Time for our second film reel to be loaded on the projector, as we continue our probe into the Best Film Directors and Their Movies. You will see that this second edition is just as exciting as the first.
In Part One we looked upon some of the groundbreaking directors that have ever made films, together with some of their best works. And we continue our study with two of the best contemporary directors around today, the Coen brothers.
Joel and Ethan Coen
Joel and Ethan Coen are two of the most prolific and talented directors that have ever worked in film. Every movie they make, the characters are fascinating and larger than life itself. Although some of the subject matter may be somewhat grim, there is always a comic thread somewhere in the plot.
Somebody once said that even the Coen brothers worst movies are not that bad! This is perfectly true, and highlights just how good these two guys actually are. Some of their movies are now actually termed as Classics, and the following films exemplify this: Raising Arizona, Fargo, Blood Simple, No Country for Old Men, The Big Lebowski, and Millers Crossing.
No blog talking about influential film directors would be complete without mentioning George Lucas. Lucas is an incredibly talented director but is not afraid to be on the cutting edge of technology. When his first Star Wars film hit the cinemas the world had never seen anything like it. It was the first mega blockbuster that simply blew all other Sci-Fi films out of the galaxy. Cinema goers were actually fans of the characters and Star Wars conventions popped up all over the world. Although Lucas did make other popular films such as, American Graffiti and THX 1138, it is Star Wars he will be best remembered for. The first Star Wars was released in 1977 and there are still being made episodes in 2017, forty years later.
Tarantino was responsible for putting the glamour in violence, and he did not hold back. Still his films are some of the best selling films ever at the Box-Office. His calculated way of adding black humor and bizarre story lines seems to deflect the impact on the blood and guts being spilled all over the screen. Reservoir Dogs is a perfect example of this, from the minute the film starts to its bloody conclusion, graphic close-up violence fills the cinema screen. But still somehow this is tempered with ludicrous antics and conversation from the characters. This is achieved by his brilliant directing and far fetched storylines. The cast is selected carefully, and there is definitely a Quentin Tarantino type of actor. Character actors such as: Samuel l Jackson, Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Christoph Waltz and Steve Buscemi have all starred in his movies. Top movies directed by Tarantino have been: Kill Bill, Reservoir Dogs, Django Unchained, Inglourious Basterds, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, and Death Proof.
If you were a film producer and wanted a sure fire hit for your next movie, then you would probably turn to Ridley Scott to direct it. And any movie lover who is keen on action, action, action, they have probably seen every one of Ridley Scott’s movies. His first commercial breakthrough was in 1979 with Alien, and it was one of the greatest Sci-Fi suspense films ever. Next was the cult science fiction film Blade Runner that was lapped up by movie goers. Sci-Fi was not the only genre this English director could make, Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven, Robin Hood were all epic historical films. Whilst more gentle, almost comedic stories also came through the Scott production lines, such as Thelma and Louise, A Good Year and G.I. Jane.
Billy Wilder has won more Awards and Oscars than almost any other director. Wilder had originally planned to be a lawyer then started a career as a journalist and reporter for a Viennese newspaper. His first job in film was as a screenwriter, but he is best known for his directing.
He is known as a brilliant and highly versatile director, and is one of the few directors that helped Hollywood achieve its Golden Age. His first success as a director was in 1944 with Double Indemnity and a year later he was awarded Best Director for The Lost Weekend. For the next decade Wilder mostly made classic comedies, such as The Seven Year Itch and Some Like it Hot both starring Marilyn Monroe. In 1986 Wilder was awarded the Life Achievement Award from the American Film Institute. This award was thoroughly deserved, as he is still fondly thought of as one of Hollywood’s greatest ever directors.
Without doubt these greats of cinema have between them directed some of the best movies ever made. They have bought uncountable hours of pleasure to me and to cinema goers all over the planet, and their work is left as their legacy. A legacy of brilliance and talent, that has been richly reward with numerous awards.