Sunday, May 29, 2011

120 Influences, Part 6: Film Directors

  1. Ingmar Bergman: There is Ingmar Bergman and then there is everyone else. The greatest director and screenwriter ever, but I place him only in this category to keep true the theme of 120 influences. My favorite eight of his are Persona, Hour of the Wolf, Shame, The Touch, Cries and Whispers, Scenes from a Marriage, Face to Face, and Autumn Sonata.

  2. John Cassavetes: My favorite American film director. Films like Faces, Husbands, A Woman Under the Influence, Opening Night, and Love Streams show what a master of improvisation he is.

  3. Francis Ford Coppola: A giant. The Godfather Trilogy is just the beginning. The Conversation and Apocalypse Now are masterpieces too.

  4. Elia Kazan: Gentlemen's Agreement, A Streetcar Named Desire, On the Waterfront, East of Eden, and his brilliant labor of love, America, America have influenced millions of people.

  5. Akira Kurasowa: If he made only Ikiru, I would have put him on this list, but he also filmed Dodes'ka-den, Ran, and many other great stories.

  6. Stanley Kramer: His The Defiant Ones, On the Beach, Inherit the Wind, and Judgment at Nuremberg arrived at times in my life to help shape my moral code.

  7. Sidney Lumet: He was a premier director in the Golden Age of Television, and his classic films include Twelve Angry Men, Long Day's Journey into Night, The Pawnbroker, Fail-Safe, The Hill, Serpico, Murder on the Orient Express, Dog Day Afternoon, Network, Equus, and The Verdict.

  8. Mike Nichols: After establishing a reputation as a funny man, he began a legendary directing career 45 years ago. He is responsible for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Graduate, Catch-22, Carnal Knowledge, Wit, and Angels in America.

  9. Julian Schnabel: First a great artists and then Basquiat, Before Night Falls, and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. He is inventive and radiant.

  10. Fred Zinnemann: High Noon, From Here to Eternity, A Hatful of Rain, A Man for All Seasons, and Julia show what a stunning range he had.