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Traveling Boy Selects the 75 Greatest Film Directors of All-Time

Since the release of Sight & Sound magazine’s 2022 Top 100 Greatest Films of All Time critics poll, some of us agreed, others were appalled; in particular with the absence of masterworks by Luis Buñuel, Ernst Lubitsch and Howard Hawks. But the positive is that it opens pathways for lists by other cineastes which keeps the importance of cinema on the front burner. There were twice as many new pundits in the Sight & Sound poll from the last decades poll in 2012, where many stressed the importance of literary content over form. I’m a bit old school on that, remembering the medium is the message, a phrase coined by the Canadian communication theorist Marshall McLuhan in his Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. Is it content over form, or is it form over content; or should the two really be the same in the visual frame?  It should be noted that I approach film within the context of the auteur theory. It’s hard not to do so, where each of the 75 directors in my poll have a personal signature that’s evident from film to film. Yes, some are a product of the Hollywood studio system, simply given a script to shoot. Yet, like a painter who is assigned to do a portraiture, the content of their painting is well-defined, but they still are able to convey their own unique style, a style that belongs to them alone.

Here’s my list, and I encourage you to assault, disagree or perhaps even agree, and send in your own list in our readers’ section at admin@travelingboy.com. What is most important is to keep a dialogue going about cinema as a visual medium for artistic expression where it takes its place among other art forms.

1. Robert Bresson

Robert Bresson, France, (1901-1999). Photograph courtesy of Senses of Cinema.

The point is not to direct someone, but to direct oneself. When a sound can replace an image, cut the image or neutralize it. The ear goes more towards the within, the eye towards the other. Robert Bresson

Bresson Films for Review:

 2. Yasujirō Ozu

Yasujirō Ozu, Japan, (1903 –1963). Photograph courtesy of the Nippon Communications Foundation.

I have formulated my own directing style in my head, proceeding without any unnecessary imitation of others. Yasujirō Ozu

Ozu’s Films for Review:

3. Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock, England-US, (1899 – 1980).

If it’s a good movie, the sound could go off and the audience would still have a perfectly clear idea of what was going on. – Alfred Hitchcock

Hitchcock Films for Review:

4. Jean-Luc Godard 

Jean-Luc Godard, France-Switzerland, (1930 – 2022). [Photo via MaxPPP]

If you want to make a documentary you should automatically go to the fiction, and if you want to nourish your fiction you have to come back to reality. – Jean-Luc Godard

 Godard Films for Review:

5. Roberto  Rossellini 

Roberto Rossellini, Italy-France, (1906 – 1977).

I want you to know how deeply I wish to translate those ideas into images, just to quiet down the turmoil of my brain. – Roberto Rossellini

Rossellini Films for Review:

6. Orson Welles 

Orson Welles, US-International, (1915 – 1985).

A film is never really good unless the camera is an eye in the head of a poet. – Orson Welles

Welles Films for Review:

7. Ernst Lubitsch  

Ernst Lubitsch, US, (1892 –1947).

There are a thousand ways to point a camera, but really only one. I let the audience use their imaginations. Can I help it if they misconstrue my suggestions? – Ernst Lubitsch

Lubitsch Films for Review:

8. Howard Hawks  

Howard Hawks, US, (1896 – 1977).

I’d say that everybody has seen every plot twenty times. What they haven’t seen is characters and their relation to one another. I don’t worry much about plot anymore. – Howard Hawks 

Hawks Films for Review:

9. Kenji Mizoguchi 

Kenji Mizoguchi, Japan, (1898 – 1956).

You must put the odor of the human body into images describe for me the implacable, the egoistic, the sensual, the cruel there are nothing but disgusting people in this world.– Kenji Mizoguchi

Mizoguchi Films for Review:

10. Chantal Akerman   

Chantal Akerman, Belgium-France, (1950 – 2015).

When people ask me if I am a feminist film maker, I reply I am a woman and I also make films. – Chantal Akerman

Akerman Films for Review: 

11. Jean Renoir  

Jean Renoir, France, (1894 – 1979).

What interests me is the interpretation of life by an artist. The personality of the film maker interests me more than the copy of an object – Jean Renoir 

Renoir Films for Review:

12. Max Ophüls  

Max Ophüls, France-Germany-US, (1902 – 1957). 

