DUNGEON DIRECTOR PROJECT: My 50 Favourite Directors #50 – #46

Film is a huge part of my life. I can not seem to prevent myself from introducing it into a conversation with everyone I meet. Once in a while I run into someone whose taste in film so violently opposes my own I want to glove slap them. I do try my best to be open-minded and can usually find some common ground. It surprises me a little that so few people I discuss film with know directors by name. The underappreciated director does not generally make the tabloids and I guess in turn doesn’t make many people’s radars. Personally, I am all about the director as I suspect many a cinephile is. I follow director’s work fervently. If I loved one of the director’s films, it is a guarantee I will see another; those who score a hat trick will have a fan for life! So in honour of the director I give you my 50 favourite! I thought for this project I would mix it up a bit, so I will be counting down my 50 Favourite directors from ALL GENRES! I will be posting these lists in groups of five a couple times a week.

My 50 favourite directors #50 – #46

*NOTE: I did not include any made for TV movies in the numbers I used for each director’s full-length feature films.*

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#50. Roy Ward Baker

What I’ve Seen: Inferno (1953), A Night to Remember (1958), Quatermass and the Pit (1967), The Anniversary (1968), The Vampire Lovers (1970), Scars of Dracula (1970), Dr Jekyll & Sister Hyde (1971), Asylum (1972), The Vault of Horror (1973), And Now the Screaming Starts! (1973), The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974), The Monster Club (1981)

British director Roy Ward Baker has a list of 33 feature length films on IMDB. Baker made his last full length feature film, Monster Club in 1981 and directed a number of TV shows before retiring from the industry in 1992. He died at the age of 93 October 5, 2010 in London England. 93!! Holy crap! That is a ripe old age! Baker makes this list thanks to his director status on 3 of my favourite Hammer Studio films Quatermass and the Pit, The Vampire Lovers and Dr Jekyll & Sister Hyde. All three are films to which I gave a perfect score. But just look at that list of films! What great fun! Okay, A Night to Remember can’t really be considered “great fun”.  A Night to Remember is about the Titanic disaster without the cheesy love story; not to mention a solid film. Baker is a superb filmmaker who brought excitement to the screen and knew how to get the best from his cast. There are a number of Baker’s films I have yet to see, although some of the subject matters are not of particular interest to me, there is still room for exploration.

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#49. Carl Theodor Dreyer

What I’ve Seen: Blade of Satans Bog (1921), The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928), Vampyr (1932), Day of Wrath (1943), Master of the House (1925), Gertrud (1964)

Danish director Carl Theodor Dreyer’s made just 14 full length feature films in his career. I have seen 6 of the 14 and gave The Passion of Joan of Arc and Day of Wrath a perfect score and the other four films a 4/5! A pretty bloody impressive track record! Seriously, The Passion of Joan of Arc is one of the best films I have seen. A wrought with emotion character study that must be experienced. All of Dreyer’s films have a certain surreal vibe even those with a fairly straight up narrative. Dreyer died at the age of 79 March 20, 1968. I look forward to checking out the other films on his list, if they are half as good as The Passion of Joan of Arc they will still be very watchable!

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#48. Jean Renoir

What I’ve Seen: La Chienne (1931), Boudu Saved from Drowning (1932), Le crime de Monsieur Lange (1936), La grande illusion (1937), La Bête Humaine (1938), The Rules of the Game (1939)

French director Jean Renoir has 32 full length feature films listed on IMDB. I have seen a miniscule six of these, but bloody hell what a magnificent sextet they are! I must admit, I only seen my first Renoir film 4 years ago. I was picking up a Jean Cocteau DVD from the library and got in a conversation about foreign films with the guy behind the counter. Turns out Renoir is one of his favourite directors and he actually seemed disgusted that I had never seen a film from the director. He insisted I rented The Rules of the Game, claiming it was one of the greatest satires ever made. I don’t usually allow myself to be muscled by men working at the library, but I appreciated his passion. WOW! He wasn’t kidding; The Rules of the Game is simply perfect. I loved all six of Renoir’s flicks! All beautifully filmed, engrossing and character-driven studies of French society and humanity in general. Renoir died February 12, 1979 at the age of 84 and left behind an impressive legacy on celluloid. Clearly I have tons of fertile ground left to sow in Renoir’s field!

