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A group of unique directors and the essential works that you've got to see.

||| Sergio Leone |||
Sergio Leone

Leone’s career is remarkable in its unrelenting attention to both American culture and the American genre film, exploring the mythic America he created with each successive film examining the established characters in greater depth.

Only his second feature (a remake of Kurosawa’s Yojimbo), Leone's landmark "spaghetti western" caused a revolution and features Clint Eastwood in his breakthrough role as "The Man With No Name". This classic brutal drama of feuding families wasn’t the first spaghetti Western, but it was far and away the most successful up to that time.

Plot is of minimal interest, but character is everything to Leone, who places immense meaning in the slightest flick of an eyelid, extensively using the extreme close-up on the eyes to reveal any feeling, as demonstrated by Clint, who squints his way through this slam-bang sequel to A Fistful of Dollars as a wandering gunslinger that must combine forces with his nemesis to track down a wanted killer.

The final chapter in the groundbreaking trilogy follows Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach as they form an uneasy alliance to find a stash of hidden gold. Leone focuses on his central theme as they find themselves facing greed, treachery, and murder, showing that the desire for wealth and power turns men into ruthless creatures who violate land and family and believe that a man’s death is less important than how he faces it.

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Oscar Handicap 2011: Director

By EdwardHavens

February 26th, 2011

Here, we will look at the recent voting patterns for the category of Best Director.

Oscar Handicap 2011: Director

(For explanations as to how our scoring system works, make sure to read our first article in the series, Best Picture of the Year, linked at the bottom of this article.)

History was made last year, when Lee Daniels became only the second African-American to be nominated for Best Director, and Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win. No such major milestone will happen this year.

The Breakdowns
1) As long as you're not the youngest nominee, you've won here 21 of the last 25 ceremonies (84%). Advantage: Aronofsky, Coen and Coen, Fincher, Russell
2) The DGA Award winner has also won the Best Directing Oscar 21 of 25 (84%). Advantage: Hooper
3) Directors who were not writers on their project have won 18 of 25 (72%). Advantage: Aronofsky, Fincher, Hooper, Russell
4) Movies not set within the past twenty years have won here 17 of 25 (68%). Advantage: Coen and Coen, Hooper
5) Movies not based on factual people or incidents have won 17 of 25 (68%). Advantage: Aronofsky, Coen and Coen
6) The film with the most nominations has won for Best Director 17 of 25 (68%). Advantage: Hooper
7) First-time nominees in this category have won 15 of 25 (60%). Advantage: Aronofsky, Hooper, Russell
8) Directors who are also producers on their film have won 14 of 25 (56%). Advantage: Coen and Coen

By The Numbers
Us fans of David Fincher are probably going to have to wait for another, as it appears to be Mr. Hopper's year
Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan: +1, -2, +3, -4, +5, -6, +7, -8
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, True Grit: +1, -2, -3, +4, +5, -6, -7, +8
David Fincher, The Social Network: +1, -2, +3, -4, -5, -6, -7, -8
Tom Hooper, The King's Speech: -1, +2, +3, +4, -5, +6, +7, -8
David O. Russell, The Fighter: +1, -2, +3, -4, -5, -6, +7, -8

Personal prediction for Best Director: Tom Hooper
Personal choice in this category: David Fincher


All articles in this series:
Best Picture of the Year
Best Director
Best Actor and Best Actress
Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress
Best Cinematography
Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Foreign Language Film
Best Animated Feature
The Technical Categories