Pick One Movie Each for Top Directors

Pick One Movie Each for Top Directors

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Pick One Movie Each for Top Directors

#1

Postby Goonies85 » Mon Mar 05, 2018 2:36 am

Hi All,

This topic will be a little unique (hopefully). Basically, the plan here is to list top/popular directors, and name your absolute favorite movie they did. You can elaborate for some of the picks as per why you felt that particular film was superior (even if slightly so) to their other work, but ultimately you can pick just one movie...Here we go...(And I do apologize, this list really expanded as soon as I started it, so I'm going to try to only chime in on certain choices and make my thoughts brief...but beware, this will still be a lengthy post...Doing this while watching the Oscars in the background)...

Francis Ford Coppola - Apocalypse Now. I know, I know, but I thought I'd start with one of the hardest choices in this thing. I love the Godfather movies, but for whatever reason I just think Apocalypse Now slightly edges them...But only by the thinnest of margins...

Martin Scorsese - Taxi Driver. Close call...Would probably surprise people to know that the movie that came closest to knocking off Taxi Driver was Casino..

Quentine Tarantino - Reservoir Dogs. Without a doubt my favorite Tarantino movie.

John Boorman - Point Blank. Narrowly edges out Deliverance...

Woody Allen - Blue Jasmine. Haven't seen enough of his movies, but this still edges Manhattan and Annie Hall for me...Which I know will not be a popular opinion...

Adam McKay - Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. One of the most quotable movies ever...If you're having a bad day, pop this movie in and your day instantly gets a bit better...

Judd Apatow - Funny People. I know there's a lot of complaints about the length of Apatow movies, but I usually actually enjoy his Extended Cuts...And this one is no different...Also proved that Sandler knows how to act from time to time...Great mixture of comedy and drama...And I love Jonah's interactions with Jason Schwartzman and Rogen...Aubrey Plaza was also a blast...

David Gordon Green - Pineapple Express. Years ago, it would've been The Undertow, but this movie has grown on me year after year after year...And I've probably seen it over two dozen times at this point...Franco and Rogen were born for these roles...And Gary Cole plays an awesome villain...

Paul Verhoeven - Basic Instinct. Between this and Total Recall, I'm going with his awesome San Francisco set neo-noir...

Ridley Scott - Alien.

Tony Scott - True Romance.

Christopher Nolan - Memento. I've mentioned this in other posts but I'm not a giant Nolan fan. This, one of his earliest, remains his best, in my mind. And Guy Pearce and Joey Pants are terrific.

Tim Burton - Ed Wood. The next closest would be Edward Scissorhands...

David Cronenberg - The Brood. Lots of great stuff to choose from...

Atom Egoyan - The Sweet Hereafter. Tight race with Exotica and The Adjuster, but this tragic movie slightly edged them...

Steven Soderbergh - Out of Sight. The Limey came close but this cool movie took the cake...

Ingmar Bergman - Winter Light. He's made a ton of amazing movies, but this to me is his hand's down best...

Robert Altman - The Long Goodbye. One of Elliott Gould's best roles...

Arthur Penn - Night Moves.

Abel Ferrara - King of New York.

David O. Russell - Silver Linings Playbook. (The Fighter is sweet, too).

Alexander Payne - Election.

Stanley Kubrick - The Shining. A Clockwork Orange was the runner-up...

Jean-Luc Godard - Band of Outsiders. Contempt came closest to knocking this off the throne...

Francois Truffaut - Jules et Jim.

Jean-Pierre Melville - Le samourai. One of the coolest movies of all-time...

David Lynch - Mulholland Dr. His undeniable masterpiece. Lengthy but completely enthralling...

Gus Van Sant - My Own Private Idaho. Paranoid Park and Elephant are great, but this has one of the last and greatest performances by River Pheonix...

Wolfgang Petersen - Das Boot (5-Hour Television Version).

William Friedkin - To Live and Die in LA. Tops The French Connection and the overrated The Exorcist...

Hal Ashby - Shampoo. Hilarious...light-hearted...with a very ambiguous ending...Really love how the plot goes in this movie...

Michael Cimino - The Deer Hunter. (Although Heaven's Gate is surprisingly good and was unfairly maligned upon its release).