The highest reaches of the actor’s art begin, I believe, at the point where words cease to play a part. – Max Ophüls

Ophüls Films for Review:

13. Luis Buñuel  

Luis Buñuel, Spain-Mexico-France, (1900 – 1983).

God and Country are an unbeatable team; they break all records for oppression and bloodshed. Thank God, I am still an atheist – Luis Buñuel

Buñuel Films for Review:

 14. Fritz Lang 

Fritz Lang, Germany–US, (1890 –1976).

For me cinema is vice. I love it intimately. – Fritz Lang

Lang Films for Review:

15.  John Ford  

John Ford, US, (1894 – August 1973).

My name’s John Ford. I make westerns – John Ford

Ford Films for Review:

16. Josef von Sternberg

Joseph von Sternberg, US-Germany, (1894 –1969)

Shadow is mystery and light is clarity. Shadow conceals – light reveals. To know what to reveal and what to conceal and in what degrees to do this is all there is to art. – Josef von Sternberg

Sternberg Films for Review:

 17. Billy Wilder  

Billy Wilder, US, (1906 – 2002)

I have ten commandments. The first nine are, thou shalt not bore. The tenth is, thou shalt have right of final cut. – Billy Wilder

Wilder Films for Review:

18. Robert Altman 

Robert Altman, US, 1925 – 2006).

Making a movie is like chipping away at a stone. You take a piece off here, you take a piece off there and when you’re finished, you have a sculpture. You know that there’s something in there, but you’re not sure exactly what it is until you find it. – Robert Altman 

Altman Films for Review:

19. D.W. Griffith 

D. W. Griffith, US, (1875 – 1948)

Remember how small the world was before I came along? I brought it all to life: I moved the whole world onto a 20-foot screen. – D.W. Griffith 

 Griffith Films for Review:

20. Abbas Kiarostami 

Abbas Kiarostami, Iran, (1940 – 2016).

I’ve often noticed that we are not able to look at what we have in front of us, unless it’s inside a frame. – Abbas Kiarostami

Kiarostami Films for Review:

21. Carl Theodor Dreyer 

Carl Theodor Dreyer , Denmark, 1889 –1968)

Nothing in the world can be compared to the human face. It is a land one can never tire of exploring. There is no greater experience in a studio than to witness the expression of a sensitive face under the mysterious power of inspiration. To see it animated from inside, and turning into poetry. – Carl Theodor Dreyer 

Dreyer Films for Review:

22. Michelangelo Antonioni  

 Michelangelo Antonioni, Italy-UK, (1912 – 2007).

Till now I have never shot a scene without taking account of what stands behind the actors because the relationship between people and their surroundings is of prime importance. – Michelangelo Antonioni

Antonioni Films for Review:   

23. Buster Keaton 

Buster Keaton, US, (1895 – 1966).

Tragedy is a close-up; comedy, a long shot. Charlie Chaplin and I would have a friendly contest: Who could do the feature film with the least subtitles. – Buster Keaton 

Buster Keaton Films for Review:

24. Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Rainer Werner Fassbinder, West Germany, (1945 –1982). 

I don’t believe that melodramatic feelings are laughable they should be taken absolutely seriously. – Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Fassbinder Films for Review:

25. Ousmane Sembène  

Ousmane Sembène, Senegal-France, (1923 – 2007).

I think cinema is needed throughout Africa, because we are lagging behind in the knowledge of our own history. I think we need to create a culture that is our own. I think that images are very fascinating and very important to that end. Our forefathers’ image of women must be buried once for all.  – Ousmane Sembène

Sembene Films for Review:

26. Charles Chaplin 

Charles Chaplin, US, 1889 – 1977).

Laughter is the tonic, the relief, the surcease from pain. You’ll never find rainbows if you’re looking down. – Charles Chaplin

Chaplin Films for Review: 

27. Andrei Tarkovsky  

Andrei Tarkovsky, Soviet Union, (1932 –1986).

The director’s task is to recreate life, its movement, its contradictions, its dynamic and conflicts. It is his duty to reveal every iota of the truth he has seen, even if not everyone finds that truth acceptable. – Andrei Tarkovsky

Tarkovsky Films for Review:

28. Federico Fellini  

Federico Fellini, Italy, (1920 –1993).

Even if I set out to make a film about a fillet of sole, it would be about me. – Federico Fellini

Fellini Films for Review:

29. Ermanno Olmi

Ermanno Olmi, Italy, (1931 – 2018).

