My Favorite Director

Hi students! One of your first assignments is to write about your favorite director. The following is a comment on mine. Notice that I’ve been specific about what I like, I’ve provided titles for films, and dates. You might need to research a bit before you write. The Internet Movie Database http://www.imdb.com is an excellent source of information. Your comment should be about the length of mine to be able to get the full 25 points.

Four years ago, Martin Scorcese, one of the greatest American film directors, finally received an Oscar for The Departed. He had waited patiently and graciously for the Academy to recognize his life-long achievements as a director.  I do accept that The Aviator and Gangs of New York were not his best films, but they were very well-made and well-acted. Clint Eastwood , who received the Oscar for Million Dollar Baby the year The Aviator lost, had already received an Oscar for directing. Though Million Dollar Baby is an excellent film, the movie is full of clichés and not very original. Eastwood, much like Robert Redford, makes interesting low-budget films-but not films that will last forever.

Scorcese’s body of work is much more engaging and varied. His films are studied at colleges and universities all over the world, but the Academy had failed to acknowledge his talent. I guess they were waiting to give him a Life Achievement Award, after all Scorcese is sixty-five. His best work, in my opinion, is Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas, and Casino, and of course The Departed. These films span almost four decades of significant films that have impacted and enriched our lives. My favorite film, however, was not critically acclaimed in any way. But, it’s a film that I love and have watched many, many times- The Age of Innocence (1993). Because it is a period piece, very different from the topics Scorcese usually works with, it wasn’t well received. This film, based on the novel of the same name by Edith Wharton-one of my favorite authors, recreates the Gilded Age wonderfully. The main characters played by Michelle Pfeiffer, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Winona Ryder are outstanding. This, of course, is not an action film-and there are no gangsters around. Nevertheless, it’s a thoroughly enjoyable film for those who enjoy classic tales of love. Scorcese also made a film in 1988 about the life of Christ, The Last Temptation of Christ, which was panned-basically because this Jesus got married to Mary Magdelene. This is one movie I disliked-not because of Jesus and Mary Magdalene-but because it seemed artificial and contrived.

In 2005 Scorcese was awarded the French Legion of Honor for his contribution to cinema and in 2007 he was honored by the Kennedy Center. So, after The Departed, the Academy HAD to award him the best director Oscar-one he has deserved for a long long time. So who’s your favorite director?

10 thoughts on “My Favorite Director

  1. Christopher Edward Nolan was born on July 30, 1970 and is an English American film director, screen writer and producer. He is also one of the highest-grossing directors in history and among the successful and acclaimed filmmakers of the 21st century. He gained considerable attention for his second film memento for which he received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. He has also won many different Awards for Best Film Director, Best Film, Movie of the Year, Best Motion Picture Screenplay, etc.

    I really like the style that Christopher Nolan uses in his films. He uses urban settings for his movie and nicely dressed men; he also uses muted color and dialogue scenes framed in wide-close-up with a shallow depth of field, because his films are heavily influenced on film noir. Nolan favors deep, evocative shadows, documentary style lighting, natural setting and real filming locations over studio work. He has continuously experimented with met fictive elements, temporal shifts, elliptical cutting, solipsistic perspective, nonlinear storytelling, labyrinthine plots and the merging of style and form. Nolan uses narrative and stylistic technique to stimulate the viewer to ask themselves why his films are put together in such ways and why the films provoke particular responses.

    He directed one of my favorite movies which was Interstellar a 2014 British American epic science fiction film directed, co-written and co-produced by Christopher Nolan. Set in a dystonia future where humanity is struggling to survive, it follows a group of astronauts who travel through a worm-hole in search of a new home for humanity. The movie was influenced by the “key touchstones” of science fiction cinema: Metropolis, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Blade Runner. Nolan compared Interstellar to The Treasure of the Sierra Madre a film about human nature. He also sought to emulate films like Steven Spielberg’s Jaws. The setting of the farm in the Midwest was inspired by Clark Kent’s upbringing in Man of Steel.

  2. WES ANDERSON

    I am a fond lover of movies that are always geometric and have symmetry in every frame shot. That is why I love Wes Anderson’s movies. He is known for Moonrise Kingdom (2012) , Rushmore (1998), Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009), and The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014). His films are known for their distinctive visual and narrative style. They are quirky and something about them are eye-catching. Features many precisely centered, straight-on shots. The colors he uses are inclined to the yellows, greens, and blues. He likes to shoot with extremely wide-angle anamorphic lenses that exhibit considerable barrel distortion. In other words, his trademarks are the balance and colors of the frames.

