I can’t believe we haven’t had this post before! It’s, like, film geek discussion 101! Oh well, better late than never.
Who are the directors you really like and why?
I’ll start! In no order at all:
Anjali Menon: Malayalam industry, female, works as a director and a writer so the narratives of her movies are always just perfectly worked out and in line with the visuals. Recurring themes of male fragility, natural beauty, and food.
Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti: Technically they trade off directing duties film by film, but they always write together and, really, they direct together too. They are maybe the best ensemble directors working today, they pick a setting and then grab a half dozen characters to watch, from the Bombay rap scene to the rich industrialists of Delhi to a bus trip for newlyweds.
Imtiaz Ali: Very odd director, can be off-putting if you aren’t used to him. He is about the internal journey, the magic of coming to a higher sense of self. Often that journey takes place through the experience of falling in love, but it is always about self-realization more than any human emotion.
Puri Jagganadh: Telugu director, EXTREMELY STRANGE. Half his films are brilliant straight through, half his films are kind of a mess. He has this extremely light cynical nihilistic way of looking at movies, very Tarantino, he makes movies that exist in a hyper-real place where they kind of know they are movies.
Gautham Menon: Tamil director, all about the male hero coming of age story (and sometimes female, but I can’t find a copy of that movie so I can’t watch it, grrr!). At first he seems like your standard self-centered male narcessist, but then you see that he wants you to question his hero, to see his flaws. Or, alternatively, that the virtues he triumphs are the small human virtues not the big Male Hero virtues (like, offering to wait in the hallway while the heroine changes clothes without being asked).
I could keep going for infinity, but I am going to make myself stop now. You go! Who are the directors you will track down every movie and get excited when a new one is announced?