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Marshall Fine

Marshall Fine

Posted: June 30, 2010 07:26 AM

HuffPost Review: Great Directors

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The title of the film Great Directors is exceptionally misleading, given that its real title should be People Whose Films I Like and Who Agreed to Be Interviewed By Me on Camera For This Movie.

Written and directed by Angela Ismailos, whose credentials seem distinctly lacking to choose which directors to award the title of "great," this film jumps around between interviews with David Lynch, Bernardo Bertolucci and such head-scratchers as Todd Haynes, Stephen Frears, Agnes Varda and Richard Linklater.

Really, other than listing the names of the directors of this film, it's pointless to talk about it extensively because the selections seem so random. The interviews are half-assed, the attempts to put the directors in context are hopeless -- and Ismailos' budget obviously was too small to include relevant clips that truly define even this motley collection of filmmakers.

Not that there's anything wrong with the films of Frears or John Sayles. It's just that, when the final history of cinema is written and they discuss the directors whose films made a difference in the past, say, 50 years, few if any of these directors (Bertolucci? Perhaps) will even be a footnote in that discussion.

Indeed, it's hard to imagine who this director sold this idea to in order to find the funding to make it. Someone with no knowledge of movies? Someone she was able to bedazzle without actually having to tell them what she was using the money for?

The mind boggles. There are dozens of infinitely more worthy documentaries out there, begging for the money get finished or be released. And this movie not only gets made but finds its way into theaters?

Ismailos may not be much of a filmmaker, but she's obviously an inspired student of the teachings of P.T. Barnum.

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