Showing posts with label Top 10 List. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Top 10 List. Show all posts

June 18, 2012

The Ten Best Directors of All Time Relay Race


After participating in the Best Actor and Best Actress relay races, I was ready to take a breather from making the tough decisions about the film greats. However, I've been tasked once again this week to give my input into another subject, the best directors of all time. Bill Thompson from Bill's Movie Emporium has passed the baton to me to continue making the difficult choices. I think this might be even more challenging than the other lists.

Nostra from My Film Views provided these original rules for this relay race back at the start:

“So what’s the idea behind the relay? I’ve created a list of what I think are the ten best directors. At the end of the post I, just like in a real relay race, hand over the baton to another blogger who will write his own post. This blogger will have to remove one director (that is an obligation) and add his own choice and describe why he/she did this. At the end the blogger chooses another blogger to do the same. We will end up with a list (not ranked in order) which represents a common agreement of the best directors. If you are following the relay race it is also a great way to be introduced to new blogs!”

Here are the entries from the other participants so far:

My Film Views (The originator of the list, and the ten that he began with were: Alfred Hitchcock, Quentin Tarantino, Stanley Kubrick, Steven Spielberg, Hayao Miyazaki, Darren Aronofsky, Martin Scorsese, The Coen Brothers, Akira Kurosawa, and Christopher Nolan)
Southern Vision (Replaced Christopher Nolan with Krzysztof Kieslowski)
And So It Begins… (Replaced Darren Aronofsky with Ingmar Bergman)
Surrender To The Void (Replaced Steven Spielberg with Lars Von Trier)
Cinematic Paradox (Replaced Lars Von Trier with Paul Thomas Anderson)
Defiant Success (Replaced Krzysztof Kieslowski with Sidney Lumet)
“…Let’s Be Splendid About This…” (Replaced Quentin Tarantino with Abbas Kiarostami)
1001Plus (Replaced Paul Thomas Anderson with Billy Wilder)
Cinema Sights (Replaced Billy Wilder with F.W. Murnau)
Bill's Movie Emporium (Replaced Martin Scorsese with Werner Herzog)

Here is the current list of 10 directors that arrived on my doorstep:


Alfred Hitchcock


Stanley Kubrick


Hayao Miyazaki


Werner Herzog


The Coen Brothers


Akira Kurosawa


Ingmar Bergman


Sidney Lumet


Abbas Kiarostami


F.W. Murnau


My Removal
Once again, I'm sticking with my approach to avoid removing directors if I'm not as familiar with their work. The prime example for me is Abbas Kiarostami, who is a blind spot for me. I did see Certified Copy last year, but that is the only film that I've caught from his career. It isn't fair to remove him for that reason, so Kiarostami is safe. Most of the others deserve their spots because of their unique approaches to cinema. The one exception for me is Sidney Lumet, who's directed plenty of impressive movies. While he's a very good filmmaker, I don't consider him one of the all-time greats. Dog Day Afternoon, Serpico, and others are excellent, but they don't bear a signature style. Lumet is a talented craftsman and deserves the acclaim, but he's the odd man out from this group of remarkable directors.


My Addition
This current list includes an impressive group of international directors, but it's missing one of the legendary artists from right here in the States. John Ford shot more than 140 films during his 50-year career and left an indelible stamp on this medium. He's known for classic Westerns like Stagecoach, My Darling Clementine, The Searchers, and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence, but he also succeeded in other genres. The Grapes of Wrath and The Quiet Man are just a few examples of other films that earned great acclaim from audiences and critics. Ford began his career in the silent era and built a reputation of being efficient, which explains the crazy amount of movies from his career. He was extremely influential on the filmmakers that followed, including some that occupy this list. For example, Orson Welles claimed to have watched Stagecoach repeatedly to prepare for Citizen Kane. Ford has a signature style that makes him one of the all-time greats and a definitive choice.

Who's Next?
I'm passing the baton to Eric from The Warning Sign, who'll make the next difficult choice from the many unlisted directors in this ongoing relay race. Take it away, Eric!

June 7, 2012

The Ten Best All-Time Actors Relay Race


The great Steve Honeywell from 1001 Plus has graciously invited me to join this series which looks at the best actors of all time. It functions like a relay race where each participant viciously cuts an earlier choice and then adds a worthy contender to the list. Amazingly, I will be the 30th person to contribute to this excellent list of actors. Many talented individuals have joined and left this group, and the current roster contains a remarkable group of all-time greats. Deciding which guy to cut is going to be torturous.

