Thursday, December 31, 2009

Directors of the Decade: You Decide

Robert here. Moving forward, my Directors of the Decade series is going to get a little bit of a makeover. I'll still be featuring the best, most original, most significant directors working, but not limited to 2000-2009. I'll look back at their influences (and yes even movies made prior to the decade) but mostly I'll look forward toward the impact these great directors will continue to have on modern cinema.

Since we're putting Directors of the Decade to bed, I thought I'd ask you to share your top directors of this past decade (and the masterpieces they've made). Who do you love?  Who has made a difference to you?


honduran said...

This decade :
Joe Wright : Atonement, Pride and Prejudice....i loved the soloist, not in the same way though...

Silence of the Lambs is one of my all time favorites.


His reemerge with Rachel Getting Married proved once again that he is a director to watch..AWESOME MOVIE...

Anonymous said...

Christopher Nolan.
The Prestige
Batman Begins
The Dark Knight

I can't begin to think of who might have had a more impressive decade of directing.

ThaDropDownBear said...

Coen Bros really stretched out lately and I definetly dig it. I guess Judd Apatow gets a good word in from me hes 2/3 with directing credits (Funny People just ruined it all)

Anonymous said...

Almodovar was by far the antidote to this decade for me, finding a sensual, Sphinxual beauty in a decade of the overstated and overbearing.

Volver, Bad Education, and Talk to Her... and I haven't even seen Broken Embraces. I think All About My Mother was '99, right?

Alex said...

I think Paul Thomas Anderson is definitely one that deserves a post.

And, not that I'm a huge fan, has any director been more successful in terms of Oscar this decade than Clint Eastwood?

Amir said...

for me it goes:
1- pedro almodovar (talk to her, bad education, volver, broken embraces) just look at that lineup. it needs absolutely no explanation.

2-the coen brothers, that you featured already.

3-asghar farhadi: an iranian director that i suppose many of you haven't heard of but he started out this decade, and has made four movies and his impact on iranian cinema has been very profound. his fourth film 'about elly' won best director in berlin and is iran's submission for the oscars.

4- the great ang lee!

Henry said...

Alfonso Cuaron: He doesn't get enough credit for making the best Harry Potter film of the series (The Prisoner of Azkaban) and possibly the best film of the decade in Children of Men.

Ang Lee: Crouching Tiger, Brokeback..., even Hulk is a masterpiece to me.

I'd name Clint Eastwood too, with the multitude of masterful films he's made this decade: Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby, Gran Torino, Letters From Iwo Jima.

Henry said...

Oh! Ridley Scott. Gladiator, Black Hawk Down, Matchstick Men. Great start to the decade. He's stumbled a bit with Kingdom of Heaven (the Director's Cut is the only version worth watching, IMO) and Body of Lies, but American Gangster is solid too.

Adam said...

Pedro Almodóvar easily with 4 brilliant films this decade. David Lynch certainly still continues to be baffling and innovative, and Ang Lee showed a lot of range and a couple masterworks. Also Sofia Coppola had 3 films I'd consider new classics (Virgin Suicides, Lost in Translation and the undervalued Marie Antoinette).

kin said...

Definitely Christopher Nolan. All very great films.

Paul Outlaw said...

In alphabetical order:

Pedro Almodóvar

The Coens

David Fincher

Todd Haynes

Ang Lee

Christopher Nolan

Gus Van Sant

ThaDropDownBear said...

Oh crap and Paul Thomas Anderson fml how could I forget him. And Wes Anderson, I always dig his films even the weaker ones. You cant forget Quentin Tarantino either. Style is his middle name.

Andrew K. said...

I know people always hate on the obvious choices, but still I'll go there.

Like Altman, just because Gosford Park is my favourite of his. And even if it's not it's a perfect film for cinema 101. Want to know how to make a good one, go to Gosford Park.

And Scorsese even Gangs was not his bestest, it was enough and The Aviator and then The Departed were proof that he did deserve his Oscar. Like we didn't already know that?

And Wright. For my favourite Bennett family, and truly realistic period piece and Atonement.

And Burton. Because Corpse Bride just may be one of my favourite animated films, and Big Fish is sadly underrated and Sweeney Todd while imperfect is probably the best Sondheim I'll see on screen.

And Daldry. I liked The Reader, and I really liked Billy Elliot but mostly for The Hours. For Julianne's powerful performance, for my favourite Meryl in the last 20 years and for Nicole's compete immersion in character. I could go on for a while. But this is just a few that come to mind.

Robert said...

I'm going to go kind of out on a limb here and say Hayao Miyazaki. I grew up with his movies and each one is a masterpiece in its own way, most notably Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle (from this decade) and Princess Mononoke from before, just to name a few... he is most certainly one of MY favorite artistic genius.

And I agree with Daldry, and also Christopher Nolan has been mentioned several times already but those two also really stand out to me.

BrianZ said...

Actually did a fairly long piece about who I think are the best director's of the decade.

Anonymous said...

i have to agree with coen brothers... can't wait to see a serious man!

other than them i definitely think michel gondry deserves a mention: obviously for eternal sunshine but also for sceince of sleep and human nature.

another one for me would be takeshi kitano: zatoichi is just amazing. and then there's his autobiography trilogy, insane but really interesting.

Deborah said...

I could "me too" several that others have mentioned, but I'll add:

Deepa Mehta: I don't think she's made a perfect movie yet, but she's made 4 very, very good movies, all radical and bold, all full of ideas, all ripe with interest and potential. I think she's growing as a filmmaker and the best is yet to come.