I really don’t feel exclusive. My ambition insteadperhaps because of my peasantworker background, is to look at the world with othersnot as an aristocratic. – Ermanno Olmi

Olmi Films for Review:  

30. Akira Kurosawa 

Akira Kurosawa, Japan, (1910 – 1998).

Kurosawa Films for Review:  

For me, filmmaking combines everything. That’s the reason I’ve made cinema my life’s work. In films, painting and literature, theatre and music come together. But a film is still a film. – Akira Kurosawa

31. Sergei Eisenstein  

Sergie Eisenstein, USSR, (1898 –1948).

Now why should the cinema follow the forms of theater and painting rather than the methodology of language, which allows wholly new concepts of ideas to arise from the combination of two concrete denotations of two concrete objects? – Sergei Eisenstein

Eisenstein Films for Review:    

32. Éric Rohmer  

Éric Rohmer, France, (1920 – 2010).

Rohmer Films for Review: 

I don’t think that my films are ‘literary’; they are based on the most ordinary things of life. – Éric Rohmer 

33. Jerzy Skolimowski  

Jerzy Skolimowski, Poland, (Born 1938).

As a poet my mind is trained along the path of poetic associationsI’m not afraid to wander away from direct narrativeI feel safe with a story that tempts you to believe or disbelieve. – Jerzy Skolimowski

Skolimowski Films for Review:  

34. F.W. Murnau 

F.W. Murnau, Germany-US, (1888 – 1931).

Don’t act – think! Films of the future will use more and more of these “camera anglesor, as I prefer to call themthese “dramatic angles.”  – F.W. Murnau 

Murnau Films for Review: 

35. François Truffaut

François Truffaut, France, (1932 – 1984).

The film of tomorrow will not be directed by civil servants of the camera, but by artists for whom shooting a film constitutes a wonderful and thrilling adventure. – François Truffaut

Truffaut Films for Review: 

36. Miklós Jancsó 

Miklós Jancsó, Hungary, 1921 – 2014).

It’s very simpleCinema has limits that it can’t exceed. It can never go beyond catching the spectator’s interest to make a spectacle. – Miklós Jancsó.

Jancsó Films for Review: 

37. Hou Hsiao-hsien  

Hou Hsiao-hsien, Taiwan, (Born 1947).

The  “wu” in  “wuxia” means both “to cut” and “to stop.” It also refers to the weapon usually a swordcarried by the assassin.  So wuxia stories are concerned with the premise of ending violence with violence. The hero’s journey is epic and transformativephysically, emotionally, and spiritually. – Hou Hsiao-hsien

Hou Hsiao-hsien Films for Review: 

38. Werner Herzog 

Werner Herzog, West Germany, (Born 1942).

There are deeper strata of truth in cinema, and there is such a thing as poetic, ecstatic truth. It is mysterious and elusive, and can be reached only through fabrication and imagination and stylization. – Werner Herzog

Herzog Films for Review: 

39. Satyajit Ray 

Satyajit Ray, India, 1921 – 1992).

The director is the only person who knows what the film is about. Cinema’s characteristic forte is its ability to capture and communicate the intimacies of the human mind. – Satyajit Ray 

Ray Films for Review: 

40. Stanley Kubrick  

Stanley Kubrick, US-UK, (1928 –1999).

A film is or should be more like music than like fiction. – Stanley Kubrick

 Kubrick Films for Review:

41. Alain Resnais  

Alain Resnais, France, (1922 – 2014).

I use formal techniques to make the film more perceptive emotionally. – Alain Resnais

Resnais Films for Review:

42. John Cassavetes  

John Cassavetes, US, (1929 – 1989).

During the actual filming, I’m not really listening to dialogue. I’m watching to see if the actors are communicating something and expressing something. You’re not aware of exactly what people are saying. You are aware of what they are INTENDING and what kind of feeling is going on in that scene. – John Cassavetes  

Cassavetes Films for Review:  

43. Claire Denis  

Claire Denis, France, (Born 1946).

I am not at all interested in theories about cinema. I am only interested in images and people and sound. – Claire Denis

Denis Films for Review:

44. Sam Peckinpah 

Sam Peckinpah, US, (1925 –1984).

