Directors I Love and You Should Watch

31 03 2010

In today’s post, I’d like to share with you some of my favorite directors working today. Now, I’m not some indie-art-flick-loving film snob, so don’t expect a list of foreign black-and-white-only auteurs or “modern” directors that no one has ever heard of or really sought out. My list of directors will be names you probably recognize, whose work you can easily access at the cinemas or Blockbuster. That being said, let’s begin:

Danny Boyle

Danny Boyle earns a spot on my list based on the way he handles a camera. He has a marvelous talent for immersing the audience into the world he is creating. Boyle knows when to come in tight on a situation, and he knows how long to hold the shot. His films have great dialogue as well. It’s rare to find a cheesy line or awkward delivery, because Boyle puts weight behind authentic conversations between his characters. It’s hard to discuss a director’s work without knowing his films, so here are Boyle’s works that I enjoy:
Trainspotting (1996) – must-see film for any movie fan
The Beach (2000) – the Leo DiCaprio film that bridges the gap between the boy in Titanic and the man in Gangs of New York. Also, fantastic use of music
28 Days Later (2002) – the film that single-handedly revitalized the zombie/horror genre
Sunshine (2007) – personally, an absolute MUST-SEE
Slumdog Millionaire (2008) – Best Picture and Best Director

Upcoming Film: 127 Hours starring James Franco as mountain climber Aron Ralston, who resorts to cutting off his own arm after being trapped by a fallen boulder

Michael Mann

Michael Mann has been directing films since the late 60’s, but it his work in the last 20 years that really catches my eye. Mann has a wonderful ability make everything look gritty and real. This is even more evident in his recent work, where he opts to shoot with digital cameras instead of the standard 35mm film. Mann thrives on drama and suspense, and his ability to get the best out of great actors makes his films intense and fun to watch.
The Last of the Mohicans (1992) – an epic love-story showcasing the amazingness of Daniel Day Lewis
Heat (1995) – the pinnacle of crime movies, with Pacino and DeNiro together. There is a reason that the great crime-side of The Dark Knight was often compared to Heat.
The Insider (1999) – one of Russell Crowe’s best performances, hands-down.
Ali (2001) – Mann took the comedy/action rising star of Will Smith and turned him into a dramatic leading man in a movie about the tumultuous life of one of America’s greatest sports icons
Collateral (2004) – Personally, one of my favorite Tom Cruise performances as a great villain, and Jamie Foxx paves the way for a dramatic career
Miami Vice (2006) – Often panned by Mann purists and Miami Vice fans alike, I still enjoy this movie as a look at modern crime. Plus, Colin Farrel is easily one of my favorite actors working today. Also, fantastic music.
Public Enemies (2009) – A great performance by Johnny Depp, and the use of digital cameras to shoot the 20’s/30’s is stellar

More Directors to come!

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