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?

5 thoughts on “My Favorite Director

  1. 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.

  2. 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.”

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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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