August 23, 2007

Lists Make Glenn Angry

I've been perusing through Total Film's 100 Greatest Directors Ever list and, for the most part, it's a generally acceptable list. I always cherist a movie-related list that doesn't have Citizen Kane or Orson Welles at the top (I've said it before, and I'll say it again - The Magnificent Ambersons is better than Citizen Kane) and it's hard to deny the likes of Hitchcock, Scorsese, Spielberg, Hawks and Coppola their place in history, but the following names didn't just annoy me in a "Oh no they di'nt!" way. No, they made me angry in a "Oh no they did not!" See that, non-abbreviation. That means angry.

#9 Peter Jackson

I don't deny that his career has certainly been an achievement, but if Brett Ratner had directed the Lord of the Rings trilogy, would he be here too?

#10 David Fincher

No. Just NO! FUCKING NO!, even. Christ. It's a good thing he hasn't made more than six movies because if he had he might have actually been number ONE! I like the guy and has made a few great movies, but this is fanboy-ism gone beserk. Sorry, but it is. Fincher is the TENTH best director EVER after six movies? No. Way. Jose. (who's Jose?)

#12 Quentin Tarantino

Even as a huge fan of QT's I can't help but think he's a tad high, don't you think? He, too, only has six films on his resume. Jackie Brown is still his best, by the way (and don't you forget).

#20 Paul Thomas Anderson

Much like Fincher at #10, this is utter madness. Let me get this straight Total Film: After FOUR films, Anderson is already considered a greater director than Robert Altman, the man who has influenced him more than any other. For the record, Altman came into the countdown at #26. Yeah, I'm confused too.

#22 David Lynch

Should be, like, #2. :P

#32 Christopher Nolan

Just like the other younger modern directors on this list it seems that the fanboy mentality has overtaken rational thinking. Four movies (okay, five, but only about three people on the planet have seen his debut Following) into his career and he is already considered one of the greats (a spot under him at #33? Yasujiro Ozu!) I presume it is only because he made Batman Begins. If he hadn't he'd be hanging around #99 with Sofia Coppola. Or, at least, #65 with Bryan Singer.

#38 James Cameron

Yeah, I KNOW! Quite possibly one of cinemas greatest pioneers of all time apparently hasn't done enough of merit to rank him alongside David Fincher (five films) and Paul Thomas Anderson (four films). Not creating one of cinemas most beloved franchises with The Terminator. Not revolutionising cinema and visual effects with Terminator 2: Judgement Day. Not even creating the highest-grossing film of all time with Titanic. Nope. He didn't make Fight Club so, naturally, he doesn't deserve to be that high. :/

#51 Robert Wise

I'd rank him (much) higher, but my issue is with their selection of his best film. The Curse of the Cat People, his debut and a sequel to Cat People, is actually lame and doesn't feature anything that made the original an amazing classic. Bizarre.

#75 Tony Scott/#76 Milos Forman

Let it be known that the man who has won two Best Director Academy Awards and been nominated for another is ranked one position below the man who made Days of Thunder. You did read that correctly.

#92 Paul Verhoeven

This isn't about Verhoeven (I haven't seen any of his Dutch work to say), but could they at least do some fact checking? They say that "Verhoeven impressed with ironic/iconic sci-fi(Robocop, Starship Troopers) until success bred excess (Showgirls)." yet Starship Troopers came after Showgirls. So, until success bred excess, which bred success again?

#97 Baz Luhmann

With only three movies to his name, with Australia he'll be TOP TEN MATERIAL!

Christ, what a stupid list (yet at other times, spot on perfect - Hitchcock!) I thought I'd type down a few names that failed to meet the taxing criteria put upon the candidates.