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#47. Rainer Werner Fassbinder

What I’ve Seen: Katzelmacher (1969), Why Does Herr R. Run Amok? (1970), The Merchant of Four Seasons (1971), The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (1972), Satan’s Brew (1976), The Marriage of Maria Braun (1979), Lili Marleen (1981)

German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder made 23 full length feature films and a ton of TV movies during his short career. Fassbinder died June 10, 1982 at the age of 37 of an overdose. I’ve read quite a bit about Fassbinder over the years, and he seemed like a pretty complicated guy. The characters in his films seem as conflicted as he himself was. Meditations on sexuality, racism, oppression, family and the like are knitted through all his films. I have seen seven of his titles and they are all a little quirky. His films get under my skin and his characters are not always likable but are nonetheless intriguing. I have enjoyed all of the Fassbinder films I’ve seen but I am particularly fond of The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant and Why Does Herr R. Run Amok? Another director who has much juiciness left for me to bite into!

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#46. Jee-Woon Kim 

What I’ve Seen:  The Quiet Family (1998), The Foul King (2000),  A Tale of Two Sisters (2003), A Bittersweet Life (2005), The Good the Bad the Weird (2008),  I Saw the Devil (2010),

Jee-Woon Kim is alive! Yep, this is the first living director still making films to land on the list. I have seen every full-length feature South Korean filmmaker Jee-Woon Kim has directed and have given TWO of his films perfect marks (The Quiet Family and A Bittersweet Life). I don’t give a film 5/5 lightly my friends! Kim’s stylish and original films range the genres but each one contains a violent element. I eagerly anticipate each one of Kim’s new projects! His next project, The Last Stand (2013) seems completely and utterly random and stars Arnold Schwarzenegger?! To be honest it is unlikely I would bother with this film if it didn’t have Kim’s name attached. A testament to how much I enjoy and respect Kim’s work.

15 Responses to “DUNGEON DIRECTOR PROJECT: My 50 Favourite Directors #50 – #46”

  1. excellent! I can’t wait for the next posts. I’m sure among the 50 will be some I’ve underestimated or never heard of.

  2. 50 and 46 have also made some films I love; unfortunately I have not yet seen any films made by the other three guys although Fassbinder as a person is interesting. “I don’t usually allow myself to be muscled by men working at the library” is pretty funny, and also I understand the impulse to slap someone whose taste is almost impossibly different from mine.

    • goregirl Says:

      I think you might like Fassbender, it has been a bit difficult finding his stuff though. I’ve borrowed some from the library but a kick ass video store, that is a big pain in the ass to get to carries quite a few of his titles. I’m excited to check out more. Ha! Ha! I am so glad someone else gets that impulse!

      • Sigh. I remember when I worked in a video store that had a Fassbinder section, and I didn’t take advantage of it because I took such things for granted. I used to giggle about the cover photo to “I Only Want You to Love Me.”

  3. Awwww, yeah. This is going to be a fun project. It’s already off to a great start, although I have to confess not knowing much about #’s 50 and 46. Between those two, I’ve only seen I Saw the Devil, and that Kung-Fu vampire movie, and I really enjoyed both.

    Renoir was a game-changer, and I don’t think he gets enough credit for that. I know I’m in the minority, but I prefer Grand Illusion to Rules of the Game… but they’re both amazing. I really enjoyed his version of The Lower Depths, too (not to be confused with Kurosawa’s).

    Dreyer’s Passion of Joan of Arc completely changed the way I look at silent movies. It blew me away the first time, and the next few times as well. And the ending of Ordet was awesome. It’s such a Bergmanesque film.

    I went on a small Fassbinder kick a few years back and was impressed. If nothing else, he was bold.