Tony Gilroy: Directed two very good, surprising movies, and again, I think next decade we get to see more, better, smarter.

Sean said...

Alfonso Cuaron! He may not have made that many films this decade, but he made two that I think are in the decade's top ten best (Y Tu Mama Tambien and Children of Men) and also found time to make the best Harry Potter film (Prisoner of Azkaban), for whatever that's worth. He'd definitly be my pick for director of the decade.

I think Robert Altman could use some love. 'Gosford Park' and 'A Prairie Home Companion' are also two of my favorite films released in the last 10 years.

DJ said...

Joe Wright - missed a step with The Soloist, but Atonement and Pride and Prejudice are wonderful.

Martin Scorsese - The Departed, Gangs of New York, Aviator (too bad Shutter Island will miss out)

Christopher Nolan - esp. the Batman franschise + The Prestige

Greg Boyd said...

Ang Lee: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" are both amazing films.

Brad Bird: Loved both "Ratatouille" and "The Incredibles".

Andrew Stanton: "Finding Nemo" and "WALL-E".

Melanie said...

My favorites:

Coen Brothers

Ang Lee

Clint Eastwood

Carl Joseph Papa said...

Alfonso Cuaron!

And if I may, I'd like to do a write up on two great Filipino directors of the decade: Brillante Mendoza and Adolf Alix Jr. Both, for me, had defined and revived the Philippine cinema in me.

Amir said...

i think we can name jason reitman as well.
all his three movies have been big hits.

adri said...

Agnes Jaoui.
A French actress and singer who now also writes and directs. I LOVED her first movie, "The Taste of Others" (and I've bought more than one copy because people like it and keep it). I looked forward to "Look at Me" and I loved that one too. They are original, different, funny, with awful and ridiculous and sympathetic characters. No wonder she won the Rene Clair award. Now she's made another that I have to see.

Francis Ford Coppola.
I liked him well enough, but "Youth Without Youth" seemed like a very personal movie to all the creative team involved, and yet - it seemed to be a movie that was made specifically for me and what I actually like. Now if I can get over the not wanting to see Vincent Gallo, I'll see "Tetro". Why oh why couldn't he have had Matt Dillon for the role as he originally wanted?

OtherRobert said...

Off the top of my head:

Kinji Fukasaka: Eligible Films: 1; Masterpieces: 1: Battle Royale (2000). Kinji Fukasaka passed away on the set of the sequel to Battle Royale, preventing him from seeing his vision through on the aimless sequel. The original, however, is a masterpiece of dark comedy, great acting, and strong style. What Fukasaka pulled out of a cast of children and teenagers is nothing short of breathtaking.

The Pang Brothers: Eligible Films: 9; Masterpieces: 1: The Eye (Gin Gwai) (2002): Imagine, if you will, a horror film that derives almost its entire existence from an ardent love and appreciation of the genre, blends it together, and produces something new, bold, beautiful, intelligent, and inventive. That is what Danny and Oxide Pang managed with The Eye. Though they have other solid films in the decade (The Eye 2, Re-Cycle), nothing has come close to the perfect storm of The Eye. What the American production team did to this beautiful film is inexcusable, as any semblance of subtlety, practical effects, and storytelling through color was thrown out the window in favor of in your face CGI scares. A must-see film for horror fans, actress-sexuals, and cinematography lovers.

Jorge Rodrigues said...

What about Alejandro Innaritu?

Amores Perros (great film)
21 Grams (very good film)
Babel (good film)

Glenn said...

For me it would be between Gus Van Sant and Lars Von Trier. Plenty of directors made some stunning movies but take so long between pictures that they only got 2 made in 10 years (Lynch, Lawrence, Coppola etc) so it's hard to call them the director of the decade.

Jason H. said...

I agree with a lot of these, especially Alfonso Curon and Christopher Nolan, but another one worth mentioning is Guillermo del Toro. Like Tim Burton, his films take on a gothic surreality, but del Toro's creations are more horrific, less a fever dream and more like a bizarre nightmare. And he layers his stories with humanity, in spite of (or because?) of all the horror. His masterpiece, of course, would be Pan's Labyrinth.

MarcoV said...

1. Tim Burton - The Corpse Bride, Sweeney Todd, Big Fish ...

2. Quentin Tarantino - Kill Bill 1&2, Death Proof, Inglorious Basterds.

3. Peter Jackson - LOTR 1,2,3, King Kong, The Loveley Bones

4. Ladies' Tie: Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation/Marie Antoinette) and Julie Taymor (Frida, Across the Universe)

filmgeek said...

Coen Bros, Almodovar, Fincher, Nolan and Gondry (I'm being greedy)

Anonymous said...

The following directors have been incredible and important during the past decade

Alejandro Innaritu
Alfonso Cuaron
Pedro Almodovar
PT Anderson
Christopher Nolan

Caden said...

Going out on a limb: Gregg Araki. Mostly for Nowhere, though even his stuff that is bad has something to say/show.

Sawyer said...

Top 10

10. P.T. Anderson
9. Clint Eastwood
8. Judd Apatow
7. Wes Anderson
6. Brad Bird
5. Steven Spielberg
4. Marty Scorsese
3. Lars von Trier
2. Peter Jackson
1. Christopher Nolan

kkk said...

hal hartley. great director.