Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Listless Lists

While reading one of my daily web sites,, I saw a link to the Greatest Directors Ever. I couldn't pass that up. And it just so happens that it may have been the most infuriating list I've ever read. I'm still agog. In the 51-100 section alone, I saw at least 12 directors who should have been in the top 5. (Ba dum ching!) Seriously, did I really see Paul Verhoeven ahead of George Lucas? I don't care how much anyone hated Jar Jar Binks, American Graffiti by itself is better than anything Verhoven has ever made, and Black Book by itself qualifies Verhoeven for the Top 10 Worst Directors of Time and All Eternity.

The safe thing to do when putting together a list like this is to fill the top with dead directors and European directors and especially dead European directors, so I suppose the dimwits who made this list should be given credit for ranking comtemporary American directors highly. But aren't they going a step too far in putting Peter Jackson and David Fincher in the top 10? When I saw that, I did a double-take -- that's right, I closed my eyes, bobbled my head, and then looked with moon eyes at the screen. Are we talking about the same David Fincher -- Fight Club, Se7en, and a few Madonna videos -- that David Fincher? He's ahead of contempories like Joel Coen, Quentin Tarantino, and Paul Thomas Anderson, not to mention David Lean, Robert Altman, and Woody Allen? Wow. On the same list that has Fincher in the top 10, how could they think about putting Fran├žois Truffaut at number 44, Krzysztof Kieslowski (3 Colours, Dekalog) at number 47, Fellini at 67 (!), Almodovar at 68, and Milos Forman (Cuckoo's Nest, Amadeus) at 75?

I may have to get the Top 5 staff back together.


  1. lighten up francis. you're playing right into their hands.

  2. Here's the thing, Bob. You always pretend to not be that into indie/arthouse films, especially when we're trying to do the rare movie date thing. And yet, you're going on about directors I don't even remember as if they are intimate creative friends. I'd say Robert wrote this post, if I didn't know better. And I don't. So I'm calling your bluff. Bob did not write this list. Robert, from whom we just "borrowed" a shitload of cool fims, wrote this list. And I don't want to hear anymore lip the next time I suggest a film that only shows at Seven Gables. Or downtown. That'll teach you to pretend to be Robert, my true film loving buddy.

  3. Peter Jackson? Please. I snoozed through the unending melodrama that was LOTR. His cinematographer gets in the top ten, maybe, but not his boring ass.

  4. Terrence Malick and Werner Herzog are completely missing from the list, facts which nullify all results, in my opinion. You'd better call up the staff, my friend. You've got work to do.

  5. Oops...I was digging in the wrong place. Turns out the list is completely accurate. ;)

  6. I agree, bob did not write this post. Whenever I read these types of rants, regardless of their location on the internet or newspapers, I always suspect dug. When the rant appears on one of dug's friend's blogs, well, there's no doubt in my mind.

    As for me, the only movies i'm interested in are the ones with chickabawa music in the background, and i'm usually only interested in those for about 2 minutes. Thus, my favorite directors tend not to use their real names.

  7. After reading the comments, I'm curious now, too. Who did write this? You may think I have little basis for an opinion, but I've been a fan of all 3 candidates for a while now, and feel I've picked up a few nuances in their blogging tastes.

    Botched is right that it does have a dug-like rant feel to it. I also noticed that dug's comment came almost the instant the entry was posted. (Maybe there's a little of "who smelt it, dealt it" going on there.) He's also the master of popular references.

    But then Wendy makes an excellent point, too. Robert is a bona fide movie fan. And don't think we didn't notice the Woody Allen reference.

    I may have to go with Bob as the author, though. Maybe this was an attempt to show us all that his movie deficiencies are not so big after all. And I truly believe that he's got it in for The Black Book.

  8. i am flattered to even be mentioned in the same comment thread as bob, but i have to say, i have never in my life used the phrase "moon eyes."

    also, despite my better (debatable) judgement, i am a huge peter jackson fan. have you seen heavenly creatures?