Oliver Stone - JFK. While I love Platoon, I have to admire the sheer masterwork that is JFK...Using all sorts of different film stocks and editing tricks and having one of the all-time great casts...And while I don't take everything in the movie literally, I've read enough stuff on JFK to know that some of the arguments he puts across are at least worthy reliving into...And I think Costner's end monologue in the courtroom is one of the best ever...Almost tear up when I watch that...

Coen Brothers - Fargo. Edges The Big Lebowski and is up there in my top three movies of all-time...

John McTiernan - Die Hard. Predator is also good, but this is a landmark film...

Errol Morris - The Thin Blue Line. Revolutionized the documentary genre at the time...

Brian De Palma - Blow Out. John Travolta, Nancy Allen, and John Lithgow are terrific in this awesome thriller...

John Carpenter - The Thing.

John Hughes - The Breakfast Club. Was torn between this and Ferris Bueller's Day Off, but ultimately this is the one that is slightly more memorable...And influential, in my mind...Although I'll always tune in when I come across Bueller on the TV...

Larry Cohen - Q: The Winged Serpent.

John Milius - Big Wednesday. Shows how good a movie can be when the filmmaker is super passionate about the subject matter...

Steven Spielberg - Jaws.

Sidney Lumet - Prince of the City.

James Cameron - Aliens.

Alfred Hitchcock - North by Northwest.

Milos Forman - One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

George Roy Hill - Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

Sergio Leone - Once Upon a Time in the West.

Sam Peckinpah - Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid. Slightly edges out The Wild Bunch...

Dario Argento - Suspiria.

Lucio Fulci - The Beyond. Surreal, non-sensical, extremely gory masterpiece...What else would one expect from Fulci? Also features one of my favorite Giallo scores...

Clint Eastwood - Play Misty for Me.

Alejandro G. Inarritu - Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance. Love all the camera-work in this one...And I'm a giant Michael Keaton fan...Loved this way more than the overrated The Revenant...

Guillermo Del Toro - Pan's Labyrinth. The Devil's Backbone was neck and neck with this one...

Pedro Almodovar - Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.

Samuel Fuller - Fixed Bayonets!. Always thoughts this movie was ahead of its time in terms of its surprisingly realistic tone...

Orson Welles - Citizen Kane. No brainer.

Richard Donner - The Goonies. I love his version of Superman: The Movie, but The Goonies will always remain a chidhood favorite...Definitely a good rainy day movie...

Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg - This Is The End. Love all the cameos...And love the relations between all of the characters, some of which you can tell were largely carried over from real life...

Greg Mottola - Adventureland. Nice coming of age movie...Especially neat if you grew up in the '80s/early '90s...Kind of a time warp...

Jonathan Levine - 50/50. The Wackness is also good, but this one always seems to make me a bit emotional...

Spike Jonze - Her. Love this one a bit more than Adapation...Scarlett was just incredible as the voice...

Gaspar Noe - Enter the Void.

Robert Zemeckis - Romancing the Stone. The obvious choice would've been to go with Back to the Future, but I just adore the chemistry between Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner...Although the sequel sucked...Which Zemeckis didn't direct...

Roman Polanski - The Ghost Writer. That rare time where a filmmaker makes one of their greatest movies towards the end of their career...While I'll always love Chinatown, Repulsion, Knife in the Water, and Cul-de-Sac...This is one that I find most compelling...Probably not a popular pick, but oh well...

Kevin Smith - Mallrats. Not a lot of debate here, as I'm generally not a big fan of his other work...This is one of the few movies of his that I kind of enjoy...

Todd Phillips - Old School. I enjoy most of the Hangover movies, but I still think this is his best...

Paul Schrader - Affliction. James Coburn and Nick Nolte at their finest...

Renny Harlin - Die Hard 2: Die Harder.

Michael Bay - The Rock.

John Huston - The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.

John Hillcoat - The Proposition. Great Aussie Western.

Nicholas Winding Refn - Pusher II: With Blood On My Hands. Narrowly beats Drive and the original Pusher movie...

Michael Mann - Heat.

Howard Hawks - Rio Bravo.

John Ford - The Searchers.

Joe Dante - Gremlins.

