Thursday, January 12, 2012

30 Famous Foreign Directors : What to Watch, What to Avoid

Kieslowski, Godard, Renoir, etc: not bad, but could do better! 

This is another one of my occasional non-factual posts: it’s just my opinions. This is a list of 30 foreign-language directors who are often acclaimed but to me what’s most striking about them is how uneven their work is. They hold the middle ground of cinema as far as I’m concerned, not as good as directors like Kurosawa and Bergman and Bunuel, who are nearly always good, but not as bad as directors like Von Trier and Antonioni and Miike, who are nearly always bad. These 30 directors are occasionally brilliant, but just as often their movies are over-rated, and sometimes a real chore to sit through.

1.   Agnes Varda : WATCH The Beaches of Agnes
2.   Alejandro Amenabar : WATCH Open Your Eyes, The Others
3.   Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu : WATCH Amores Perros, 21 Grams AVOID Babel, Biutuful
4.   Arnaud Desplechin : WATCH Ma Vie Sexuelle AVOID A Christmas Tale
5.   Bernardo Bertolucci : WATCH The Conformist, 1900, The Last Emperor AVOID Last Tango in Paris, Stealing Beauty, The Dreamers
6.   Emir Kusturica : WATCH Time of the Gypsies, Underground AVOID Arizona Dream
7.   Federico Fellini : WATCH La Strada, Nights of Cabiria, Amarcord AVOID La Dolce Vita, Juliet of the Spirits
8.   Francois Truffaut : WATCH The Soft Skin, Stolen Kisses, Wild Child, Day for Night, The Last Metro AVOID Jules et Jim, The Story of Adele H., The Woman Next Door
9.   Hirokazu Koreeda : WATCH Afterlife AVOID Nobody Knows
10. Jean Renoir : WATCH The Crime of Monsieur Lange, La Bete Humaine, Rules of the Game AVOID Boudu Saved From Drowning, The Southerner, The River
11. Jean-Luc Godard : WATCH Vivre Sa Vie, Weekend, Tout Va Bien AVOID Pierrot Le Fou, One Plus One, Notre Musique
12. Jean-Pierre Jeunet : WATCH Amelie, A Very Long Engagement, Mic-Macs
13. Joon-ho Bong : WATCH Memories of Murder
14. Kim Ki-Duk : WATCH Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, 3-Iron
15. Krzysztof Kieslowski : WATCH Three Colours Trilogy AVOID Dekalog (10 Short Films)
16. Louis Malle : WATCH My Dinner with Andre, Atlantic City AVOID Murmur of the Heart
17. Luchino Visconti : WATCH Ossessione, Rocco and His Brothers AVOID La Terra Trama, he Leopard
18. Lukas Moodyson : WATCH Show Me Love, Lilya 4-Ever, Together AVOID A Hole in My Heart
19. Marcel Carne : WATCH Le Jour Se Leve, Les Visiteurs Du Soir, Quai Des Brumes AVOID Les Enfants Du Paradis
20. Pedro Almodovar : WATCH Matador, Live Flesh (Many others are quite good, but they are all so indistinguishable I find it hard to say which are the best)
21. Rainer Werner Fassbinder : WATCH Ali: Fear Eats the Soul... and (if you can appreciate its perverse humour) Beware of A Holy Whore AVOID The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant, The Third Generation
22. Roberto Rossellini : WATCH Rome: Open City
23. Satyajit Ray : WATCH Pather Panchali, The Middleman
24. Sergei Eisenstein : WATCH Potemkin
25. Takeshi Kitano : WATCH Sonatine, Dolls, Zatoichi
26. Vittorio De Sica : WATCH Bicycle Thieves, The Garden of the Finzi-Continis AVOID Umberto D
27. Werner Herzog : WATCH Grizzly Man, Rescue Dawn, Encounters at the End of the World AVOID Every Man for Himself and God Against All, Nosferatu, Cobra Verde
28. Wim Wenders : WATCH Paris, Texas, Wings of Desire AVOID Kings of the Road
29. Wong Kar Wai : WATCH Chungking Express, 2046 AVOID Happy Together
30. Zhang Yimou : WATCH Raise the Red Lantern, House of Flying Daggers

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