    • Wonderful! Movies always enter into my discussions as well because they have been part of my life since the age of three. I love film genres of all kinds. I’m delighted to see Roy Ward Baker make your list. Hammer can do no wrong in my book,and Baker has directed some first rate examples. I’m also very fond of And Now The Screaming Starts. I completely agree with you on his A Night To Remember,which is still my favorite film about the Titanic. Well,I could ramble on. Look forward to more!

    • goregirl Says:

      Baker is actually my 2nd favourite Hammer director, but he has some real gems…absolutely worth checking out! Kim…one of the rare new directors whose work still excites me. The Quiet Family is something else!

      Rules of the Game and Grande Illusion are both fantastic…I guess I lean towards Rules though. A lot of his films still to see…but with that many to choose from suggestions are awesome! I will put The Lower Depths in the queue.

      Holy Crap! Joan actually blew my freaking mind! Truly, I have grown to love and appreciate silent films, but I am not sure I have found one that has topped this on an emotional or esthetic level. I was genuinely moved. I will look for Ordet, I also have Michael in the queue.

      “Bold” yep. Besides what I mentioned, and the guy is actually a talented filmmaker there is something that appeals to me about his films I can’t quite put my finger on. Again, another director I have many more films to discover, unfortunately I think I’ve tapped out my libraries supply of Fassbender.

  4. What an incredible and fun project, I may chime in here and there on your choices and my own top 50 that I may develop as yours goes on.

    Roy Ward Baker is my number 285 director in my personal list, but I still haven’t seen the Quatermass features, so maybe that has something to do with it. My favorite of the films he’s directed and that I’ve seen is “And Now the Screaming Starts!” (1973) which I rated 7/10.

    Carl Theodor Dreyer is in number 113 in my personal list, and I know he’s great and he will go up in time as I go deeper into his films, specially Jean D’Arc. My favorite of the films he’s directed and that I’ve seen is “Day of Wrath” (1943) which I rated 9/10.

    Jean Renoir is not listed, as I have not seen any of his films.

    R.W. Fassbender is not listed, as I’ve only seen one of his films.

    Jee-woon Kim is in the number 72 in my personal list, and I’ve seen many of his films, and he sure is the master of genre cinema today, as he’s more near to our age. My favorite of the films he’s directed is “I Saw the Devil” (2010) which I rated 10/10.

    My first 5:

    50. Pete Docter (Up, Monsters Inc.) *Up 10/10
    49. Jonathan Demme (Jimmy Carter Man From Plains, The Silence of the Lambs) *The Silence of the Lambs 9/10
    48. Jonathan Dayton (Little Miss Sunshine, Shadrach) *Little Miss Sunshine 10/10
    47. Sofia Coppola (Somewhere, Lost in Translation) *Lost in Translation 10/10
    46. Stephen Chow (Kung Fu Hustle, Shaolin Soccer) *Shaolin Soccer 10/10

    • goregirl Says:

      Awesome!! please do chime in!

      I think Baker is one of the best of the Hammer directors; Quatermass was a huge favourite when I was a kid, I was pleasantly surprised it still resonated with me on a recent re-watch. I am sort of a Hammer junkie though 😉

      I rated Devil 4/5 (8/10)…I think Kim is an exciting director!

      Absolutely love Stephen Chow! He made the short list but didn’t make the final cut.

  5. Solid list so far but Jee-Woon Kim is a little too low. Anyway… where’s your review of A Bittersweet Life?… okay, that’s not horror but what about The Quiet Family?

    Quatermass and the Pit is awesome. The BBC did a live broadcast of their remake of that a few years back with some good actors but nothing beats the original which was back in cinema’s recently. I also have a soft spot for The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires 😛

    Vampyr is another classic. That word is thrown around a lot but the sheer amount of visual imagination is staggering.

  6. hm thought you’d gone and made a filmproject, directing it – would you ever consider this?

  7. […] Jee-woon Kim is without a doubt one of my favourite directors and is one of South Korea’s most talented. His spectacular A Bittersweet Life, the gritty I […]

  8. […] posted a list of my favourite directors in July 2012 and Rainer Werner Fassbinder made the forty-seven hole. If I was to do this same list […]

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