David Mamet - Homicide.

Spike Lee - 25th Hour.

Clive Barker - Nightbreed.

Wes Craven - Scream 4.

Greg McLane - Wolf Creek.

Rob Zombie - The Devil's Rejects.

Adam Green - Frozen. Not the animated movie. A really freaky and tense horror movie about a freak accident involving a chairlift at a ski hill...Don't want to spoil much, but I went into this movie with extremely low expectations, but was absolutely glued to my chair within the first ten or fifteen minutes...

Adam Wingard - You're Next. Great modern-day horror movie...Feels like a Scream movie, at times, as it really comments on the horror genre...Takes a lot of twists that you don't see coming, which is always welcome in my mind...And the family central to the story feels like a real family...I guess it helps that so much of the talent involved were friends with each other for years before they filmed this movie...

Ti West - The Sacrament. Did not expect to like this movie so much...It's filmed in a very unique way, in which the characters are essentially a documentary crew sent from Vice to interview the inhabitants of a Jim Jones style commune in Central America...Very eerie, without being overly violent aside from a few key moments...Scary movie...

Eli Roth - Hostel. I guess...Not a big fan...

Jonathan Demme - Something Wild. I'm of the opinion that The Silence of the Lambs is a touch overrated, so I'm going off the board with this pick...One of his funner movies that has a terrific score, and can also be serious at times, with some great work by Ray Liotta and Jeff Daniels...Married to the Mob and Stop Making Sense are also Damme movies that I feel are slightly superior to SOTL...Really sucked when Demme passed away...Seemed like he still had a lot of good work left in him...

Jules Dassin - Night and the City.

Billy Wilder - Double Indemnity. This one's a little unfair, as I really haven't watched a lot of Wilder movies, although I hope to do so in the future...Would be hard to top this one, though...

John Cassavetes - The Killing of a Chinese Bookie.

Costa-Gavras - Missing. I love a lot of his political conspiracy movies, but this is my favorite...Sissy and Jack Lemmon were great, but I thought it was the actor who played Lemmon's son who was really good...His name escapes me...A very paranoid movie, much like his other stuff like Z, State of Siege, and The Confession...

Terry Gilliam - 12 Monkeys. Close call with this and Fear and Loathing, but this just took the original Chris Marker short and made a really compelling movie with a great plot...And Brad Pitt really got to show off in this movie...I wish Bruce Willis would pick more challenging roles like this these days, as he certainly proved he has the chops when he applies himself in movies like this...

Monte Hellman - Two-Lane Blacktop.

Werner Herzog - Aguirre, the Wrath of God. One of the most prolific filmmakers ever, and this, I believe, is by far his best. His recent work has also been extremely good, but I'm going with one of his earlier films...A hypnotic film, at times...

Terrence Malick - Badlands. Hated most of his recent work (aside from Tree of Life), but the few films he did prior to his current burst of productivity were all pretty great...

Terry Zwigoff - Bad Santa. Ghost World was close, but Bad Santa just makes me laugh like crazy everytime I watch it...The weird thing is, when I watch it it has to be the Bad(der) Santa edition, which is not Zwigoff's preferred version. When I watch his Director's Cut, I feel he took out way too much of the humour for some bizarre reason...

Wes Anderson - The Royal Tenenbaums. Really love Rushmore, Bottle Rocket, and the Life Aquatic, too...But the ensemble in The Royal Tenenbaums really takes it away...

Paul Thomas Anderson - Boogie Nights. Although I've loved every single one of his movies...

Danny Boyle - T2: Trainspotting. Shallow Grave would be a near second...But I loved T2...Felt it really took the characters from the original and added to their stories in a beautiful way...

Richard Linklater - Dazed and Confused. Easy pick.

Ron Howard - Apollo 13. Not a fan of most of his movies, so this wasn't too difficult. Backdraft is good but a little corny...And I wasn't a fan of the Baldwin in the lead role...

David Fincher - Zodiac. This was another tight one, with Seven being so good and mind-blowing at the time, but I've followed the Zodiac case for years and this movie really did the story justice. I also love how there's really no closure (I know you could almost say the same thing for Seven, but at least you ultimately know what happened and what was in the box)...In the Zodiac, it ends with some text that explains where the case currently stands...And Robert Downey Jr. gives one of his greatest performances, and this is the movie where I really grew to appreciate Mark Ruffalo (who I also love as the Hulk)...

