The Top Directors Working Today: Parts 1-3

My current plan is to briefly discuss one director (or a similar group) at a time, hopefully generate some interest/feedback/debate, and then present the next one. At the end you will have about 100 directors to weigh in on and I will reveal my personal picks (probably a Top 40 or 50).

This discussion will take a while. I want that. I don’t just want to present an easily disregarded list. Understandably, it’ll be like trying to paint ocean waves in that new films will be shifting opinions while this discussion continues.

The names will be presented more or less in alphabetical order, but I may skip around from time to time. I’m going to start out with 3 very well known names.

Woody Allen, Roman Polanski & Francis Ford Coppola
This is why I originally stipulated it had to be a filmmaker who was on top At This Moment. If it was just a list of great Living Directors, then you have to factor in the accomplishments of these giants. How do you compare a neophyte like Fernando Meirelles to Coppola? You simply can’t. But if you just wrote an epic saga, which filmmaker would you trust to bring it to the screen? That being said, respect should always be paid to these living legends that changed the way we look at movies.

I received a comment suggesting that Martin Scorsese belongs here as well, that like Coppola “the creative well has dried up.” It’s easy to quickly dismiss this person (who in full disclosure, is in his early 20’s), but his comment made me realize we shouldn’t bury a good career until we know it’s dead. After all, Allen recently had a brief comeback with MATCH POINT, Polanski’s Oscar for THE PIANIST is only 5 years old, and while Coppola’s YOUTH WITHOUT YOUTH was terrible, it showed the director’s imagination was far from dried up.

What do you think, living legends whose best work is behind them, or like Mike Nichols, still capable of many great works?


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