Monday, April 16, 2007

The Top Twenty-One British Directors Of All Time

The Telegraph have compiled a list of those they would say are the best 21 British film directors ever. I'll run the list by you, and then tell you what I make of it; then, please, chime in with your own comments too.

1) Alfred Hitchcock 2) Charlie Chaplin 3) Michael Powell 4) David Lean 5) Nicolas Roeg 6) Carol Reed 7) John Boorman 8) Terence Davies 9) Alexander Mackendrick 10) Stephen Frears 11) Ridley Scott 12) Michael Winterbottom 13) John Schlesinger 14) Danny Boyle 15) Lindsay Anderson 16) Bill Douglas 17) Ken Loach 18) Thorald Dickinson 19) Mike Leigh 20) Shane Meadows 21) Ken Russell

Let's delete some of those, first of all. My list would never feature Shane Meadows, Michael Winterbottom, John Boorman or Charlie Chaplin and Powell would be admitted only in the company fo a chaperone - that is, as an adjunt to Emeric Pressberger.

So who would I add? Alan Clarke, without a shadow of a doubt. How he was left off in the first place I could never suppose. Lynn Ramsey - even if she'd only ever made shorts and her career was curtailed before
Ratcatcher, she'd deserve a spot in the top twenty. Jonathan Glazer too - he'd be notable if he'd never 'graduated' to features from promos and adds. For the more mainstream-friendly picks, I'd go for Edgar Wright and Garth Jennings, directors of the second-best and best film I've seen this year so far this year (those being Hot Fuzz and Son of Rambow).

Notable mentions in no particular order - some of these would make it into the twenty one and I guess some wouldn't, though they're better choices, I believe than the 'delete list' above: John and Roy Boulting, Paul Greenaway, Mike Hodges, Iain Softley, Bruce Robinson, Derek Jarman, Nick Park, Chris Menges, John Hough, Richard Eyre, Michael Reeves and Lewin Fitzhamon.

Definitely Lewin Fitzhamon.


Noah said...

I fine collection of film makers. May I ask why Chaplin should be excluded? Perhaps you could switch him with Buster Keaton? Ratcatcher is one of the most beautiful films I've seen. I almost feel bad enjoying the children's sorrows because it's so well shot.

Brendon said...

I'd swap Chaplin with Keaton any day of the week in any applicable list.

Keaton was one of the few greatest geniuses of cinema.

Mark said...

You'd leave out Chaplin and Boorman and include Edgar Wright and Garth Jennings?! You are joking right? You've clearly never seen Boorman's greats such as Point Blank, Deliverance, The Emerald Forest or Excalibur and almost every film Chaplin made is a masterpiece. And you'd dump them for the guy that made Shaun of the Dead and the crappy HHGTTG movie? Weird.

Not to end on a negative note your daily info is a great read! Cheers!

Brendon said...

No, I'm not joking. And I've seen every single Boorman feature film and - I think - all but one Chaplin film.

And yes, I think Edgar Wright is a much better film maker than either. And Garth Jennings is much better again.

Wait until you see Son of Rambow. Then you'll see what Jennings is capable of...

...which is not to knock Guide. It was flawed, but the flaws were pure Adams.