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Added by legato on 8 May 2011 03:24
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Directors worth completing

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To paraphrase Gillo Pontecorvo every director should have a percentage of each work inspired by Rossellini. This is the man who I find to be the greatest director of all time and even his occasional failings, all from early on, are at least interesting and give a larger view of the personality that made them. Additionally even though his films are steeped in religion they can be enjoyed in a secular and often times surprising way.

Standouts
The Flowers of St. Francis
Blaise Pascal
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Average listal rating (47 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 0
This man is my film bible and everything I've grown to believe about films come from his adult fairy tales. Not only that, but every trick in the book and a few too insane for the book were used by this madman.

Standouts
The Testament of Orpheus
Beauty and the Beast
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Simply put the greatest American director ever. Even his weakest film stands above and beyond most everyone's greatest.

Standouts
Seventh Heaven
Man's Castle
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The king of alienation Skolimowski makes films of such power that it's often difficult to describe tangibly what makes them the best. He actually hates most of his work, but in this case the artist is clearly wrong when even the most compromised and weak film offers more than your average director's masterwork. He's a fairly great actor too.

Standouts
Deep End
Essential Killing
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Average listal rating (12 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 0
Japan's greatest director. He manages to make the most mundane domestic events into an epic filled with humour, horror, and good old fashioned drama. Stylistically he's probably the most insane of his generation too with at least one German influenced montage going down. Prepared to be shocked.

Standouts
Flowing
Wife! Be Like a Rose
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You can't talk about film without some animation and here's the greatest that ever lived. Taking music and showing it as film he was doing Fantasia decades before it was a twinkle in Walt's eye (incidentally Fischinger worked on two segments in that film). You'll never be able to hear the songs he toyed with the same way again.

Standouts
Study No. 7
München-Berlin Wanderung
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Comedy's mad scientist. I don't know what he had more of, an ability to produce comedy out of thin air or a reservoir of visual inventions. Even at his lowest there's a visual inventiveness that everyone wants to have and an ability to make others laugh out of surprise that no one else could have.

Standouts
Sherlock Jr.
The Playhouse
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Could've taken Borzage's place had he been able to make more films. Here is the rare actor turned director who doesn't just show off other actors, rather he fully immerses them into a part of his cinematic grammar. He's the cynical romantic hoping for gold at the end of the rainbow even as he realizes it's only an illusion. No one else can make you feel the pain of his characters so much with so little effort.

Standouts
The Merry Widow
The Wedding March
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Eastern Europe is filled to the brim with directors worthy of recognition, but none have such a long and varied career while remaining successful at every step like Jancso. Starting off with the sort of films that Tarr would take to their logical extreme and ending (so far at least) with hyper surreal period comedies the one thing that ties this all together is an anger at the system that he is able to present without losing focus. If anybody can make art film swarm become entertaining blockbusters it's this amazing son of a gun.

Standouts
The Roundup
Anyád! A szúnyogok
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While the various new waves around the world had a lot to offer one thing that tended to be lacking was humour. Once you watch this master's films you'll find that all the great comedy was being hogged by him. Often times cartoonish and strange he brings a looney tunes eye to anthropology in a way that makes you know that this is a different culture than your own, but compels you to sit and watch anyways.

Standouts
Black Rain
Profound Desire of the Gods
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A Swiftian satirist if there ever was one. Using slapstick and outlandish conceits he so bitingly looks to what is the civilized human that often times you'll be to busy laughing to notice he just ravaged the human condition.

Standouts
Death of a Bureaucrat
The Twelve Chairs
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Here's an other clown. See a pattern emerging here? While Ferreri is probably best remembered as a producer this Italian John Waters (though considering time it should be the other way around) directed some of the strangest sex comedies ever. I fear to describe some one as this but the terms idiosyncratic and bizarre couldn't find a better home than with this maestro.

Standouts
Tales of Ordinary Madness
Dillinger is Dead
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This Englishman forced abroad was one of the first to truly make television feel like cinema and one of the few people whose entire filmography, not just their theatrical stuff, is a must see. Also unlike many his recent works, as few as they are, are just as powerful and important as his earlier and more famous works.

Standouts
The War Game
Punishment Park
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Average listal rating (13 ratings) 8.8 IMDB Rating 0
In many ways the last shot the USSR has to make an impact on us. While his previous work is great once the '80s hit he became cinema and I have yet to see such a consistently high worker from the decade. His films will leave you drained and dead for the most part, but in a way that will leave you needing more.