The whole underside of our society has always been violence and still is. Churches, laws everybody seems to think that man is a noble savage. But he’s only an animal. A meat-eating, talking animal. Recognize it. He also has grace and love and beauty. But don’t say to me we’re not violent. – Sam Peckinpah 

Peckinpah Films for Review:

45. Andrzej Wajda  

Andrzej Wajda, Poland, (1926 – 2016).

When a film is created, it is created in a language, which is not only about words, but also the way that very language encodes our perception of the world, our understanding of it. – Andrzej Wajda 

46. Martin Scorsese 

Martin Scorsese, US, (Born 1942).

Cinema is a matter of what’s in the frame and what’s out. – Martin Scorsese

Scorsese Films for Review:

47. Masahiro Shinoda

Masahiro Shinoda, Japan, (Born 1931).

One thing I can say is either to look at films very carefully, watch a lot of films, or don’t see any films at all. Just imagine! – Masahiro Shinoda

Shinoda Films for Review:

48. Ingmar Bergman 

Ingmar Bergman, Sweden, (1918 – 2007).

Film as dream, film as music. No art passes our conscience in the way film does, and goes directly to our feelings, deep down into the dark rooms of our souls. – Ingmar Bergman

Bergman Films for Review:

49. Sergio Leone 

Sergio Leone, Italy, (1929 – 1989).

When I was young, I believed in three things: Marxism, the redemptive power of cinema, and dynamite. Now I just believe in dynamite. – Sergio Leone 

Leone Films for Review:

 50. Agnès Varda  

Agnès Varda, France, (1928 – 2019).

I’m not interested in seeing a film just made by a woman not unless she is looking for new images. – Agnes Varda

Varda Films for Review:

51. Jacques Rivette  

Jacques Rivette, France, (1928 – 2016).

I guess I like a lot of directors. Or at least I try to. – Jacques Rivette 

Rivette Films for Review:

52. Clint Eastwood 

Clint Eastwood, US, (Born 1930).

I keep working because I learn something new all the time. – Clint Eastwood 

Eastwood Films for Review:

53. Erich von Stroheim

Erich von Stroheim, US, (1885 – 1957).

In Hollywood, you’re only as good as your last picture. – Erich von Stroheim

Stroheim Films for Review:

54. Chris Marker 

Chris Marker, France, (1921 – 2012).

An object dies when the gaze that lights on it has disappeared. – Chris Marker

Marker Films for Review:

55. Robert Flaherty

Robert Flaherty, US, (1884 – 1951).

Sometimes you have to lie. One often has to distort a thing to catch its true spirit. – Robert Flaherty

Flaherty Films for Review::

56. Claude Chabrol

Claude Chabrol, France, (1930 – 2010).

Films with a message just make me laugh. – Claude Chabrol

Chabrol Films for Review:

57. Michael Powel & Emeric Pressburger 

Michael Powell, UK, (1905–1990) & Emeric Pressburger, UK,, (1902–1988),

Of course, all films are surrealist. They are because they are making something that looks like a real world but isn’t. – Michael Powell

Powell & Pressburger Films for Review:

58. Joseph Losey

Joseph Losey, US-UK, (1909 – 1984).

Films can illustrate our existence… they can distress, disturb and provoke people into thinking about themselves and certain problems. But NOT give the answers. America has abandoned the strong woman of spirituality and is shacking up with the harlot of materialism. – Joseph Losey

Losey Films for Review:

59. Preston Sturges

Preston Sturges, US, (1898 – 1959).

I did not think that a good movie was the equivalent of a good stage play, any more than I thought an automobile ride was as exhilarating as a drive behind a spirited horse, nor a trip by steam as soul-satisfying as a voyage by sail. – Preston Sturges

Sturges Films for Review:

60. David Cronenberg

David Cronenberg, Canada, (Born 1943).

Everybody’s a mad scientist, and life is their lab. We’re all trying to experiment to find a way to live, to solve problems, to fend off madness and chaos. – David Cronenberg

Cronenberg Films for Review:

61. Carlos Saura

Carlos Saura, Spain, (Born 1932).

I can’t separate cinema from my life. The two things are interrelated and enrich or impoverish each other. – Carlos Saura

Saura Films for Review:

62. Wim Wenders 

Wim Wenders, West Germany, (Born 1945).

