Blind Spots: Directors

Okay, this is definitely not meant to add to my already burdensome film-viewing workload for 2012, but as I was thinking about the idea of cinematic blind spots, I wondered about the idea of larger gaps of knowledge. How many directors are there whose work I have heretofore missed entirely? This could be even more embarrassing than just listing individual films, but I thought it might be entertaining. As well, if you list yours in the comments, maybe we could help each other by suggesting which film for each director might make a good introduction for someone who hasn’t seen a single one of their films. Here are five of mine:

I got this idea from the cover of the latest issue of 180°, the TIFF Bell Lightbox catalogue, so I know that I’ll have a chance to catch some Bresson films soon. Okay, your turn!

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5 Responses to Blind Spots: Directors

  1. Jay says:

    You’re not missing much if you haven’t seen any of Catherine Breillat’s films. I watched Anatomy of Hell and Fat Girl and wasn’t impressed with either film.

    Monsieur Bresson was a bit better. I loved Pickpocket but Diary of a Country Priest was dismal. I remember laughing at one point and feeling sorry for the actor in this film.

    I’ve only seen one Varda film and it was fantastic – Cléo from 5 to 7.

    Let me know what you recommend from Ozu or Dreyer when you get a chance to see some of their work.

  2. CS says:

    Breillat is the only one of the five you listed whose work I have seen. I would say you should start with the combo of Fat Girl and Sex is Comedy. I actually prefer the latter more but both are good. Romance and Anatomy of Hell are hard films to watch. Though she may not always hit the mark, I always find Breillat’s film interesting on some level.

  3. Bob Turnbull says:

    First of all, I adore Agnes Varda. She’s lovely, playful and extraordinarily creative. “Cleo From 5 To 7” is probably your best bet to start (“Vagabond” is very good, but see that afterwards). She’s done a lot of documentaries as well and “The Gleaners And I” is fantastic and definitely highlights her playfulness. If you enjoy her work, I can’t recommend “Les Plages D’Agnes” highly enough. You’ll want to give her a big hug afterwards.

    Bresson isn’t quite as warm and cuddly…B-) “A Man Escaped” is probably my favourite, but it’s also one of his, uh, “easiest” I guess. “Pickpocket” is also very good. I expect “Au Hazard Balthazar” might be one of the best places to start, though, to get a feel for his very quiet deliberate style.

    As for Dreyer, I’ve got one of his films in my own 12 Blind Spots (“Day Of Wrath”), but this is the easiest answer: “Passion Of Joan Of Arc”. Phenomenal. “Vampyr” will easily do in a pinch though.

    I’ve only seen two films by Breillat, but I expect “Fat Girl” is more representative. She’s not got going to make things easy for you…Having said that, I quite enjoyed “Bluebeard” from last year. It didn’t feel as confrontational (not that that’s necessarily bad). I expect I haven’t seen her real difficult films, though, as she hasn’t made me mad yet…B-)

    For Ozu, the easy answer is “Tokyo Story” and it’s a pretty good answer too – a very moving family story.

    Now my own list:

    Frank Borzage – I’ve been wanting to see something by Borzage for a long time. Corey Atad has recently been waving the flag for him and with another plug from James Blake Ewing at CinemaSights, I feel I need to get the lead out and tackle him.

    Erich von Stroheim – Well, at least I’ve seen him act in a couple of films…B-) It would be nice to finally see “Greed” or “Foolish Wives” at some point though…

    Luchino Visconti – I did actually have “Rocco And His Brothers” as well as “Senso” both rented (at different times), but never got around to watching either. I’m a bit intimidated.

    Andrzej Wajda – I really should get to his “Three War Films” Criterion set.

    Roberto Rosselini – Probably my biggest oversight. I partially blame Scorsese, though, since his “My Voyage To Italy” gives away most of the endings of a lot of Rossellini’s films. B-)

  4. Dave Voigt says:

    I will officially wave the Luchino Visconti flag in your face Bob…The Leopard has to be an all time favorite of mine and Senso is simply beautiful even once you get past Farley Granger speaking Italian

  5. Dave Voigt says:

    While I could most likely add every director on everyone else’s list to my own…one that I need to up my game on would be Mike Leigh, finally saw Naked & Topsy Turvy last year but know that I have a long way to go…

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