John Landis - An American Werewolf in London. Hilarious, scary, and the effect still hold up today...The music soundtrack is also killer...

James Mangold - Cop Land.

Tobe Hooper - The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.

Sorry for the lengthy post...Seemed to have gotten a bit carried away...

Feel free to chime in if you have the time...

Thanks,

E
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"He asks forgiveness for his hubris. He tells God that he has gained his selfhood at great cost to other people. He tells God that he loves danger now, and it thrills him much more than it frightens him."
- James Ellroy

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Re: Pick One Movie Each for Top Directors

#2

Postby Goonies85 » Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:15 am

Forgot a few...

Edgar Wright - Hot Fuzz. Shaun of the Dead is close, but this is my fave...The Blu-Ray is absolutely loaded with good stuff, too...I especially like the commentary he does with Tarantino...

Alfonso Cuaron - Children of Men. The camerawork is insane in this movie...Deserves all of the acclaim it rightfully gets...

Michelangelo Antonioni - Zabriskie Point. Really trippy movie that I just adore...A lot of the visuals are just surreal...I love Blow-Up, but this is my favorite of his...

Sean Penn - The Pledge. Recently watched a bunch of his movies...Love The Indian Runner and The Crossing Guard, but this is by far his best...And I do not like Into the Wild, so that was immediately out of the running...

Todd Solondz - Happiness. Incredibly creepy movie that is somehow funny at times...Lots of great underrated actors like Dylan Baker and Lara-Flynn Boyle...Also has one of the best Philip Seymour Hoffman performances...

Walter Hill - Southern Comfort. One of the greatest casts ever...Another super-masculine movie from the great Walter Hill...

James Gunn - Slither. His Guardians movies are good but this is his pinnacle, in my mind...

Michael Haneke - Cache. Again, he's made lots of great movies, but this one blew my mind when it came out...

Curtis Hanson - L.A. Confidential. Albeit, I wish the ending was different...It should've ended about 5 minutes prior to when it did, but you have to admit that this is superior filmmaking...

George A. Romero - Dawn of the Dead. Feel that this one is obvious...

Michael Ritchie - Fletch. Chevy's best role, in my opinion. I'll always love him in Christmas Vacation, but he was born to play Fletch...

Nicolas Roeg - Performance. Completely bizarre movie...Mick Jagger is fun in this, as is James Fox, who they reportedly really slipped acid while on the set...

Thanks,

E
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"He asks forgiveness for his hubris. He tells God that he has gained his selfhood at great cost to other people. He tells God that he loves danger now, and it thrills him much more than it frightens him."
- James Ellroy

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Re: Pick One Movie Each for Top Directors

#3

Postby Goonies85 » Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:30 am

Michael Winterbottom - 24 Hour Party People.

Joe Carnahan - Narc. Haven't liked most of what he's done since this, so this was a pretty easy choice...Hated The Grey...Smokin' Aces was okay but way over-edited...The A-Team was all right but I'd have to watch it again...None of them match the intensity of Narc...Really surprised the way his career path went after that movie...Thought he'd be like the next Friedkin, who called Narc the "best cop movie of all-time"...Maybe a little hyperbolic, but the movie would be up there with the best cop movies...

Peter Bogdanovich - The Last Picture Show. Although Targets and Paper Moon are also really great...

Alan J. Pakula - The Parallax View. He passed away far too soon in a freak accident...This is a great paranoid '70s thriller starring Warren Beatty...His other greatest would be All the President's Men...But if I had to pick one I'm picking The Parallax View...

Lindsay Anderson - If..... Not a very prolific filmmaker, but this is clearly the apex of his career...

Peter Weir - Gallipoli. The weird electronic score might be the best part of this movie...That said, the direction is great, and Mel Gibson kicks ass in the lead role...I had to study this movie in high school and write a paper about it, so I must've watched it a half dozen times...Really wish they'd release this on Blu-Ray (hello, Criterion???)...I can admire a movie like Witness, but this is his masterpiece, in my mind...