Film is a very, very powerful medium. It can either confirm the idea that things are wonderful the way they are, or it can reinforce the conception that things can be changed. – Wim Wenders

Wenders Films for Review:

63. John Huston

John Huston, US, (1906 –1987).

The directing of a picture involves coming out of your individual loneliness and taking a controlling part in putting together a small world. – John Huston

Huston Films for Review:

64. Shōhei Imamura  

Shōhei Imamura, Japan, (1926 – 2006).

I am interested in the relationship of the lower part of the human body and the lower part of the social structure on which the reality of daily Japanese life obstinately supports itself. – Shōhei Imamura 

Imamura Films for Review:

65. Nicholas Ray 

Nicholas Ray, US, (1911 –1979).

An actor can be as talented as another, but if he doesn’t stick to what the director’s intentions are, it all falls down. – Nicholas Ray 

Ray Films for Review:

66. Jean Vigo 

Jean Vigo, France, (1905 –1934).

However paradoxical it may seem, the film studio’s ideal would be to produce only one film which would go on making money forever. – Jean Vigo

Vigo Films for Review:

67. Vittorio De Sica

Vittorio De Sica, Italy, (1901 – 1974).

Art has to be severe. It cannot be commercial. It cannot be for the producer or even for the public. It has to be for oneself. – Vittorio De Sica

De Sica Films for Review:

68. Jacques Tati

Jacques Tati, France, (1907 – 1982).

The images are designed, so that after you see the picture two or three times, its no longer my film, it starts to be your film. You recognize the people, you know them, and you don’t even know who directed the picture. – Jacques Tati

Tait Films for Review:

69. Richard Lester

Richard Lester, UK-US, (Born 1932).

Cinema must reflect the temper of the times. We must choose material not only on the basis of whether we feel deeply, but on whether or not anyone’s bloody well going to see it. – Richard Lester

Lester Films for Review:

70. Kon Ichikawa 

Kon Ichikawa, Japan, (1915 – 2008).

I’ve made various types of films: period dramas, modern dramas, films set in the Meiji period. But I don’t make any distinctions between them they’re all films. True, with a period drama, there are certain conventions. With a modern drama, there is a different style of shooting. So you have to make changes according to the genre, but I never think, “This is a period drama, so I have to shoot it in such and such a way.” Films are films. If you don’t understand that, then you start filming lies. – Kon Ichikawa

Ichikawa Films for Review:

71. Laurent Cantet 

Laurent Cantet, France, (Born 1961).

I think we’re going through a really precarious period in film production, and I very much fear that it’s going to be a lot more difficult to make my kind of cinema. If you make films that don’t exactly announce themselves as surefire hits, you feel like you’re walking a tightrope.  I don’t want to take larger scale films in order to show my evolution as a director. – Laurent Cantet

Cantet Films for Review:

72. Jean-Pierre Melville

Jean-Pierre Melville, France, (1917 – 1973).

I believe that you must be madly in love with cinema to create films. You also need a huge cinematic baggage. – Jean-Pierre Melville

Melville Films for Review:

73. Krzysztof Zanussi

Krzysztof Zanussi, Poland, (Born 1939).

I think cinema has a unique capacity to show the passage of time. When the camera can cover a distance of forty years, and you see what really happened to the faces of the actorshow they really aged, with no need for make-upyou see what happens to us. In literature, it is only reference, it’s not sensual; in cinema it’s sensual. – Krzysztof Zanussi

Zanussi Films for Review:

74. Luchino Visconti

Luchino Visconti, Italy, (1906 – 1976).

I could make a film in front of a wall if I knew how to find the data of man’s true humanity and how to express it. – Luchino Visconti

Visconti Films for Review:

75. David Lynch

David Lynch, US, Born 1946).

Life is very, very complicated, and so films should be allowed to be, too. – David Lynch

Lynch Films for Review:

Readers, feel free to comment or send your own lists to admin@travelingboy.com.

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32 Comments

  1. Fritz

    January 23, 2023 at 4:36 am

    What an amazing piece about film.

    I knew you liked to travel but I didn’t know you are also a film connoisseur. I notice you are very fond of directors of the 60s and 70s era —- especially the experimental ones who challenged style, technique and censorship. Why is that?

    I also noticed you avoided commercially successful directors like Spielberg, Ridley Scott, JJ Abrams, John Lassiter, Hayao Miyazaki, Nick Park, Penny Marshall, Oliver Stone, Walt Disney, Ron Howard, Copolla, Cecile B de Mills …. And then there’s George Lucas …. We’ll, I know why he’s not on the list. He he.

