Ten Female Directors To Know

With this week’s news of Nora Ephron’s passing for some reason I found myself rereading my recent post of my Top Ten Directors, which I almost feel ashamed to note is comprised of only male directors. There was one omission that would’ve been an entry into the list, but was not included due to the fact that she has yet to release five theatrical films to her name.

While many a boyfriend and husband may have heard the name Ephron and shuddered heading to the theatre, I on the other hand – for the most part – loved her films and a lot of the ones she wrote as well as those she was able to direct later on. She gave us When Harry Met Sally as well as You’ve Got Mail. I consider those to both be great achievements in the world of the romantic comedy.

So in tribute, of some sort, I’d like to take a moment to highlight some of the – who I consider to be – best female directors working today. I’m sure that I have a lot of gaps in knowledge of female auteurs, but I will try my best:

10. Katheryn Bigelow

She’s one of the most interesting female directors as I believe she’s the only filmmaker a part of my list (and I almost feel one of the few female directors) who makes action movies. With entries such as Point Break and The Hurt Locker she forgoes all of those introspective personal details that make a lot of the other filmmakers on this list so special to me and just knows how to entertain and amaze time to time.

9. Dee Rees

With only one feature film released, Pariah, she pretty much sky rocketed to the top of my must watch list of filmmakers. The film showed not only that she can craft a story but she knows how to use subtlety to its true potential. We don’t need every scene to be a 100% moment, but if we slowly add things up one by one we can eventually get there and have true catharsis.

8. Andrea Arnold

I’ve yet to see Wuthering Heights, but her films of Red Road and Fish Tank remain two of those movies which while I didn’t love I appreciated 100%. I noticed to talent involved and sit back waiting for it all to pay off with her delivering her opus of filmmaking. I don’t know when or how, but she’s going to become one of the greats if she keeps getting interesting films to make.

7. Debra Granik

I fell in love with her instantly after seeing Winter’s Bone and what I’ve seen of Down to the Bone (yes I too wonder if she’ll ever finish her “Bone” trilogy in the making) gives me hope that gritty realistic depressing stories will never go away. Sometimes in life things just don’t work out, and apparently that’s what Debra Granik wants me to get the gist of quickly.

6. Patty Jenkins

Almost there to direct Thor 2, she will always have a nice place in my heart after giving us Monster, the 2003 film that pretty much introduced me to Charlize Theron in a performance that I thought (up until Young Adult) she would never be able to top.

Read The Top Five On The Next Page>>

My Top Ten Directors: Four Years Later

I started this blog in 2008 (I think I’ve said this before). My first post ever was a review of Southland Tales. However, short after I thought a great way to give my readers – all two of you – would be to post a list of my top ten filmmakers (Part 1 & Part 2) at the time. The list was:

  1. Steven Speilberg
  2. Quentin Tarantino
  3. Michel Gondry
  4. Martin Scorsese
  5. Joel & Ethan Coen
  6. Hayao Miyazaki
  7. Spike Lee
  8. Edgar Wright
  9. Christopher Nolan
  10. Mel Brooks

It’s been more than four years since that post was released into the wild which followed with comments and tweets about my obvious lack of exposure to a lot of great filmmakers, which I admit to. To this day I still believe that there are a lot of filmmakers I’m yet to truly delve into. Up until a couple weeks ago I still hadn’t seen a film starring or by Charlie Chaplin. So even whatever I decide to list below will only serve as a tentative “so far” list and no more.

However, before I get to revising this list I want to take a moment to say that it feels really good to be revisiting this part of me. Almost half a year ago I recorded a podcast with my co-hosts discussing out Top Ten Films of All Time, yes I took it seriously and did my best, and already six months after the fact I can probably name a score of films that could probably be in contention for the same list. So when I say that I’m still finding more and more films and filmmakers to love please take this list with enough salt to just see it as insight into my own very quirky love of movies.

Last thing before we get into this list I made a few rules. This time around I refused to include any filmmakers who hasn’t been making films (professionally) for less than a decade and must have at least five credits to his name. So as much as I’d love to talk Rian Johnson and Duncan Jones to death they’re unavailable for this list and will need more work to fully appreciate them. This is for the very same reason why I refuse to discuss the latest summer blockbuster in the context of “is it the best movie ever made” as everyone on the internet tends to go off about.

Just before we go, this list is not ranked in any order other than alphabetical and I will pair the director with my favourite film of his:

  • Alfred Hitchcock: North by Northwest
  • Akira Kurosawa: High & Low
  • Darren Aronofsky: The Fountain
  • David Fincher: Zodiac
  • Martin Scorsese: Raging Bull
  • Paul Thomas Anderson: Magnolia
  • Spike Jonze: Being John Malkovich
  • Steven Spielberg: E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial
  • Steven Soderbergh: Traffic
  • Terrence Malick: Badlands

These are all directors that no matter how questionable, obtuse, or unattractive their upcoming film is I will tack it onto my must watch list because they are all filmmakers that I admire unabashedly.

Who’re your favourite filmmakers of all time?

My Top Ten Directors [Part Two]

So we continue our romp through cinema’s visionaries. Personally this is definitely interesting for me, as I went through a somewhat difficult process to come up with this list. It was especially painful for me to have to decide who was not worthy of the top ten. And even more painful to decide once who was in the top ten, where each director went. I felt like it was too harsh for me to call one of them worse than the other, since not only are each of the members of my top ten amazing directors, but also some are just incomoparable. It is not easy to decide whether a Chris Nolan beats an Edgar Wright or any other huge comparison. Anyways, on to the list.

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My Top Ten Directors [Part One]

Now I know this won’t be as controversial as if I had titled it “The Top Ten Directors of All Time”, because this way I’m able to defend my selection by simply stating preference rather than trying to stand behind some artistic values. And especially for those readers out there who know me will automatically know who my number one is and won’t try to argue with me, because we have already had this argument before and know exactly where it ends… it ends at the lonely dead end of personal preference. And I guess I’m writing this one more for those readers who don’t know me, and since I never really made a proper introduction when I started this site it will give you an idea of my theatrical taste rather than having to read through a dozen movie reviews and seeing if your preference and mine coincide.

So here we go…

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