Waves. Followed by:

2. Schindler's List
3. Miller's Crossing
4. Magnolia
5. Unforgiven
6. GoodFellas
7. The Shawshank Redemption
8. JFK (even though most of what's in it is complete bullcrap)
9. What Dreams May Come
10. Dances With Wolves

I think the Coen Brothers had the best "hot streak" during the 90's. As for the notion that Quentin Tarantino jump-started the indie movement, I'd point some of you kids to Steven Soderbergh, whose sex, lies, and videotape became the highest-grossing indie film of all time, and put the Sundance film festival and the indie film market on the cultural map.

And as for David Fincher, I don't feel it. Fight Club is Thoreau's Walden filtered through the narcissism of the 90's youth culture. I suppose it is deep and meaningful for people who slept through High School English. Seven is probably his best movie from my perspective (and typing the name as "Se7en" reminds me of track titles on Prince albums).
 

MickeS

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I think you do. What was important about "Fight Club" from a filmmaking perspective? I don't see that movie as influential or as a stand-out in any way.

I would say that either Tarantino, Lars von Trier, Scorsese or Spielberg would be the "top" directors. They all have a vision that they are able to bring to the screen in an unmistakable style.
 

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