Standouts
Come and See
Agony
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Average listal rating (9 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 0
Standouts
That Day
The Hypothesis of the Stolen Painting
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Average listal rating (6 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 0
It's impossible that someone can be so different from their reputation while taking the same heart as in the case of GOSHA. He takes these long weaving stories that simmer and burn to the surface with their masculine fury and failure. His team ups with NAKADAI may be the best such pairing ever.

Standouts
The Wolves
Death Shadows
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It's hard to find such strong fiction is such deep reality, but here you have it. Val del Omar is the man who could a twenty minute photo of a statue under different lights into an epic for the ages. With a filmography that can be finished in the time it takes to complete even just one work for some every second counts.

Standouts
The entire Triptych
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This student of Renoir bests his master in a a few ways. The level of humanism and love without pity is strengthened to the point where it becomes the cause. Becker can make you understand and care for anyone who he sets his camera on and even the rare villain offers something to prevent hatred. Becker's films are a cool tonic to stress and depression.

Standouts
Le Trou
Casque d'or
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This is a fellow who doesn't mess around saying what he needs to and getting gone. Somehow in these short run times he manages to pack enough comedy to put down a bull elephant. If modern comedy is built out of awkwardness and misery than he's the sad sack king.

Standouts
The Match Factory Girl
The Man Without a Past
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There's been so much talk about this one I doubt I can offer anything even in the way getting you pumped up. This guy was simply put a genius from day one with even his student adaptation of The Killers being far better than most anyone has been able to do.

Standouts
Mirror
Andrei Rublev
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With most of the directors on this list it's a simple case of their films being so great individually that you can't go wrong, but in the case of TSAI his films are better when you've seen more. He has created such a tightly knit world that each new experience adds to the previous ones so that his collected work becomes the single greatest work ever. This doesn't even get into how funny he is as a sex crazed Buster Keaton. Some of his more outlandish conceits will murder you with their hilarity.

Standouts
The Wayward Cloud
What Time is it There?
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Japanese cinema of the '60s took the cinematic past and ratcheted it up to confront the problems of the present and up until his final stroke no one did this better than the always angry OSHIMA Nagisa. Not only was he making fiery rants against his culture and people, but he was doing it in the most entertaining and thoughtful way possible. There's always the sense he's restraining himself just to keep composure over his point.

Standouts
A Treatise on Japanese Bawdy Songs a.k.a. Sing a Song of Sex
Death by Hanging
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Average listal rating (365 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 0
While his great films need no defending, the reason I put him here in spite of Finding Forrester and the like is that even when he fails it is such a marvelous, bizarre, almost insane failing that you have to see it for yourself just to understand how far off the deep end he can get.

Standouts
Gerry
Mala Noche
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Average listal rating (429 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 0
Standouts
The Darjeeling Limited
The Royal Tenebaums
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Average listal rating (38 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 0
Even if you couldn't watch his entire filmography in an afternoon he'd be on this list. With a great sense of fantasy grounded in the real world problems of people every film by him could be called the best.

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Propos de Nice
Zero for Conduct
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While the quantity of his output is only now becoming something to be impressed by the quality has only ever been above and beyond with each film seemingly going further than the last. He just has such a strong eye for nature even if you are turned off by what he has to say it becomes near impossible not to become hypnotized in wonderment.

Standouts
The Thin Red Line
The New World
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The real neurotic of French cinema Pialat throws everything but the best moments of his films out. There's no room to breath when there are so many highs.

Standouts
À nos amours
Under the Sun of Satan
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Average listal rating (5 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 0
Another afternooner with only two big works he made the best of his way too short career pumping out what may be the best English films since the Archers. He also managed to occupy to completely separate worlds with those two major works. The tying idea here seems to be the mind of the characters. We see how and as they see the world they live in.

Standouts
My Ain Folk
Comrades
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The midnight cult was made just for this special son of a bitch. The thought process that goes into his films was so out there that it could only come through during the '70s. While he's been trying to get a number of projects off the ground over the past twenty years at least we have the five great films (and two all right) that he has put out.
Standouts
El Topo
Satan Sangre
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Just a note before I go into things this isn't just a favorites list (otherwise Josef von Sternberg would be on here), but for directors whose every film is essential viewing from the shortest student films to the epics that made their name. This list is liable to grow as I come closer to completing certain directors works.

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