    Wesley Anderson was born in Texas in 1969. His mother, Texas Ann Burroughs was an archaeologist turned real estate agent, and his father, Melver Leonard Anderson, worked in advertising and Public Relations. Unfortunately, his parents got divorced which resulted crucial to his childhood along with his brothers. During childhood, Anderson also began writing plays and making super-8 movies. He was educated at Westchester High School and then St. John’s, a private prep school in Houston, Texas, which was later to prove an inspiration for the film Rushmore (1998).

    In University of Texas, Anderson studied philosophy. It was in that university where he met Owen Wilson.They became friends and began making short films, some of which aired on a local cable-access station. One of their shorts was Bottle Rocket(1994), which starred Owen and his brother Luke Wilson. The short was screened at the Sundance Film Festival, where it was successfully received, so much so that they received funding to make a feature-length version. Bottle Rocket (1996) was not a commercial hit, but it gained a cult audience and high-profile fans, which included Martin Scorsese.

    Anderson was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for The Royal Tenenbaums in 2001, Moonrise Kingdom in 2012 and The Grand Budapest Hotel in 2014, as well as the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature for Fantastic Mr. Fox in 2009. He received his first Academy Award nomination for Best Director and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy for The Grand Budapest Hotel in 2014. He also received the BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay in 2015. Anderson is regarded by many as a modern-day example of the auteur. One who is known for his style and work in his movies. It is so unique that it is impossible to not know which movie is Anderson’s.

  3. The most commercially successful filmmaker in Hollywood history, Steven Spielberg was born December 18, 1946, in Cincinnati, OH. A lifelong cinema buff, he began directing his first short movies while still a child, later studying film at California State University and winning notice for his 1969 short feature Amblin. He first made his mark in television, directing Joan Crawford in the pilot for Rod Serling’s Night Gallery and working on episodes of Columbo and Marcus Welby, M.D. Spielberg’s first feature-length effort, 1971’s Duel, a taut thriller starring Dennis Weaver, was widely acclaimed as one of the best movies ever made for television. Spielberg permanently graduated to feature films with 1974’s The Sugarland Express, but it was his next effort, Jaws, which truly cemented his reputation as a rising star. The most successful film of 1975, this tale of a man-eating Great White shark was widely recognized as the picture which established the summer months as the film industry’s most lucrative period of the year, heralding a move toward big-budget blockbusters which culminated two years later with his friend George Lucas’ Star Wars. He is a very wonderful movie director. He has done many amazing movies like E.T, Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, Jaws and many more. He has been one of my favorite directors since, he has directed so many wonderful movies. Spielberg’s masterful use of the long take is one of the things that make him so great. While most directors would use the long take as a way to teleport the viewer into another world and show off their skills, Spielberg tries to use the trick as invisibly as possible. That way, when you’re watching the movie you don’t even realize it’s happening to you until it’s too late. In conclusion, Steven Spielberg is one of the best living directors who is still very active and making some really nice movies at this age. It’s commendable and goes to show the kind of passion he has for cinema.

  4. I first stumbled upon Jordan Peele, after watching some videos of the show Key and Peele on Comedy Central. His humor and his way of transforming into any type of character completely amazed me. Besides being an outstanding actor, Peele also recently made his debut as the writer and director of the film Get Out.

    The movie follows the story of a young black man named Chris, who goes to visit the parents of his girlfriend, Rose. After arriving there, a series of crazy situations start happening and Chris quickly realizes he is not welcomed there. Peele did a magnificent job directing this movie, being the first black writer-director to have a $100 million debut, including a 99% on the Tomatometer. The horror film talked about an important issue that the black community still faces to this day, racism. But the most amazing thing is that never in the story the word “racism” is mentioned, Peele leaves it to the audience to go into that conclusion and analyze the situation thoroughly. His way of writing and directing the film was simply spectacular, he created the exact reaction he wanted from the audience. The day I went to watch the film, everyone on the room was screaming saying stuff like “NO GET OUT!!” or “OHHHHHH!!” by the end everyone stood up happily with the outcome. The experience of watching Get Out is something I will always cherish, after leaving the cinema I was speechless, it was magical.

    As shown above, Jordan Peele did fantastic for his director debut. For the future, I would love to see more humor, as it is his specialty. I would also love for him, to explore more the horror genre, and who knows maybe make a Get Out 2. I really hope to see more of Jordan Peele’s creativeness and intricate writing.

  5. Many of my favorite films are directed by Tim Burton. I really admire his work and love the spooky vibes I get from watching his films. One of the best films he’s ever made in my opinion is Beetlejuice (1988) I watched that film many times as a kid and always found it completely astonishing. He was one of the reasons that inspired me to pursue a career in acting after I watched Alice in Wonderland in 2010. I remember going to the movie theater and leaving really excited and then watching it about a million times, I honestly lost count of how many times I watched that film. One thing of course is very noticeable, he has worked with Johnny Depp many times as well with Helena Bonham and many will think that’s repetitive but to be quite honest, I couldn’t imagine any other actors playing their roles and I think they make magic when the three of them work together. For example Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007) is an amazing musical made by Burton with Depp and Bonham and it was definitely worth watching. Tim Burton has been nominated for many awards throughout the years for example: Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement in 2007, Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation in 1991 for Edward Sccisorhands (1990) and many others.

