With directors piecing together every film, here the five I wish to commend for their work.
Every film takes a lot of different people to help it come together, but one role behind the camera manages to captivate audiences almost as much as the stars seen on the screen. The director helps to bring every piece together to form these great pictures, and has done so throughout history. In my view, these are, without question the Greatest directors of all time.
Few directors’ styles can be as recognized as much as that of Wes Anderson. His quirky tight shot composition and weird stories have helped him stake his claim as one of the few mainstream directors able to make unique films. A master of live action and animation, films like “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “Fantastic Mr. Fox” and his newest film “The French Dispatch” display his creative and quirky style previously mentioned. One of my favorite Wes Anderson films is fairly unique in this regard, the least like any of his other films, “Bottle Rocket.” This was his first feature film, based off of a short film he had previously made. What makes this film so special to me is that it’s more like any other movie from another director being made in that you don’t see the same exact editing style or shot composition, which might sound like a bad thing, but you get to see his iconic style being formed. You get little sneak peeks of what’s to come from him style wise. Seeing his frequent collaborators Owen and Luke Wilson on the screen together is also very fun.
Wong Kar-wai has directed some awesome films throughout his career. Films like “Chungking Express” and “Fallen Angels” are very similar in story but equally amazing films. His unique editing and camera work set his films apart from most of the mainstream directors who often just point the camera and shoot without much thought for how the composition of the shot affects the story. His stories themselves feel like deeply personal dives into the characters and they often diverge into multiple different stories. I can’t recommend that you check out these wonders of the Hong Kong cinema scene enough.
What can really be said about Hitchcock that hasn’t been said already? One of the preeminent masters of suspense in film, Alfred Hitchcock helped revolutionize aspects of film and storytelling. Almost everyone could reference the infamous stabbing from “Psycho.” His films are all unique and his composition of the shot is often second to none. His ability to write intricate thrillers and amazing twists just add to his filmmaking arsenal. Films like “Vertigo” and “North by Northwest” just give proof to how great a director he was.
2. Guillermo Del Toro
Guillermo Del Toro is a director who has consistently impressed throughout his career. He directs a variety of different films, from comic book adaptations like “Blade II” and the “Hellboy” movies, to fantasy-horror films like “Pan’s Labyrinth” and “The Devil’s Backbone.” His film “Shape of Water” was nominated and won an Academy Award, showing how well respected his films are. He is able to blend elements of things like sci-fi, fantasy and horror and somehow make it work. His fantasy horror films take more from the classical fantasy children’s stories, rather than our often happy idea of children’s fantasy tales.
1. Akira Kurosawa
Akira Kurosawa, to me, is the quintessential film director. His films transcend cultural lines, able to be enjoyed by so many around the world. His career spanned from the late 40s all the way to the 90s, when he was still making great films. Many directors lose their touch eventually, but not Akira Kurosawa. His samurai films like “Ran,” “Seven Samurai” and “Hidden Fortress” are top notch and have inspired the western renaissance of the 70s as well as inspiring George Lucas in making the first Star Wars film. Where he really shines for me is his slower films. Films like “Ikiru” and “Madadayo” are very slow emotional burns, with “Ikiru” telling a story so relatable in today’s culture of overworking ourselves, while the latter can be seen as a sort of retrospective on Akira Kurosawa’s career as a whole. If you picked one film of his out of a hat, no matter what you drew, you would be in for a fantastic film experience.