Elia Kazan - East of Eden, On the Waterfront, A Streetcar Named Desire, Splendor in the Grass,

Jacques Tourneur - Cat People, Out of the Past, I Walked With A Zombie, The Leopard Man

Sidney Lumet - Dog Day Afternoon, 12 Angry Men, Serpico, The

Charlie Chaplin - The Gold Rush, City Lights, Modern Times, The Kid

FW Murnau - Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans, Nosferatu, Faust

Bernardo Bertolucci - The Last Emperor, The Last Tango in Paris, The Conformist, 1900

Warren Beatty - Reds, Heaven Can Wait, Dick Tracy

Victor Fleming - Gone with the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, Joan of Arc

Otto Preminger - Anatomy of a Murder, The Man with the Golden Arm, Bunny Lake is Missing, Carmen Jones

William Wyler - Mrs Miniver, Funny Girl, The Little Foxes, The Best Year of Our Lives

George Stevens - Giant, A Place in the Sun, Woman of the Year, Shane

Bob Fosse - All That Jazz, Cabaret, Lenny, Sweet Charity

Vincente Minnelli - An American in Paris, Meet Me in St Louis, Designing Women, Gigi

King Vidor - The Champ, War and Peace, The Citadel, The Crowd

Michelangelo Antonioni - Blow Up, L'aventtura, The Passenger, Zabriskie Point

But who are those guys compared to the man who made Alien3? REALLY? I'm surprised they didn't throw Guillermo del Toro or someone like him on there because Pan's Labyrinth was the greatest thing evaaaaa!


Simon A said...

No Argento! Lame.

Also, PT Anderson is the bomb.

J.D. said...

Kazan and Wyler not being on it nulls it completely.

And if Brett Ratner directed The Lord of the Rings, he'd be destroyed. It's obvious it would have been disappointing to the point of physical violence, and I would expect his brutal murder at the hands of fanboys.

And Jackson did not do this. He made them (for me) the greatest film(s) ever made. But he probably shouldn't be that high.

Kamikaze Camel said...

I have no issues with him being on there what with Heavenly Creatures and (while I'm not a fan) his early splatter horror work - he at least has a fuller resume. But #9 of all time is ridiculous. He ain't there yet.

viennarain said...

Am I the only one bothered by the lack of women on this list? I believe Sofia Coppola's the sole female on it.

Hedwig said...

A list of the ten best directors and Antonioni isn't on it? And Wyler isn't either?

I believe this calls for a hearty 'Pschaw'

Thanks for the comment, btw. And I agree with you that Jackie Brown is highly underrated.

rural juror said...

You're spot on about Fincher and PTA who are not nearly as amazing as the fanboys seem to think

In fact, Magnolia stunk. Big time.

rural juror said...

Two more things: where is Pedro Almodovar and why is David Lean so low, below even Rob Reiner

Kamikaze Camel said...

Rural, Almodovar is on the first page but I can't recall what position. And, yeah, David Lean is routinely named one of the greatest so I don't understand why he's so low.

Vienna, agreed. And Sofia shouldn't even be on there (she only has three films).

par3182 said...

not all lists make glenn angry, surely...?

CRG said...

No Uwe Boll....tsk tsk (shakes head)

rural juror said...

oh...I must have missed Almodovar. Thank god.

Y Kant Goran Rite said...

I'm confused - are you saying James Cameron should be higher?

Also, viennarain - I'm not bothered by the lack of women on this list (I'd argue even Ms. Coppola doesn't belong on it) - more by the lack of women who have had a chance to direct a feature film in the past 100 years.

John T said...

No Beatty, Kazan, Wyler, Lumet, Minnelli, Antonioni or Preminger? Are they serious? I mean, almost every single one of those should be in the top 50 (and there's some argument to Kazan and/or Minnelli being in a Top 10). That's not just ridiculous, it's downright stupidity.

I agree with you on most, if not all of the ranking problems-Jackson should have been somewhere much, much lower, and I say this as someone who thinks he should have been in the Top 100 somewhere. PTA's filmography, in my opinion, hasn't been supremely impressive (though I haven't seen Punch-Drunk Love yet), and doesn't warrant inclusion, certainly not above Altman. The Tony Scott over Milos Forman thing is sickening.

Oh, and some more complaints: Alexander Payne, while a fine director, does not deserve a slot ahead of John Huston, Milos Forman, Jean-Luc Godard, and Federico Fellini. Rob Reiner beats David Lean? Christopher Nolan beats Carol Reed? Tim Burton over Robert Altman? Fincher over John Ford, Akira Kurosawa, and Billy Wilder? I mean, all lists make mistakes (even the ones we make ourselves), but this is nauseating!

Dave said...

I'd have snuck Alan Parker into the bottom of that list, although I'd have a hard time defending why.