Monday, June 30, 2014

Relay: Ten Most Influential Directors of All Time

John from Hitchcock’s World has started a new relay race, this time asking bloggers to list the most influential directors of all time. The rule is simple: remove one director from the group and replace them with another filmmaker you think is worthy. Some monumental filmmakers are to follow – hope you enjoy my swap!


Who Stays
Francis Ford Coppola

D.W. Griffith

Howard Hawks

Alfred Hitchcock

Stanley Kubrick

Sergio Leone

David Lynch

Georges Méliès

Steven Spielberg

Who I’m Removing
John Carpenter

It’s always difficult to remove an artist from a relay of this kind. Because really, I love many of the films John Carpenter has made throughout his career. And while I respect and appreciate John (Hitchcock’s) personal connection with John (Carpenter), he’s the filmmaker that I felt best about cutting here.

Who I’m Adding
Martin Scorsese

Why? Well, because he’s… Martin Scorsese. His films – classics in many different genres – simply speak for themselves. His impact on film (both in the ones he makes and the ones he helps preserve) has been enormous and unparalleled. And, if The Wolf of Wall Street is any indication, Scorsese is showing no signs of slowing down. Keep ‘em comin’, Marty.

Who Gets the Baton Next
Wendell Ottley at Dell on Movies. Have at it!

Contributors Thus Far


47 comments:

  1. Excellent choice! And not surprising, given your abiding love of Taxi Driver. :-)

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    1. Thanks! Ha, yep, no way I could deny the legendary Marty from a list like this.

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  2. Totes the right swap. No question. I love Carpenter (s earlier stuff). But Scorsese is in a different sport!

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    1. Thanks buddy. Yeah, I completely agree on both fronts. Haven't seen a good Carpenter flick in a while. Though Escape from L.A. is a lot of fun.

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  3. Oh man, that was tough. I love John Carpenter but Scorsese has made better films and is a better filmmaker.

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  4. Man I can watch the Thing or Halloween to no end it seems, but you are absolutely right. Martin Scorsese is more influential I would argue (and he is my favorite) than John Carpenter. John Carpenter's Films I often do not see on a Top 100 list of all time, but Scorsese, Scorsese usually has at least 3 movies on the list (honestly if a list does not have Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, and Goodfellas it is not a real list) movies on the list. Anyway, good choice I would have done the same thing.

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    1. Thanks man. Yeah, for me, Scorsese is a God. Mike above put it great when he said Scorsese is in another sport all together. So very true.

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  5. This could be amazing! Hope I get a chance to run with it!

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    1. You're just saying that because you want to spite me by putting Jean-Luc Godard on the list, aren't you?

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  6. Scorcese is a great choice. Very glad you passed me the baton, but man do I have a tough decision to make.

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    1. Yeah, it's only going to get harder and harder from here. Good luck!

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  7. Yeah man, love it how you bring some Marty love. Scorsese is really unmatched.

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    1. Hell yeah dude. Definitely unmatched in my eye.

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  8. Wow, I'll confess I did not expect Carpenter to go that early. It is okay to be a little bit saddened to see someone like him go, right?

    Of course, Scorsese is a pretty good replacement. I personally didn't like Raging Bull but I loved Taxi Driver and Goodfellas and Shutter Island and The Aviator and Hugo and I can certainly see how those may have made an impact. Excellent choice.

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    1. Like I said, a tough choice, but someone's gotta go. I feel sorry for whoever gets it from now on. Shit is gonna get really difficult.

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    2. I've considered a few possibilities but I can't exactly be certain of anything. On) e scenario I don't think is too far-fetched would be for someone to replace Lynch with Fellini, and I do have a feeling that (unfortunately) Goddard is going to end up on here sooner or later.

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    3. Yeah, I know you're not a Godard fan, but his influence is undeniable, for better or worse.

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    4. Well, if he wasn't I wouldn't have to keep watching his films for my Cinema Studies classes.

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  9. By the way, if you don't mind me asking where did you get that really cool picture of David Lynch with all the light behind his head?

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    1. I'll have to keep an eye out for that the next time I'm looking for pictures of Lynch.

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  10. Marty was one of my considerations before settling on Steven. Nice replacement and swap, and sorry to see ya go, John! :)

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    1. Thanks again for passing it on to me, Katy! Steven was a great inclusion.

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  11. Joooooooooohnnnnnn! Oh, well. You're right, despite the many great films he's made, I can think of a LOT of directors who are much more influential. But what I can't help but wonder is how was Scorsese not on there already? I mean, I'm not attacking John from Hitchcock's World, but I do find it odd that he would make such an omission. Well, I guess he just had difficulty narrowing it down to ten. Funny, I was working on a similar list a while ago (not on any blog, I'd suck at one of those, but the old-fashioned way, on a piece of paper) and I came out with a whopping 147 names, although about a third of the way through, it stopped being a list of influential directors and just a list of acclaimed directors I'd like to check out. Well, if I had a blog, I'd take out either Hawks or Leone (probably Hawks) and replace him with Kurosawa, Fellini, Renoir, Bergman or Chaplin (probably Chaplin). Jesus, a top twenty list would be much easier.