    Of course two of his most iconic animated films are The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) and The Corpse Bride in (2005) both very popular and known by many people. What amazes me is that he is not only a director, he is also a writer. He wrote The Nightmare Before Christmas in 1982 after the success of Vincent in the same year. This movie was nominated for the Academy Award For Best Visual Effects. It wouldn’t really be a Tim Burton film without the music of Danny Elfman and I think it’s delightful that they have been working together for so many years.

    Sleepy Hollow (1999) is definitely one of his films that I greatly enjoyed but not many people seemed to, it got a 67% by the Rotten Tomatoes. There is a high probability that you at least have watched one of his films, if not where have you been all these years? I’m really excited for his future films. The thing about Tim Burton is that you always feel like it’s Halloween, watching most of his films. His quote “one person’s craziness is another person’s reality.” is very accurate and we can see how he expresses himself in his films. The film industry is very lucky to have Burton still working and creating and he definitely is one of the best directors out there.

  6. Garry Marshall

    I can say that Garry Marshall has been of the best american actors, directors, producers, writers, voice artists, and comedians of all time. He produced some of the most popular television shows when he moved to Los Angeles in the 1970s, including The Odd Couple, Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley and Mork and Mindy which I loved that tv sitcom, played by Robin Williams, RIP. He also directed over 18 films including Pretty Woman (1990) and The Princess Diaries (2001), excellent movies.

    His father Anthony Masciarelli, an industrial filmmaker, changed the family name to Marshall. His mother, Majorie Ward, was a dance teacher whose wit would influence Marshall’s comedy later in life. Marshall began his career in comedy writing jokes for comedians. He reached the height of his career as a television producer during the 1970s. He also turned his talents toward the big screen, directing 18 films over the course of his career. In front of the camera, Marshall also acted in films and television shows. Marshall also had a passion for theater and brought his talents to the stage in the 80’s, 90’s and 00’s. Unfortunatly, Marshall died from complications following a stroke on July 19, 2016 in a Burbank hospital. He was 81. “He left an unfillable hole in the fabric of entertainment because he did everything so effortlessly. He taught you. He directed you. He solved the problems for you. He was loyal. He was your friend. He was like my surrogate dad. He was there no matter what, no matter when for you”, said Henry Winkler who has had a long and storied career, but it began with Garry Marshall calming his nerves when he auditioned against a who’s who of Hollywood names for what would become his breakout role, Fonzie on Happy Days.

    Everyone has shared so many great stories of their time with him. John Stamos wrote a great essay about how Garry was there for him when his mother passed away and gave him advice to get a catch phrase after he was cast in Full House. Emotionally and creatively, people say it was a joy to be in his presence.

  7. I liked many directors, but it wasn’t till I watched Pulp Fiction that I fell in love with Quentin Tarentinos work. He broke many barriers in the movie industry and is now one of the best directors. Quentin Tarantino is an American director, producer, screenwriter and actor, who, as of 2015, has directed eleven films and written all of them. He began his career in the late 1980s by directing, writing and starring in My Best Friend’s Birthday, a partially lost amateur short film which was never officially released. He impersonated musician Elvis Presley in a small role in the sitcom The Golden Girls, and briefly appeared in Eddie Presley. As an independent filmmaker, he directed, wrote and appeared in the crime thriller Reservoir Dogs. It proved to be Tarantino’s breakthrough film and was named the “Greatest Independent Film of all Time” by Empire.
    In 1994, Tarantino wrote and directed the neo-noir black comedy Pulp Fiction, a major critical and commercial success. Cited in the media as a defining film of the modern Hollywood, the film earned Tarantino an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and a Best Director nomination.
    Tarantino’s direction of “Grave Danger”, a CSI: Crime Scene Investigation episode, garnered him a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series nomination. He directed a scene in Frank Miller and Rodriguez’s Sin City. Tarantino and Rodriguez later collaborated in the double feature Grindhouse. He next penned and directed the war film Inglourious Basterds. A fictionalized account of the Nazi occupation of France during World War II. The critically and commercially successful film earned Tarantino two nominations at the 82nd Academy Awards, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. His greatest commercial success came with the 2012 western film Django Unchained, earning $425.4 million worldwide; it also won him another Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. He then wrote and directed another commercially successful western film The Hateful Eight.
    He is one of my favorite directors and I hope he keeps making these amazing movies, like he said; “When I’m doing a movie, I’m not doing anything else. It’s all about the movie. I don’t have a wife. I don’t have a kid. Nothing can get in my way… I’ve made a choice, so far, to go on this road alone. Because this is my time. This is my time to make movies.”