Donald Cammell - White of the Eye. One of my favorite most bizarre but memorable movies of all-time. The director really experiments with the film stock in this movie, and while the plot doesn't make a whole ton of sense...I just find myself constantly drawn to this movie...I know I've used the word surreal before, but this movie truly is surreal...One of the oddest movies I've ever seen...

Darren Aronofsky - Requiem for a Dream. This one is obvious...But I should say that I didn't even factor in Noah (which I hated) or mother! (which I'm not sure I hate, but I definitely did not like)...

Douglas Sirk - All That Heaven Allows. Never thought I'd be into a melodrama like this but it really moved me...Rock Hudson was terrific...The first movie of Sirk's that I saw and it really made me a fan...

Andrew Dominik - The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Was pretty close, given that I love Chopper...But ultimately this is the one I feel is slightly more memorable...And the ensemble is great...That said, Eric Bana was great in Chopper...

Thanks,

E
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"He asks forgiveness for his hubris. He tells God that he has gained his selfhood at great cost to other people. He tells God that he loves danger now, and it thrills him much more than it frightens him."
- James Ellroy

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Re: Pick One Movie Each for Top Directors

#4

Postby Goonies85 » Mon Mar 05, 2018 4:19 am

David Lean - Lawrence of Arabia. Absolutely epic...
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"He asks forgiveness for his hubris. He tells God that he has gained his selfhood at great cost to other people. He tells God that he loves danger now, and it thrills him much more than it frightens him."
- James Ellroy

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Re: Pick One Movie Each for Top Directors

#5

Postby inri222 » Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:41 pm

David Cronenberg - Dead Ringers
Shohei Imamura - Black Rain
Ingmar Bergman - Persona
Jean-Luc Godard - Contempt
Jacques Tati - Playtime
Ken Russell - The Devils
Robert Altman - Short Cuts
Abel Ferrara - Bad Lieutenant
David Lynch - Lost Highway
Gus Van Sant - Elephant
Sam Peckinpah - Straw Dogs
Quentin Tarantino - Jackie Brown
Seijun sUZUKI - Branded to Kill
William Friedkin - The Exorcist
Luchino Visconti - The Leopard
Alfred Hitchcock - Vertigo
Pedro Almodovar - Bad Education
Martin Scorsese - Taxi Driver
Samuel Fuller - Shock Corridor
Jim Jarmusch - Mystery Train
Gaspar Noe - I Stand Alone
Spike Lee - Do the Right Thing
Masaki Kobayashi - Hara Kiri
Terry Gilliam - Brazil
Terrence Malick - Days of Heaven
Paul Thomas Anderson - The Master
Michelangelo Antonioni - Le Eclisse
Nicolas Roeg - Don't Look Now
Akira Kurosawa - Rashomon
Kenji Mizoguchi - Ugetsu
Billy Wilder - Sunset Boulevard
Robert Bresson - Au Hasard Balthazar
Andrei Tarkovsky - Solaris
Luis Bunuel - The Exterminating Angel
Bela Tarr - Werckmeister Harmonies
Bernardo Bertolucci - The Conformist
Bruno Dumont - Twentynine Palms
Charles Chaplin - City Lights
Coen Bros. - No Country for Old Men
Dardenne Bros. - Rosetta
Claire Denis - Trouble Every Day
RW Fassbinder - The Merchant of Four Seasons
Lars Von Trier - Breaking the Waves
Federico Fellini - 8 1/2
John Frankenheimer - The Manchurian Candidate
Stanley Kubrick - 2001
Mike Leigh - Naked
Alain Resnais - Hiroshima Mon Amour
John Schlesinger - Midnight Cowboy
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Re: Pick One Movie Each for Top Directors

