Behind every great movie, there’s a person who controls everything – the pacing, choice of actors, their actions and basically… the whole film. They are known as directors, and today I would like to talk about my 3 personal favourite directors of all time.
Master of visual storytelling, Wes Anderson is an American film director and screenwriter whose films are known for his unique artistic sensibilities. The geometric concept, meticulous color schemes, quirky characters and dialogue, dead-pan comedy and camera movements are basic elements to help the audience recognize any Anderson film.
In case of camera movements he is best known for his use of symmetry, which plays a big role in the most comic parts of his films. Film critic David Bordwell writes that symmetry can create a “static geometrical frame [that] can evoke a deadpan comic quality.” This is proven in Anderson’s work, where symmetrical goodness makes the film more interesting and, simultaneously, amusingly offbeat. When watching a Wes Anderson film, the viewer can clearly understand why this particular director serves as an inspiration to so many designers. Specifically, it’s most noticeable how much thought he puts into the color schemes, almost branding each film simply through the use of color, which also gives a feeling of a children’s story book. Most actors in Wes Anderson’s films are usually given lines that demand comedic dryness and emotional subtlety, which could very well go wrong if it wasn’t for the visual techniques that make the audience chuckle every time a character is at the center of the frame talking with no apparent sentiment at all.Anderson’s dialogue style varies from understated to matter-of-fact, delivering silly lines in an expressionless serious way and serious dialogue in an unsettling foolish way. Ridiculous situations are presented as normal occurrences, and at least one character in each film is completely obsessed with their current project, which is usually something creative.………Anderson’s stylistic choices—being both loved and hated by many—have provoked much acclaim, discussions and even parodies, and he has become the recipient of in-depth scrutiny. But in my opinion he deserves none of that, for he is truly a master of his craft, for no director can make such aesthetically beautiful and quirky films as Wes Anderson. Some of the films that I recommend are: ‘’The Grand Budapest Hotel’’, ‘’Fantastic Mr Fox’’. You would also do yourself a service if you checked out his other films 😉 …
Would be an odd list of directors without mentioning ‘’the coolest director in the game’’ – Quentin Tarantino. When talking about directors like Scorsese, Stanley Kubrick, Hitchcock, Nolan etc. Everyone’s screenplay style will merge at some point. But Tarantino’s screenplay is very distinctive from other’s screenplays.
Tarantino has a definite style, there can be no question. One could say that his style is predominantly referential, derivative, and securely rooted in films of the ‘70s. Tarantino is more straightforward in his film making, paying direct tribute to the ‘60s and ‘70s directors (and genres) that formed and shaped him as a young director. He liberally uses music, slow-motion, and stylized dramatic action and the kind of movie violence found in the Dirty Harry films to tell the sordid tales of grungy and morally questionable characters. His dialogue is highly stylized and quite clever. Tarantino has the power to wow you with much more style than substance. You’ll have a good ride, but you might be left hungry afterwards. In the last decade, Tarantino has begun to direct revisionist revenge dramas, set in past historical periods, but featuring characters who are still unmistakably Tarantino creations. This postmodern displacement allows traditionally victimized and oppressed cultures to exact revenge on their oppressors. The two films are Inglorious Bastards, which tells the tale of an elite Jewish squad of commandos who attempt to assassinate Hitler during World War II. Django Unchained tells the story of a wrathful slave who teams up with a German mercenary to kill as many slaveholders and masters as they can. Both are ultraviolet and quite stylized and amazing. I recommend films such as the previously mentioned “Inglorious Bastards“, “Django Unchained”, but I would also add both volumes of “Kill Bill”, “Pulp Fiction ” and “The Hateful 8”.
Finally I left my favourites for last, Ethan and Joel Coen. The Coen brothers have an unrivaled and penetrating style, that has undoubtedly been influenced by film noir, 1930s screwball comedy, avant-garde theater, 1950s TV Comedyand many more.
Their movies are vast landscapes of peculiarity, filled with odd and eccentric characters who don’t belong anywhere else but in their surreal landscape, which has a vague feeling of dread. Dialogue is sparse, but so incredibly effective. Characters speak with their own distinct voices, not sexy witticisms made up by the director and screenwriter, as is the case with Tarantino. In a Tarantino film, you get the vague sense that every character has the voice of Tarantino himself, and all speak using a sort of smart and sarcastic, referential dialogue. Conversely, the Coen brothers’ dialogue is unquestionably motivated by the character and his/her personality. Coen films often involve a crazy sequence of events, predicated upon mistaken identity, duplicity, deception, greed, revenge, or just plain, good natured agreeability, which are expertly spiced up with great pacing. They never hurry perfection, but know how to methodically unravel a riddle, and let the audience come along with them for the ride. The locations are evocative, the accents pitch perfect, the costumes indicative of time and character, the music so deliciously underscoring the film. And think of the acting. People have won a handful of Oscars for this work.
These characters are so fastidiously drawn, you can’t even tell they’re acting. Their actions and words are completely and utterly motivated by character.Some of the films I recommend are: ‘’Fargo’’, ‘’Burn After Reading’’, ‘’The Big Lebowski’’ (I recommend this especially to students ;)) and my personal favourite – ‘’Inside Llewin Davis’’. But I do have to warn you, that their work is a bit harder to get into, their films do require the viewers to think throughout the film or at least give it a few re-watches.
I Hope you learned a lot about my personal favourite directors and will enjoy the recommended films 😉
What are some of your favourite film directors?
Do you think directors perform the most important work in film-making?