Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Duel of Directors

There are some directors who never really break the boundaries of their chosen genre.  Consider if you will the varying outputs of the Andersons.  Wes Anderson rarely leaves the quirky ground he has claimed for himself in The Royal Tenenbaums, Rushmore and The Life Aquatic.  Paul WS Anderson on the other hand has almost exclusively confined his output to videogame adaptations such as the Resident Evil franchise, the dire Alien vs Predator and the epic Mortal Kombat (not actually epic).

However, there are others who do bravely switch between genres and often generate quality whatever pool they are paddling in.  I've chosen the four best examples of these mainstream style-hoppers and selected what I consider to be their best film in a number of categories.  The winner is the director with the highest number of stars awarded.  So, going toe-to-toe are Ridley Scott, Steven Spielberg, Danny Boyle and Stanley Kubrick.
Blade Runner (1982)
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) ****
Sunshine (2007)
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) *****
Gladiator (2000)
Amistad (1997)
Barry Lyndon (1975)
Legend (1985)
Jurassic Park (1993)
E.T (1982)
Millions (2004)
True Story
White Squall (1996)
Munich (2005)
127 Hours (2010)
Spartacus (1960)
Robin Hood (2010)
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) *****
Trainspotting (1996)
Thelma & Louise (1991) *****
Catch Me If You Can (2002) ****
Shallow Grave (1994) ****
The Killing (1956)
A Good Year (2006)
1941 (1979)
A Life Less Ordinary (1997) ***
Dr Strangelove (1964) *****
Black Hawk Down (2001) ****
Saving Private Ryan (1998) *****
Full Metal Jacket (1997) *****
Alien (1979)
Jaws (1975)
28 Days Later (2002)
The Shining (1980)
Body of Lies (2008)
The Color Purple (1985) ****
Slumdog Millionaire (2008) *****
Lolita (1962) ****
37 stars
48 stars
33 stars
47 stars

Spielberg by Amir Taqi

So the victor is the mighty Spielberg (although to be honest, Kubrick managed only one star less despite having 3 fewer films in the list so it could be argued he's the better director).  A purely imaginary trophy is currently winging it's way to Hollywood-land with Mr Spielberg's name badly inscribed by my own fair hands.

(In case your wondering Paul WS Anderson with Shopping, Mortal Kombat, Event Horizon, Resident Evil, Alien vs Predator & Death Race would have scored a paltry ten stars)


Anonymous said...

Really like this Lee - I'd like to see more Directors duelling!

Always seem to have more respect for directors who try their hand at multiple genres rather than sticking to one (ie Woody Allen)

Kubrick gets my vote - as ever - really knew how to nail a genre. His Horror and his Sci-fi and his comedy were near-perfect works


9/10ths Full of Penguins said...

Cheers Dave,

I agree, I think Kubrick was a better director. Although, there is something quite cold about some of his movies.

I've always wondered what an out and out fantasy film by Kubrick would have been like. It's hard to imagine him tackling Lord or the Rings (although it would have been fascinating to see!)

Targaff said...

Gladiator in historical? Bit of a shoehorn that one, isn't it?

9/10ths Full of Penguins said...

Hmmm - yes. I was hoping to get that one by. It is tenuous, but its about old stuff so it counts. I could possibly have used the Duellists I suppose...