Aronofsky, Fincher, Wes Anderson—we could also add PT Anderson—are some of the critically acclaimed directors now. Personally, while I don’t think they’re terrible directors, I don’t consider them great (or at least I don’t think they’ve really made a great film, yet).
In this thread, defenders can make a case for these directors and naysayers can make theirs as well. But I also want to hear from the naysayers about which directors they would choose instead. Non-American directors are welcome, but I’d also like to hear of any American director who has appeared in the last fifteen years or so that we should know about. (No American directors come to mind off the top of my head.)
I think PT Anderson is considerably more talented than the above-listed directors which everybody loves to masticate… he, at least, seems to be growing “as a man,” and not just riffing on the things he already knows (as much as I like Fincher, it’s not as if he’s “radical”).
And WHAT HAPPENED TO SHANE CARRUTH?!
the latest that i heard on carruth is here
Joshua Safdie, Andrew Bujalski, Joe Swanberg, Duplass Brothers, for starters.
China’s where it’s at, son… and those are just the non-narrative documentary-esque filmmakers that have emerged mostly this decade (with the exception of Jia all made their first film 2003 or later)
Thanks for the link about Shane Carruth, Brian. Why the hell isn’t Primer on my favorite films list?
Villain beat me to Wang Bing. He might be at the top of my list.
I’m afraid to find really unique, young voices you’re forced to go beyond these borders.
This is a tough one. I went to a panel of three men who worked at Focus Features recently, and they kept going on and on about how they like to attract new talent in their attempt to produce films that are slightly removed from the mainstream. One of the guys kept endlessly praising Hunger while discussing his interest in working with Steve Mcqueen. Thus, I subsequently rented wondering if I would be blown away. Ultimately, it was a well-made filmbut relies way too much on the shock factor and does not hold a candle in geniality to someone people like Antonioni and Kieslowski.
The problem is that there is strong work being created by American filmmakers but they will never enjoy theatrical distribution. Ever. Some will persevere, some will not. Maybe if one is fortunate, one develops a small audience, but sadly, not one which will sustain the filmmaker. Not everyone wants to become part of the biz. So the struggle is to find some way to support oneself and make films when one can. Aronofsky, Fincher, Wes Anderson, P.T. Anderson are not the standard. I have little interest in the Hollywood hot tub, so-
In compliance with the topic, here’s three filmmakers, utterly off the radar, I discovered this year:
David Ball- http://duckrabbitpictures.blogspot.com/
PUTTY HILL TRAILER (FINAL UP-REZ) from Matt Porterfield on Vimeo.
Mark Lafia- http://mubi.com/garage/posts/2537
Let me add Josh and Bennie Safdie, who’ve managed to find their way to theatrical distribution land, and Ronald Bronstein, whose film “Frownland” played on the big screen for a short time. Good luck to them all. To everyone.
i like BRAD Anderson, I second Kelly Reichardt
CAOIMHÍN — Thanks, I’ll check those out.
Suggestions for non-American directors are welcome.
I’ve seen two of Reichardt’s films, and I really liked one of them. I need to see more Bahrani. Not sure if I’m prepared to say these directors are more promising or noteworthy than the ones in the title.
Need to see Bing and some of those other directors. I’m not that high on Jia.
If her first film is any indication of her work to come, I really like Ry Russo-Young (“You Won’t Miss Me”).
Aaron Katz, Andrew Bujalski, Noah Baumbach, Lynn Shelton, Tom McCarthy, Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck are some of the directors I want to hear more. Oh, and I like PT Anderson.
And I don’t like Nolan or Boyle either, by the way.-
How is the fact that people like PTA are not the standard connected to the other fact that those particular directors want to be part of the ‘biz’. It seemed like you were contradicting yourself. I’m confused.
What is considered young? (serious question)
How about someone who emerged on the scene in the past fifteen years.
