The cinematography is just over a century old, however, to watch all of the best classic films you will need years. Interestingly, not every director has an extensive filmography. For example, Andrei Tarkovsky made only 7 feature films in his lifetime, and Stanley Kubrick – just 13. We remember the greatest directors whose filmography you can get familiar with in only one weekend.
Stanley Kubrick – the great perfectionist
Total duration: 27 hours 19 minutes
The greatest film director of all times, in my opinion. I genuinely think I can talk about his work for hours, and if you haven’t seen it – today is the day! I would recommend watching Kubrick’s films in chronological order, his early ones – Fear and Desire and The Killing – last a little more than an hour. Then you will be prepared to watch his legendary three-hour feature films like Barry Lyndon, Clockwork Orange and Space Odyssey. My personal favourite – The Shining – deserves special attention, and I would advise saving it for another weekend. There are also a lot of great documentaries that explain all the symbols and hidden meanings in Kubrick’s films, Room 237 by an American film director Rodney Ascher is worth a watch right after you’ve watched The Shining.
Andrei Tarkovsky – Soviet classic
The total duration of feature films: 16 hours 24 minutes (7 films)
The total duration of the short films: about 1.5 hours (3 films)
Of course, to properly explore the entire filmography of Tarkovsky in one weekend is a test for the strong in spirit. If you dare to try though, I bet you will start your work week a whole new person. As all of his feature films are quite heavy and deep, we recommend starting with a warm-up – short films. The Steamroller and the Violin, which he wrote together with another Soviet genius Andrei Konchalovsky, is especially noteworthy.
Zack Snyder – blockbuster genius
Total duration: 14 hours 44 minutes
Through the filmography of Zack Snyder, you can follow the evolution of all Hollywood films: here you have remakes of the classics – Dawn of the Dead by George Romero, children’s cartoons – Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole, and the screen version of comic books – Watchmen and Batman vs Superman). Snyder is the creator of the American mainstream – loud, expensive and sometimes meaningless. Nevertheless, out of all blockbuster film directors, he has his own recognisable style – slightly desaturated colour palette, a love for rapid movement and a distinct ‘gigantomania’.
After a fifteen hour marathon of watching Snyder’s films, you will remember a few bright images and flashes – a Spartan in a scarlet cloak that throws the Persian ambassador into the pit, an alien in a red cloak spreading his arms amid an endless space and, say, an owl flying through the pouring rain, without the cloak.
Ben Affleck – an actor with a Golden Raspberry, a director with an Oscar
Total duration: 8 hours 7 minutes
Affleck was an extremely popular, but hardly a successful actor: the only award he managed to win was the Golden Raspberry. The director’s work was also insignificant at first: the debut short film with the intricate title I Killed My Lesbian Wife, Hung Her on a Meat Hook, and Now I Have a Three-Picture Deal at Disney was simply terrible, you can see for yourself. However, Affleck succeeded as a screenwriter – along with Matt Damon, he received an Oscar for the script for Good Will Hunting. Truly remarkable work.
Everything changed in 2007 when Affleck really debuted in directing with the adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s book Gone, Baby, Gone. Then there was The Town and, finally, Argo, that received an Oscar for the Best Film and a Golden Globe for Best Director.
Who is your favourite film director?
Text: Irina Gorskaia
Images: Shutterstock, Pexels, The Guardian, BFI, IMDb