    Reply

  2. Randy

    January 23, 2023 at 4:37 am

    Hey, what about Copolla?

    Reply

    • Ed Boitano

      January 23, 2023 at 5:44 pm

      Thanks, Fritz, I appreciate your comments. I enjoy films from all periods since the birth of cinema. Your words did lead me to do analysis of my selections. It does appear that I have a positive bias of the films from the French New Wave. It fact new waves from other nations as well. It I wasn’t so lazy, I would have expanded the list to the 100 greatest directors which would have included a few names on your list: Coppola, Speiberg, etc. But I don’t understand what you mean by “new techniques;” after all there has been no new innovations in film since the arrival of sound; regarded as a setback by some critics. The technique is still basically, long shot, medium shot and closeup. I have no reservations about profit at the book office. Hitchcock
      in particular was obsessed with it. Thanks again, Fritz, I appreciate the dialogue. Ed

      Reply

    • Ed Boitano

      January 23, 2023 at 5:46 pm

      Randy, please see my reply to Fritz.

      Reply

    • Barb

      January 26, 2023 at 7:48 pm

      Clint Eastwood… Why?

      Reply

      • Ed

        January 26, 2023 at 11:39 pm

        Yes, Barb… but Clint as a director who occasionally appears in his own films: Along with Unforgiven, Mystic River and Million Dollar Baby, I give you Bird, Honkytonk Man, The Outlaw Josey Wales, A Perfect World +, Flags of Our Fathers, The Mule, Richard Jewell…

        Reply

        • Tony

          January 27, 2023 at 4:31 am

          Yay Clint! He transcended his role as an actor. Dared to take on issues rarely spoken of.

          Reply

  3. Tony

    January 23, 2023 at 4:38 am

    I think you forgot Woody Allen

    Reply

  4. Doug

    January 23, 2023 at 4:39 am

    Richard Benjamin. What about him?

    Reply

    • Ed Boitano

      January 23, 2023 at 5:53 pm

      Randy, please see my reply to Fritz.

      Doug , Benjamin is good with actors, but his overall work feels more like TV.

      Tony, I would place Woody in top 100. But much lower than Douglas Sirk and Oshima.

      Reply

  5. francesca

    January 26, 2023 at 9:51 am

    Hi Ed I am Francesca from Milan, wonderful article. What about Pierpaolo Pasolini, Federico Fellini, Bernardo Bertolucci?

    Reply

    • Janet

      January 26, 2023 at 11:52 pm

      Francesca,
      Fellini is number 28.
      Not familiar with the others.

      Reply

    • Ed Boitano

      January 27, 2023 at 7:58 am

      Hi, Francesca – Your comment is most appreciated. Ok, I do have Fellini in the top 75, but Bertolucci will wait for top 125, “The Conformist” in particular is one of my favorite films. I admire Pasolini’s work – “The Gospel According to St. Matthew” “Teorema”- but his later work is too difficult for my little brain to handle. BTW, I recall that Bertolucci assisted him on “Accattone,” and they apparently did not get along. Pasolini was asked if the film had influenced him. He replied, whenever Bertolucci setup a shot, he would think how I would have done that, then would do the opposite.

      Reply

  6. francesca

    January 26, 2023 at 9:53 am

    I forgot Ermanno Olmi

    Reply

    • Ed Boitano

      January 27, 2023 at 7:59 am

      Olmi is there, but Roeg will also have to wait, perhaps top 150.

      Reply

  7. francesca

    January 26, 2023 at 9:53 am

    Nicolas Roeg?

    Reply

  8. BC & Milly

    January 26, 2023 at 7:44 pm

    Yessir. Always good journalism. Were you the sole decision maker? Your list doesn’t include many modern Names. Possibly only one or two with 21st century works?

    I saw in your comments that woody Allen would have made the top 100. That’s cool. How about Wes Anderson? I personally love the late Ki Duk Kim. And Atom Egoyan. And Todd Solondz. But they’re probably not in the same league, right?