My question is this: Are guys like Aronofsky and PT Anderson truly passionate about cinema or do they just want to be in the business while sporting an ‘artiste’ veneer, having gotten a connection into the industry some years back. I honestly don’t know.
I think they’re truly passionate about it.
I don’t think there’s anything that makes me question their passion. I also think both of those directors are talented filmmakers (at worst, they’re competant filmmakers). I also wouldn’t be surprised if they do make a great film one day, but I just haven’t seen that yet, and I tend to think the accolades they get is a bit more than their films warrant. But that’s just me.
Oh, Christopher Nolan and Danny Boyle can be added to this list, too.
Maybe I’m being too hard on these directors. I do think they have ability. Then again, they have had quite a bit of time for us to make some judgment about their artistry or lack thereof. Right now, I’m not that excited. Are they at the level of Coppola, Scorsese, or Speilberg? I don’t think so, or at least I don’t think any of them have made films that are as good as those filmmaker’s best films.
@ Rossi – One may not like their films (or Fincher’s, Nolan’s, ect.), but there are easier ways to make a buck if you’re a well known director. They can be making more money directing mindless action flicks starring The Rock. If you were interested only in money and had Adam Sandler at your disposal, would you make Punch Drunk Love? Black Swan isn’t for everyone, but its clearly made with a great deal of passion. And the kind of directors interested in ‘artiste’ veneers – they tend to be actual artists. It never ceases to amaze me how the mere fact that a director becomes well known and successful causes so many here to write them off. (Ranting toward MUBI in general, not you, Rossi.)
Agreed. For example, There Will Be Blood, which I gave five stars originally but may be reconsidering, was well-made in many respects, but I also found it to be unnecessarily theatrical and it was slightly self-conscious. It could have been great but it was merely good to very good.
You also bring up Coppola who made the great The Conversation, along with The Godfather and Apocalypse Now, both of which were well done but somewhat romanticized in my opinion.
Ramin Bahrani is American and already has 3 very acclaimed feature films under his belt. Hughes Brothers roughly fit into that timeframe.
All those directors belong to the “mainstream” flavor of today’s cinema, well…the cinephile’s cinema that is, I’m not sure if There Will Be Blood echoes to the common Joe’s desires. So do Jean-Pierre Jeneut, Giuseppe Tornatore, Fernando Trueba, Gabrielle Muccino and plenty of other non-English language names, just mentioning them so that I won’t be called anti-American again. Some of them older in terms of film-making but others like Danis Tanovic or Danny Boyle, considerably recent film-makers are no different than their American counterparts as mentioned above.
PTA definitely has a huge amount of talent in between the names of Coppola, O. Russell, Fincher, and not even Punch Drunk Love is evidence enough against what he’s got (his video-clips are the real suffering), it’s just that public attention seeks to embrace a director like PTA at the cost of Reichardt and Bujalski and even Tom Noonan whose work I’ve finally seen What Happened Was… Why not give all the money Aronofsky wastes on obsolete “exercises” to Jenni Olson who will gladly experiment with the medium and its potentials in cine-essays for our eyes and ears?
Moreover, China, Portugal, Argentina, Romania, Senegal, India, Greece, Sweden, Indonesia, Mexico, more talents, evocations, discoveries to treasure and explore, these countries and more possessing a stronghold of independent film-making without stars but actors / actresses.
It’s because they become well known and successful as a result of people who don’t take them seriously as artists. PTA, Wes, and Darren become successful in a conventional sense for being cool, because of people who don’t take film seriously as an art form and would give you a blank stare if you asked them who Eric Rohmer. It’s people who see Darren as cinematic artistry of the highest caliber. Even if they may be good directors, it mainly stems from a negative reaction to everything I wrote above.
TO continue, basically, I have a good friend who is a fan of Tarantino, PTA, and Wes Anderson, and he wants to go into the film industry, but he’s passionate about it as an entertainment medium for making money not as a high art form. It’s because of people with that sort of mentality that Aronofksy has more name recognition than Kieslowksi or Haneke.