#6

Postby Goonies85 » Thu Mar 08, 2018 4:19 am

inri222 wrote:David Cronenberg - Dead Ringers
Shohei Imamura - Black Rain
Ingmar Bergman - Persona
Jean-Luc Godard - Contempt
Jacques Tati - Playtime
Ken Russell - The Devils
Robert Altman - Short Cuts
Abel Ferrara - Bad Lieutenant
David Lynch - Lost Highway
Gus Van Sant - Elephant
Sam Peckinpah - Straw Dogs
Quentin Tarantino - Jackie Brown
Seijun sUZUKI - Branded to Kill
William Friedkin - The Exorcist
Luchino Visconti - The Leopard
Alfred Hitchcock - Vertigo
Pedro Almodovar - Bad Education
Martin Scorsese - Taxi Driver
Samuel Fuller - Shock Corridor
Jim Jarmusch - Mystery Train
Gaspar Noe - I Stand Alone
Spike Lee - Do the Right Thing
Masaki Kobayashi - Hara Kiri
Terry Gilliam - Brazil
Terrence Malick - Days of Heaven
Paul Thomas Anderson - The Master
Michelangelo Antonioni - Le Eclisse
Nicolas Roeg - Don't Look Now
Akira Kurosawa - Rashomon
Kenji Mizoguchi - Ugetsu
Billy Wilder - Sunset Boulevard
Robert Bresson - Au Hasard Balthazar
Andrei Tarkovsky - Solaris
Luis Bunuel - The Exterminating Angel
Bela Tarr - Werckmeister Harmonies
Bernardo Bertolucci - The Conformist
Bruno Dumont - Twentynine Palms
Charles Chaplin - City Lights
Coen Bros. - No Country for Old Men
Dardenne Bros. - Rosetta
Claire Denis - Trouble Every Day
RW Fassbinder - The Merchant of Four Seasons
Lars Von Trier - Breaking the Waves
Federico Fellini - 8 1/2
John Frankenheimer - The Manchurian Candidate
Stanley Kubrick - 2001
Mike Leigh - Naked
Alain Resnais - Hiroshima Mon Amour
John Schlesinger - Midnight Cowboy


Couple thoughts...

Surprised with Cronenberg's Dead Ringers...It's a decent movie, but I'll take The Brood, Scanners, Videodrome, and even Easter Promises over that...Jeremy Irons gave a great dual performance, though...

Bergman's Persona is a great choice...That would've probably been my runner-up to Winter Light...

Godard's Contempt...Can't really argue with this one...I also love the movie...For whatever reason, I just like Band of Outsiders slightly more...

Altman's Short Cuts...Also can totally see this...It and The Player were both great Altman movies...

Ferrara's Bad Lieutenant was almost my pick but I just prefer the ensemble in King of New York...Bad Lieutenant is still a great movie and Keitel gives one of his all-time best performances...

Lynch. I, too, love Lost Highway...

Gus Van Sant's Elephant. Surprising choice...I really like the movie but most people I've watched it with haven't liked it...Paranoid Park was also great...He can be very hit or miss, though, as I hated, hated Gerry...And his latest one (I think it was called Sea of Trees) wasn't that great...

Tarantino's Jackie Brown is an unusual choice...Don't hear that very often...Can't say there's anything wrong with the movie, though, as I am a fan...

Samuel Fuller made so many good movies like Shock Corridor (your pick), The Naked Kiss, Fixed Bayonets!, Underworld USA, The Steel Helmet, I Shot Jesse James, etc...All of those movies are great...

Gaspar Noe's I Stand Alone. I finally watched this about two years ago after owning the DVD for I don't know how long...Just a brutally, pessimistic movie that was extremely well-made...Definitely not something I tend to watch to often, but it is powerful, for sure...

Terry Gilliam's Brazil is one I've watched several times but for whatever reason it has never grown on me...I've read tons of very positive reviews of the movie but I've just never seen it...I think it's a good movie...Just not a great movie...

Bertolucci's The Conformist is one of my all-time favourites...Love everything about that movie...Especially the scenes in the forest of trees...

Lars Von Trier? I guess if I had to pick my favorite movie of his, I'd agree with Breaking the Waves...My next favorite would probably be either Europa or Antichrist...

Mike Leigh's Naked? For sure. And probably the best performance David Thewlis has ever given...That movie was mesmerizing...

Agree with you on Resnais and Schlesinger...

Appreciate the feedback, Inri...

Thanks,

E
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"He asks forgiveness for his hubris. He tells God that he has gained his selfhood at great cost to other people. He tells God that he loves danger now, and it thrills him much more than it frightens him."
- James Ellroy

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