Here are the entries from the other participants so far:

My Film Views (created the original list: Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Daniel Day-Lewis, Samuel L. Jackson, Charlie Chaplin, Gary Oldman, Anthony Hopkins, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall)
The Focused Filmographer (Removed Hopkins, added Christian Bale)
Front Room Cinema (Removed Pacino, added Paul Giammati)
I Love That Film (Removed Jackson, added Edward Norton)
Flixchatter (Removed Giammati, added Gregory Peck)
All Eyes on Screen (Removed Norton, added Tom Hanks)
Time Well Spent (Removed Hoffman, added Leonardo DiCaprio)
The Warning Sign (Removed Hanks, added Paul Newman)
Movies and Songs 365 (Removed Duvall, re-added Anthony Hopkins)
And So It Begins (Removed DiCaprio, added Max von Sydow)
Cinematic Corner (Removed Bale, added Ralph Fiennes)
The Film Emporium (Re-removed Hopkins, added Jack Nicholson)
Duke & the Movies (Removed Oldman, added Humphrey Bogart)
Southern Vision (Removed Fiennes, added Harry Dean Stanton)
Defiant Success (Removed Stanton, added Jack Lemmon)
Cinematic Paradox (Removed von Sydow, re-added Ralph Fiennes)
Encore's World of TV & Film (Removed Peck, added Richard Burton)
Okinawa Assault (Removed Lemmon, added Bruce Greenwood)
Amiresque (Removed Greenwood, added Peter Sellers)
Flickers (Removed Chaplin, added Jeff Bridges)
Aziza's Picks (Removed Sellers, re-added Gary Oldman)
...let's be splendid about this... (Removed Burton, added James Stewart)
Being Norma Jeane (Removed Bridges, added Johnny Depp)
U, Me, and Films (Re-removed Fiennes, re-added Tom Hanks)
Eternity of Dream (Re-removed Hanks, re-added Leonardo DiCaprio)
Lime Reviews and Strawberry Confessions (Re-removed Oldman, added Amitabh Bachchan)
Surrender to the Void (Removed Bachchan, added Gene Hackman)
Taste of Cinema (Removed Depp, added Marcello Mastroianni)

Nostra provided these original rules for this relay race way back at the start:

"I’ve created a list of what I think are the best actors. At the end of the post I, just like in a real relay race, hand over the baton to another blogger who will write his own post. This blogger will have to remove one actor (that is an obligation) and add his own choice and describe why he/she did this. At the end the blogger chooses another blogger to do the same. The idea is to make this a long race, so that enough bloggers get a chance to remove and add an actor. We will end up with a list (not ranked in order) which represents a common agreement of the best actors. It will also mean that those who follow this relay race will get to know new blogs as well!"

Here is the current list of 10 actors that arrived on my doorstep:


Humphrey Bogart


Daniel Day-Lewis


Robert De Niro


Leonardo DiCaprio


Gene Hackman


Marcello Mastroianni


Paul Newman


Jack Nicholson


James Stewart


Cary Grant


My Removal
Considering this remarkable list of talented actors, there were only a few possibilities for a removal. I'm not as familiar with Marcello Mastroianni, so he was an option. I've only seen two of his films (8 1/2 and La Dolce Vita), but that doesn't feel like a fair reason for removing him. There are actors like Jack Nicholson and Robert De Niro who have delivered forgettable performances in recent years, but their overall output is too strong to give them the boot. This leaves Leonardo DiCaprio, who I've enjoyed in most of his roles. However, he's the only guy that doesn't quickly come to mind when I think of the best actors of all time. DiCaprio may be one of the major talents of this generation, but he falls a bit short when looking at film history on the whole. Goodbye, Leo. I have a feeling you may return soon.


My Addition
Although this group includes legendary actors from older films (Stewart and Grant), it neglects the silent era. There are two undeniable artists that deserve to make this list, Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin. Both have their own skills and crafted amazing movies, but I'm giving the slight edge to Chaplin and putting him back in there. This doesn't mean he has superior skills and relates more to his long-term impact on the medium. His genius expanded the possibilities of silent comedies during a remarkable run. City Lights is one of my favorite movies, and Modern Times and The Gold Rush are close behind. These films remain in the pop-culture consciousness, which is remarkable given the amount of time that has passed. Chaplin is an original who deserves a place in any list of the best actors of all time.

Who's Next?
I'm passing the torch into the capable hands of Max from Impassionedcinema, who provides movie news and excellent reviews on his well-designed site. Take it away, Max!