Notes on The Playlist's 'Best and Most Exciting Directors Working Today' List

It is an ambitious thing to do, isn't it? "Best" and most "exciting" directors working today in the business. A tough call, and to make such a list you probably have to set a few biases aside and look at the bigger picture. I put down a few notes on the list. The full article can be found HERE and my own concocted list if you scroll down. At least we can agree that Paul Thomas Anderson is the man and current master of the art form.

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These don't make that much sense to me and should be higher:

Richard Linklater (#93) does not make any sense whatsoever. He's on such a hot streak these days that even making a "fun" romp like "Everybody Wants Some" seems to bring out the best in his work. The last 20 minutes of that film are just astounding.

Nuri Bilge Ceylan (#84) When a guy wins four awards at Cannes for four different films I think he should at least be a little higher. This is a director that is a force of nature and whether you like his films or not he is an influential figure in the world cinema scene.

Olivier Assayas (#82) "Summer Hours," "Carlos" "Clouds of Sils Maria" and "Personal Shopper" were his last four films. Assayas is very hot right now. This is too low of a ranking.

Alejandro González Iñárritu (#77) You might not like his films, but there's no denying he is changing the game with every movie he makes. 

Ang Lee (#74) "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," "The Ice Storm," "Brokeback Mountain," "Sense and Sensibility," and "Life of Pi." Lee is as good and reliable a filmmaker as you can get. Forget "Taking Woodstock" and "Hulk" for a second and look at the consistency he has had for the last 20+ years. 

Michael Mann (#69) Can we forget about "Blackhat" for a sec? "Thief," "Manhunter," "The Insider," "Ali," "Public Enemies," and "Collateral" can take care of the rest. A master.

Darren Aronofsky (#67) Anyone that's released "Requiem For a Dream," "Black Swan" and "The Wrestler" the past decade or so should be much higher in my books. 

The Dardennes Brothers (#66) Before this year's underwhelming "The Unknown Girl" the brothers were the most CONSISTENT filmmakers in the world. They had a perfect track record and have won the Palme D'or twice.

Apichatpong Weerasethakul (#63) Many consider this guy as the best director in the world. He is changing the language of cinema with his movies.

These are way too high:

Xavier Dolan (#50)  I mean, really? This guy?
Sofia Coppola (#38) I really like her, but she's been struggling of late.
Jill Soloway (#33) I love "Transparent," but she does not belong here.
Cary Fukunaga (#31) No, just no. He has immense talent, but not #31.
Jane Campion (#14) I love Campion, but she's been O.K. since the 90s.
Mia Hansen-Løve (#9) A bit too high, but she is turning into something very special.

I decided to split my list between American and World cinema, because it just makes much more sense that way. 

American Cinema

(1) Paul Thomas Anderson (2) The Coen Brothers (3) Martin Scorsese (4) Spike Jonze (5) Alfonso Cuaron (6) Todd Haynes (7) Wes Anderson (8) Richard Linklater (9) David Fincher (10) Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu 

World Cinema

(1) Michael Haneke (2) Lars Von Trier (3) The Dardennes Brothers (4) Wong Kar-Wai (5) Apichatpong Weerasethakul (6) Pedro Almodovar (7) Asghar Farhadi (8) Mike Leigh (9) Olivier Assayas (10) Cristian Mungiu