How Do You Determine Who Should Win Best Director?

bizarre
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Re: How Do You Determine Who Should Win Best Director?

Postby bizarre » Mon Dec 12, 2011 2:23 am

The issues that go into the production will bump up a director's achievement in my book, as will (in an 'auteur production') the ideas, energy and intent behind it all. Call it an 'A for effort' - although I'll only give them out if the risks the director takes pay off. Scope counts, as do challenges such as crowd scenes, complicated lighting or camera setups, un-backprojected driving scenes and other complex techniques. However even if a film is small and humble in scope the director can still earn my respect for their economy and simplicity.

To outline what I mean, I wouldn't call The Holy Mountain the best film I've seen from 1973, but Alejandro Jodorowsky is a very close runner-up for my Best Director award because the challenges he set out for himself were immense, the ideas were unique and intriguing, and the payout works fantastically on screen. Now, I would call The Spirit of the Beehive the best film I've seen from 1973, and I also give Erice my Best Director award because, even if he had less to deal with on-set, his ideas, narrative threads and compositions are condensed and pressurised that they approach a kind of diamond perfection. The opposite happens in 1957 - Nights of Cabiria is one of my favourite films of all time, and it has such a simple yet elegant beauty and power, but I would give my Best Director award to Mikhail Kalatozov, whose direction of The Cranes Are Flying would have been far more difficult yet is similarly breathtaking and, well, effortless on-screen.

Basically, I will take into account the challenges the director faced, the strength, originality and clarity of their ideas, the scope of their formal/thematic vision, their framing and compositions, their use of actors (especially non-professionals, children, bit performers and other actors that need more hands-on direction) and their mise-en-scène. For those working within the studio system I will pay attention to how they use such a rigid structure to express something philosophically or politically impactful or personal. And I will give extra points to directors who work in other aspects of their productions as well, as long as their work there is successful also.

When I award Best Picture I pay attention FIRST to how the film makes me feel, SECOND to how the film engages me intellectually, and THIRD to how the film succeeds on the strength of formal and structural criteria.

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Re: How Do You Determine Who Should Win Best Director?

Postby ksrymy » Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:47 am

I guess what I'm trying to say is what do we essentially define as 'directing?'
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Re: How Do You Determine Who Should Win Best Director?

Postby OscarGuy » Sun Dec 11, 2011 7:48 am

Nah. I thought The Thin Red Line was the best film of 1998 and he the best director, and I wouldn't consider Tree of Life the best of the year in either respect, so that's why he didn't come to mind.
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Re: How Do You Determine Who Should Win Best Director?

Postby Reza » Sun Dec 11, 2011 1:54 am

I'm surprised Terence Malick isn't coming to your minds, guys. People seem to go into a tizzy each time he comes out with a boring film.

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Re: How Do You Determine Who Should Win Best Director?

Postby OscarGuy » Sat Dec 10, 2011 11:47 pm

Most often the best film of the year is the best directed film, but there are always going to be situations where an amazing director makes a movie that just doesn't feel right emotionally for you, yet you feel they did a tremendous job as a director. I have a hard time coming up with a really good example, but a film like Hugo was exceptionally well directed and is directed better than most films this year, but it's definitely not the best picture of the year.
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Re: How Do You Determine Who Should Win Best Director?

Postby Big Magilla » Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:29 pm

Generally speaking the director of the year's best film is the year's best director.

For me there have only been thriteen times when I thought the year's best direcotr was different from teh year's best film. A few examples:

1938 - The Adventures of Robin Hood was for me a slightly better film than Grand Illusion but there was no denying Jean Renoir's brilliance in directing the latter whereas I couldn;t tell what scenes Micheal Curtiz directed and which ones William Keighley directed in the former.

1961 - West Side Story was the year's best film, and I could easily tell which scenes Jerome RSobbins directed and which ones Robert Wise directed but for me but Federico Fellini's viionary La Dolce Vita was the more seemlessly directed film.

1983 - The writing and the acting of Terms of Endearment made it the year's best film for me, but I found nothing excpetional about James L. Brooks' direction. Itwas the ideal time to award Ingmar Bergman for Fanny & Alexander.
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How Do You Determine Who Should Win Best Director?

Postby ksrymy » Sat Dec 10, 2011 4:46 pm

Do you give it to who directed the best picture of the year? The most artistic? With the best acting? Camera angles?

I've debated with myself for the longest time about how to determine how one should win Best Director and I cannot find a good way to determine it.

Your thoughts?
"Men get to be a mixture of the charming mannerisms of the women they have known." - F. Scott Fitzgerald


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