    Reply

    • Ed

      January 26, 2023 at 11:41 pm

      All VERY good, BC & Mill, and most appreciated. Not familiar with Ki Duk Kim, but now with your mention, I will research. Agreed with Atom Egoyan, but came off #76. But, no Wes… can’t understand how he receives credit for what other directors had already done in the past. Yes, ‘sole decision maker;’ couldn’t find anyone who wanted to work with me… Ed

      Reply

      • Janet

        January 26, 2023 at 11:47 pm

        I agree with BC & Milly. Wes Anderson should be in the list. His work stands out. You should watch the Fantastic Mr. Fox — even an animated film has his unmistakable signature style.

        Reply

  9. Oshiro

    January 26, 2023 at 11:55 pm

    How come no Japanese anime? None animation movie director?

    Reply

  10. Herbert

    January 27, 2023 at 10:26 am

    Where’s Polanski?

    Reply

    • Ed Boitano

      January 27, 2023 at 1:06 pm

      Polansk… Rosemary’s Baby, Chinatown, Tess… most likely, top 100. Thanks, Herbert. What would be your top 5 directors?

      Reply

      • Herbert

        January 27, 2023 at 4:19 pm

        Good question. I would base my choices on the movies that impacted me more — the ones I would watch more than a couple of times. Coppola for his Godfather series. Penny Marshall for Big. Nora Ephron for You’ve Got Mail. Ridley Scott for Gladiator, Blade Runner, Alien. Sydney Pollack for Tootsie, Sabrina. Martin Brest for Meet Joe Black.
        I know I’m not very sophisticated at all but I enjoy those movies. Maybe the question should be the most endearing movies instead.

        Reply

  11. Gilbert

    January 27, 2023 at 10:38 am

    How about doing one about Best Movie Soundtrack (and I don’t mean musicals)? If you do, you should include Burt Bacharach for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Or maybe go by the movie title —movies like Sabrina, Kill Bill, The Good the Bad and the Ugly, Jaws, Star Wars, Top Gun, Best Friend’s Wedding, You’ve Got Mail, … yeah, I know some are a bit cheesy but the music had a big impact on the film.

    I think you should start a new section just about film.

    Love your website.

    Reply

  12. Ed Boitano

    January 27, 2023 at 1:10 pm

    Much to think about, Gilbert… and appreciate your suggestion. I know sound music can save a bad scence, but I’ll try to concentrate on how a soundtrack can be used like an image, which furthers the narrative in thought. – Ed

    Reply

  13. Chuck

    January 27, 2023 at 4:22 pm

    Thank you for all the work you put into this list. Very interesting. You left out one important movie producer. The man that Charlie Chaplin called the greatest living Comedian of the time; the Mexican Armando Moreno, known to the world as Cantinflas. Cantinflas was also a bullfighter. His movies are still aired on TV – it helps if you speak Spanish – but you listed several French producers. In your comments about Idols taking the place of God; you could add entertainers; actors, actresses and sports superstars and musicians. Picasso is reported to have said, “All art is a lie, that points to the truth.” A good laugh or cry can sometimes open up our hearts to Gods reality. Ernest Hemingway said that “A mans best friend is a book.” I would say, “ The Bible is a person’s best friend.” Of course that is if they open, read and study it.

    Reply

  14. Ed Boitano

    January 27, 2023 at 7:47 pm

    Chuck, thanks for the comment. A number of the 75 directors I selected also served as their own producer, which includes Chaplin. Never really followed the work of Cantinflas. I don’t believe he ever directed any of his films, be perhaps he may noted as the actor who became an auteur by dominating his projects. Regarding reading the Bible, I recall the Godard line where he admitted that he had never actually read the Bible, but had heard a lot about it…

    Reply

  15. Ed Boitano

    January 28, 2023 at 11:48 am

    TONY, I appreciate your comment. In Eastwood’s directorial magnum opus, Unforgiven, the closing credits state the film is
    dedicating to “Sergio and Don.” With this, Eastwood paid his respects to the two filmmakers who mentored him and helped him become a great director; Sergio Leone (The Dollars Trilogy) and Don Siegel (Coogan’s Bluff, Two Mules for Sister Sara. The Beguiled 1971, Dirty Harry, Escape from Alcatraz.

    Reply

  16. Melinda

    January 30, 2023 at 10:45 am

    WOW, this represents a LOT of work! Very interesting!!!

    Reply

    • Ed Boitano

      January 30, 2023 at 3:14 pm

      Thank you, Mellinda – Work, yes; but fun work.

      Reply

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