  8. Francisco Leon Barrios is known in the movie industry as Paco Leon was born October 4th in 1974 in Sevilla, Spain. He is not a Hollywood director and that is what makes him unique through my eyes. Mrs. Leon has been able to outreach his directed films audience target internationally.
    His aspirations were always to be in the industry; therefore he started by being part of local plays. After that he landed the roles in a low budget TV film named “Castillos En El Aire” (1999) y “Asalto Informatico” (2001). His big break as a director and producer started after he directed the TV series “Homo Zapping”, a comic satire about trending event occurring in between 2003 and 2007. In addition to the success he was getting in the small screen, he became an unexpected guest in the TV series “7 vidas” that lead him to later be the lead star and protagonist of the famous TV series “Aída” (2005-2014). Once again his name kept on rising, and was the must have comedy stars.

    In 2006, the television show named “Ácaros” was directed by Paco León and is known as the artistic scenery that leads him to direct movies. In 2012 he debuted as a movie director to the film “Carmina o Revienta”. This was a huge deal because it was inspired in his autobiography; he also got a chance to work with his mother whom played the lead character Carmina. Gratefully this film got a part two in 2014 known as “Carmina y Amén”. León’s latest and recent work was in 2016 directing the film “Kiki, el Amor Se Hace”. That same year he directed “Embarazados” featuring Alexandra Jiménez.

    The comedy genre has always been my favorite; the uniqueness of creating fictional moments and encouraging the audience to find happiness in every moment is amazing. Paco as a director has a way of making awkward feel normal. He is a rising director and I had the opportunity to meet him when he came to Puerto Rico two years ago, promoting his movies and talent and I was truly impressed because he always had a positive attitude towards life and his work. He is really centered and confident in what he does. I know that Hollywood is the ultimate goal in a directors life that’s why his diversity and public outreach may get him their.

  9. James Wan is an Australian film director, screenwriter, and producer of Malaysian Chinese descent. He is well known for his horror films such a Saw (2004), Dead Silence (2007), Death Sentence (2007), Insidious (2010), The Conjuring (2013) and Furious 7 (2015). Before his big hit that was the film Saw he was in the mainstream film industry and after that he began to work with the movie Saw and with that he began to grow as a film director. With some research done the movie Saw earned “55 million dollars in America, 48 million dollars in other countries, totaling over US$103 million worldwide” Even though a lot of people think that he is a great film director, sadly he has only won one award “Pegasus Audience Award” again for the movie Saw. He puts a lot of different elements on his films and he is always well aware of what he, the staff and characters does, that way he can improve more his work.

    Most of his films leave the audience on the edge of their sit, and its because he makes his films focus on human fears something that it’s really important, that’s how the audience get sumerge into the movie, such as being trapped and torture -Saw-, the paranormal -The Conjuring- having a family member ill -Insidious-, the fear of dolls -Dead Silence- He also makes sure that he put characters in the films that the audience care about, not all the movies do that, most of the movies have characters that aren’t really that important and people careless for them, but in his case its different, for example Ed and Lorraine Warren from the movies The Conjuring, two characters that are very important along with the others characters on the film. Sadly James Wan is going to be away from the horror genre to focus on his new film Aquaman (2018), and hopefully that movie is as good or better than his other films.

  10. Timothy Walter Burton, one of the most famous and creative directors of our time, known for his unique cartoons and some of the most imaginative stories. His movies travel all around the world and known from all ages. He spent all of his childhood drawing cartoons and watching old movies, in the 9th grade his artistic skills where recognized by a local garbage company when he won a prize for a poster he designed. His poster was in all the garbage trucks that year. He then graduated and went on to college to study art, having his first job as an animator for Disney. His most popular movies are known as “Beetlejuice” a classic childhood movie, “Edward Scissorhands” which was done right after doing “Beetlejuice” and gained the same success. Winona Ryder and Johnny Depp the two stars of this film made it even a bigger success, the two bringing an incredible performance together making it and equal love story. Burton is also known for “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” made in 2005 also making a huge success in the film industry and even making it a must read for many children in elementary school.

    Burton’s films often have a Gothic feel to them, sometimes including a Christmas or Halloween scenes, like shown in the movie “Corpse Bride” and “The Nightmare Before Christmas” which are both animation films and frequently show dead or dismembered dogs, one of his trade marks. He often likes to open his films with a quiet nighttime snowfall and with a personal version of the studio’s logo. Burton has won many awards for his amazing talent, going his whole life making the most creative films in history. He was nominated for 2 Oscars, has had 20 awards including Best Animated Film, Best Director-Motion Picture with another 63 nominations. Burton’s films will be passed down from generation to generation making each year more and more fans, his a director that will never be forgotten in the Film Industry.

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