Last night, I realized that Mann & Denis where the 2 directors i explored the most this year, outside of my regular go-to movies like; ghost dog, stranger than paradise, taxi driver, in the mood for love and a few more. In fact, Heat (Michael Mann) and Nenette & Boni (Claire Denis) are also two of my go-to movies when i cant think of anything else to watch.
With Mann, Ive always been a fan, but in all honesty, it never really went past ‘heat’ and ‘manhunter’. This year, i made a point to re-watch movies of his i haven't seen since i was a kid ('thief' and 'the insider') or to give other movies i disliked a 2nd chance ('ali' and 'collateral'). I even got around to finally seeing; 'Public Enemies' and 'Miami Vice'. Sure his current “digital” style of film making doesn't always work (like in public enemies), but other times he pulls it off beautifully (miami vice…which is a movie i think many people are scared to admit they like). The shots in his movies are so beautiful sometimes its ridiculous. I think he’s the best “studio” director working today (obviously that's debatable, but still…). I'm sorry that collateral is ranks so low, but that movie was not good at all. Also not a fan of the “white guy accepted by the native americans” movies, which is why last of the mohicans is ranked so low. i totally understand if other people like that movie, but its just not my thing.
Claire Denis is my 2nd most explored director this year. With the exception of that one dance documentary she made a few years, Ive made it a point to try and see everything she’s done. The retrospective at IFC this year made that easy. Ive said this many times, but i’ll say it again; i think she’s one of the best directors working today. She has a style unlike anyone else. Her films have a masculinity that most male directors cant match. All of her movies have an amazing score/soundtrack (even the ones that aren't scored by Tindersticks). And I love her choice of actors (especially Alex Descas and Vincent Gallo). I only wish she worked with Dennis Lavant more.
Just like i did with Thomas Vinterberg (and still SLOWLY working on with John Carpenter), a more in depth overview of each of their filmographies may come in the future if i have time.
Michael Mann http://mubi.com/lists/19495
Claire Denis http://mubi.com/lists/19496