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    1. I don't want to speak for John, but I suspect Carpenter was on here because John is a big fan of a few of his films (though not all of them), and has actually met Carpenter personally, which is always a cool thing. But yeah, a swap for old Marty wasn't very hard for me. I love all of the directors you listed too. Namely Bergman, who is my all-time favorite.

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    2. I can imagine you narrowing it down and then having to flip a coin between Scorsese and Bergman.

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    3. Ha, yep. Pretty much what I did.

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  12. Great choice! Though I will say, I am slightly surprised you didn't choose Bergman. However, I definitely agree with your choice, Scorsese really is in another league.

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    1. Considering Bergman probably did have some significance (considering how often gets brought up), I don't think it's too much of a stretch for him to show up at some point.

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    2. Thanks Aditya! Yeah, it was a tough call, as Bergman is my favorite filmmaker. But I felt confident that Marty was a solid choice, and would endure of the life of the relay. Time will tell!

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  13. What a great idea!

    And great choice Alex, Scorsese deserves that spot.

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    1. Thanks Nika! Can't deny the power of Scorsese!

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  14. I don't know, Alex. I think you got off easy. From here....shit's going to be real tough. My guess is Lynch goes next...but we'll see. Wendell could surprise everyone. As for Scorsese? Pretty sure he's a lock to stay. Removing him may be crime in any country.

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    1. No man, I totally agree. The first few people to get a crack at a relay always have it easiest, for sure. Sadly, I suspect it'll be one of the old timers who goes next (or at least soon). I read a review of Hugo a few months ago, and the blogger literally had no idea that Georges Méliès was a real filmmaker.

      (sigh)... kids today

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    2. There are a few that I don't expect to see go any time soon. Georges Méliès seemed like one. After all he was basically the first auteur and the first person to actually treat film as an art form rather than just a fancy new way to photograph everyday occurrences. It's hard to argue with that. Griffith also pioneered just about every modern filmmaking technique. Also a hard one to argue against.

      As for the others. I don't see how anyone could make a case against Kubrick or Hitchcock, though that doesn't mean I won't see someone try.

      I suppose I could see someone taking off Lynch in favor of one of the big art film directors like Fellini or Bergman or some other guy from that movement that I've never heard of. You could after all make the argument that Fellini is more influential because he heavily inspired Lynch.

      That's the interesting thing with this relay is that there is no definitive answer. It's so subjective that if you know the director enough you could probably make a case for anybody.

      Granted, there are a few names I could see popping up later on. Fellini or Bergman for one. I also wouldn't imagine it too far-fetched to expect Akira Kurosawa to make an appearance given the impact he had on certain later auteurs. Orson Welles if only for making some of the most critically-acclaimed movies of all time (with hindsight he'd have been a good pick for my initial list). Also, somewhat less fortunately, I am prepared to deal with Goddard (after all this is the most INFLUENTIAL directors of all time, not the GREATEST). Tarkovsky also seems like someone I might see at some point.

      Of course, it could really be anybody. We might see Ridley Scott or James Cameron or even Tarantino come in somewhere down the line. Maybe somebody will even try and make a case for Ed Wood. As I said in my post, I figure once this gets going I'll probably see directors I love, directors I hate, and others I've never heard of.

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    3. Every filmmaker on the list definitely deserves to stay there, but such is the way relays work. What I was driving at with my initial comment to m.brown is that, sadly, I fear there are a number of people who don't understand the impact that Méliès (arguably the most influential filmmaker ever), and Griffith (and the Lumière brothers and Edwin S. Porter and on and on) had on cinema. Which is a shame. But oh well, way it goes.

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  15. Great choice! Martin Scorsese is a fantastic director and definitely deserves a spot on the list.

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    1. Thanks! No doubt, Marty is the best.

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  16. Can't argue with Scorsese. I'm surprised he wasn't on here previously.

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    1. Yeah me too actually. But now he is!

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  17. Awesome choice man! I've got the baton now, and there's no way I'm removing Scorsese. :)

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    1. I wouldn't for a second think you'd take him off! Interested to see who you swap out.

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  18. Awesome choice and list man! Amazed that Scorsese wasn't on there yet. There are a few people I would hate to see on here, but there are many already that rock, following the blog-athon late along the roots right now.

    Would have had Kurosawa myself. Seven Samurai and Rashomon pretty much defined western movies for a while, perhaps even unto today. Guy is a legend.

    Would have loved to see Bergman and Tarkovsky. I don't think their work is as influential as it is just utterly spellbinding, but still-

    Glad to see Leone, Hitch, Lynch and Kubrick tho :D

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    1. Bergman was obviously my first choice, but, sadly, a lot of bloggers aren't very familiar with his work, so I feared he'd be taken off quickly. Marty should've been there from the beginning.

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