I was thinking about this recently and which films I wish I had directed. There aren’t many. Not because I think most movies are bad, but because they reflect different obsessions from mine, express ideas and personalities different from mine, or are just made in a style I don’t see myself using. I love a movie like Paris, Texas but I don’t wish I had directed it. I think it’s perfect just the way it is.
I wish I had directed Bringing Out the Dead. This is one of my favorite films. I love everything about it. The script, the cinematography, the cast, the setting, the vision. This is so close to the kind of movie I’d like to make I just wish I had been the one that made it.
All of them
Even Chairman of the Board?
When I read the title of this topic, the first film that came to my mind was Bringing Out the Dead! I pick that film because it epitomizes the style of film making that I want to have when I become a filmmaker. It’s violent, realistic, expressionistic, dramatic, comedic, has a roughness to the way it was made, experimental, spiritual, and whatever other word you can think of (the more I think about that film the more I am convinced that it is my favorite Scorsese film). It’s so beautifully shot! It’s even dreamlike it’s a lot of it’s scenes, especially the scene when Cage follows Tom Sizemore down that ally when he’s going to go beat Marc Anthony. The film is so realistic, yet so dreamlike and mystical.
I love films where the urgency of the story grabs you from the very first frame. Bringing Out the Dead does that. Many of Scorsese’s films do that. I love it even more when a film takes you on an unforgettable visual ride. I distinctly remember many shots and sequences from that film. It could be considered flashy and drawing too much attention to itself, but I think this story demands a style like that. Its protagonist is a psychologically and spiritually damaged insomniac rapidly descending into his own personal hell. I think Scorsese made the right choice.
There are other films like this that I love. Natural Born Killers, Requiem for a Dream, and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas all come to mind. Films where the visual element is the strongest but that also feature compelling ideas and characters. Great soundtracks too.
Early Carpenter stuff like Escape from NY
There are other fans of Bringing Out the Dead!?!? Is it time that I return to Mubi??
The only thing that comes to mind is Brick, not because it’s one of my very favorite movies, but simply because it is pretty close to the movie I was trying to make when I made my first short film back in 9th grade (before I’d seen Brick).
Overall I want to make my own movies and not the movies of others, but this was the one case where it was uncanny watching it and looking back to where my mind was during my first short.
I think most people have a long list of movies they love and one movie that they wish they had made. I remember hearing Scorsese say he wished he’d made The Red Shoes. Even though he’s obviously a fan of plenty of films and directors that’s the only one I’ve heard him say he wished he’d directed. I guess it all depends on what you want to accomplish as an artist. We have lots of inspirations and things we look at and say "this is kind of like what I’d like to do’ or ‘I really like what they did here’. And then there’s that one thing that is exactly like what we’d like to do.
There’s definitely a difference between the respect I have for someone like Kubrick versus someone like Scorsese. I don’t want to make films like Kubrick. I love them, but they aren’t how I want to express myself through film. On the other hand, Scorsese makes films very much like I plan on making them.
Now that I’ve given this thread some thought I’m going to say the one film I do wish I’d have made would be Blue Valentine. Everyone who has seen my films or simply knows me and then sees that film immediately knows how much I love it.