Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Directors Project: #39 - Alfonso Cuaron

Scene from Cinema Paradiso
With the many lists and essays written on the subject of film, there has been one thing that The Oscar Buzz has tried to understand: Who is my favorite of the film world? For 10 weeks this summer, I will be exploring this with a countdown of the Top 50 names based on a numerical ranking of ratings from various sources, the following is a list of directors who rank above everyone else. With occasional upsets, this is intended as both a discussion opener as well as a better understanding of me as a film critic and fan. Please enjoy and leave any comments you have regarding the entry's selection.


Years Active: 1981-present

Films as Director: 8

Oscar Wins: 2

-Best Director (Gravity)
-Best Film Editing (Gravity)

Who: Ever since Y tu Mama Tambien, Cuaron has been one of the most compelling directors currently working. He is best known for creating films with large dynamics that recollect on classic cinema. With an infamous series of one takes, he manages to create fluid universes that are tense, engaging, and often times revolutionary in ways that continue to move film making and the blockbuster format forward. He remains one of the most enviably interesting directors of his generation and with Gravity, he has translated into an interesting blockbuster director that, much like James Cameron, will likely help to improve the medium going forward. He has a strong penchant for making interesting female protagonists and adding spectacle into the equation.

Scene from Y tu Mama Tambien
-- Gravity (2013) --

Flickchart Ranking: #210 (700 points)
IMDb Rating: 7/10 (70 points)
Perks: None
Total: 770 points

-- Children of Men (2006) --

Flickchart Ranking: #292 (650 points)
IMDb Rating: 6/10 (60 points)
Perks: None
Total: 710 points

-- Y tu Mama Tambien (2001) --

Flickchart Ranking: #311 (600 points)
IMDb Rating: 6/10 (60 points)
Perks: None
Total: 660 points

-- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) --

Flickchart Ranking: #413 (500 points)
IMDb Rating: 6/10 (60 points)
Perks: None
Total: 560 points

OVERALL TOTAL: 2700 points

Scene from Gravity
He is a director that I really admire on a technical level. While I haven't seen any of his work prior to 2001, his output since has been some of the best of modern cinema. More than any director, he manages to progress camera technique and visual effects on each of his projects without falling into niche traps. When he is on, he produces some of the most compelling work that leaves plenty for cinephiles to talk about. With Gravity, he managed to finally get the acclaim of the mainstream audiences that will hopefully continue to build and make whatever project he does next something far more fascinating. Regardless on if his stories are great, his films are visual masterpieces that jump off of the screen and locks the audience in. He is the blockbuster director that we deserve, as he is able to mix original stories with occasional studio fare.

UP NEXT: One of the best journeyman directors who is able to make sports, westerns, and every genre movies in between.

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