The innovators, the transcendent ones, or those with sublime bodies of work. The Masters.  Click on the write-ups conveniently located on the front page.

Thriving on a riff!

Notes on some of the more controversial Master choices and whatnot.


Should Robert Flaherty be in this group? His output is slender and he took liberties with documentary filmmaking but he is enough of a poet and iconoclast to be included here.  Since I’m a stellar chappie I’ll leave it open to debate!

Harold Lloyd is shamefully overlooked. The Kid Brother is less mawkish and more moving than most Chaplin. For pure invention’s sake Speedy holds its own against the best Keaton.  Lloyd’s body of work in the 1920s is deep and amazing.

It’ll be interesting to see if Josef Von Sternberg‘s reputation as a great filmmaker holds up.  I’d probably put him among my top ten favorites but young cineastes I’ve talked to don’t get him at all.  I have the feeling his unusual tastes and peculiar sensibility won’t stand the test of time.

I’m thinking Max Ophuls will be completely forgotten soon and it saddens me. Thankfully, Criterion picked up his late French masterpieces. Here’s hoping they stay in print for awhile.

Otto Preminger fed into his own legend of being an ogre and an efficient filmmaker which are two of the major reasons so few film critics have ever took him seriously. I can’t think of any director who made better use of the widescreen. He also had a refreshingly adult take on the world.

Claude Chabrol had three distinct and amazing acts in his career as a filmmaker.  Unfortunately, he made some really bad movies, too.  Critics will never revere him as much as grouchy Godard and the loveable Truffaut and Rohmer…and that’s a shame.

Sergio Leone is here on the strength of two astonishing movies.  If that bothers you then shoot me.

I can’t believe how quickly Peter Greenaway fell off the map.  He peaked commercially just as film and video technology began to change.  He lost the momentum and it hurt his career.


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