Spielberg voted ‘best director’:

Steven Spielberg has been voted the greatest director of all time by movie magazine readers, beating peers Alfred Hitchcock and Martin Scorsese.

Coincidently, Harlan Ellison recently commented about Speilberg’s talents:

Spielberg is only a craftsman, that’s all he is. He’s not a genius. He’s not a trendsetter. There isn’t one moment of any Spielberg film … that matches the least moment of a Kurosawa film. Kurosawa was a blinding genius of cinema. His vision was astonishing.


  1. While I disagree that Spielberg “is only a craftsman”, it’s highly problematic to compare directors from different eras. The art of cinema is changing at an extraordinary rate (faster than any other art, as far as I can figure)–a period of 20 or 25 years seriously changes the medium.

    Ellison’s comments reek of film snobbery. How can the moment of ET peddling Eliott past the moon not be genius?

  2. Krzysztof Kieslowski is my pick for best director. I still haven’t seen all his films, but even if his THREE COLOURS trilogy was the only thing he did, he’d be up there. However, as a blockbuster director, Speilberg’s the guy. He invented the blockbuster with JAWS. His serious films like SCHINDLER’S LIST and SAVING PRIVATE RYAN kind of miss the mark, but his summertime movies are great fun. I’m looking forward to his remake of WAR OF THE WORLDS. And although I understand where Harlan is coming from in his comments about Speilberg, he’s wrong.

  3. 1941, Goonies, AI, Jurassic Park, Minority Report, Hook…

    He has made a few fantastic movies. He’s also made more terrible movies than anyone of his stature should be permitted while retaining any respect at all. Ellison was bang on. If anything, I find his successes accidental. His best pictures are when he clearly didn’t do as much directing but just got out of the way and let the cast and sets do their work.

  4. Speilberg…what…..I think Harlan is right, craftsman…talanted…but not a genuis. i also agree that comparing eras is difficult. Movies (Hollywood) are a worst 90 minutes of blantant and overt advertising for what your life and what products you should use and at best are mindnumbing entertainments with the only thought processes revolving around how many arses this project will put in theater seats.

    Of cours jody i lean towards alan parker for his work on an obscure film from the eighties contaning a wonderous soundtrack…I watched it recently and was pleasantly suprised to still have enjoyed it after 20 years and numerous viewings.

  5. I just saw CINDERELLA MAN (because I had free tickets), another underdog story, a boxing movie. It’s the second best movie I’ve seen in the theatre this year (SAINT RALPH is the best). It’s been a crappy year for movies so far (at least for movies I’m able to see at my local mutltiplex). Neither Jenny nor I thought we would like it, but we both enjoyed it. Really got into the fight scenes, which were hard to watch. Not a great movie, but still good fun.

    Back to Speilberg: I don’t think he’s a genius. Although I’m recultant to defend him, he’s not just a craftsman. Mostly perhaps, but the guy does display some artistry at times, and I don’t hate him for it.

  6. I wish I’d seen enough of his films to form an opinion. “Bizarre” is how I hear him described most of the time.

  7. SIN CITY is the best movie I’ve seen in the theatre this year, not CINDERALLA MAN. CINDERALLA MAN is a nice enough underdog story, but the kind of movie you only need to watch once. SIN CITY was a blood-splattering good time right to the last frame. Gothic comic book or graphic novel fans will love it. As good as it is, though, it’s forgettable (it been a forgettable year of movies so far).

    Other movies I’ve seen this year: Assault on Precinct 13 (waste of time); The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (funny at times, but boring); Robots (good kids movie); Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (not as bad as cynics say it is); Flight of the Phoenix (waste of time); Garden State (slow, but funny enough); Millions (good family movie); and Ocean’s Twelve (harmless fluff).

    Unremarkable year for movies so far. I’m sure the are plenty of excellent independent films out there I haven’t seen, but they don’t come to my local theatre, so I’m stuck with the junk.

  8. Early reviews for WAR OF THE WORLDS are positive. I glanced over a few reviews until I read something that gave away a detail I would have rather been surprised by while watching the movie. I won’t be reading another review until after I see the movie this weekend. But my feeling is that WAR OF THE WORLDS we be the #1 movie of the summer, and perhaps the best of the summer (which means nothing).

  9. “War of the Worlds” was the most fun I’ve had at the movies all year. Speilberg may be only a craftsman, but he’s a good one, and if you’re just looking for escapism, that’s good enough.

  10. okay phil Im going for pure escapism…20 bucks for escapism….hmmm perhaps i should spend my money elsewhere…

  11. Tommyboy, you’re paying $20 to see a movie (for 2 people, I’m assuming)? You must be one of those strange people who actually pays full price to see a movie — which I haven’t done for years. Matinees, man, matinees! Jenny and I paid $14 yesterday. Done deal. I wouldn’t bother with most of the (crappy) movies I end up seeing if I had to pay $10 to get in.

    But here’s something that nearly drove us out of the theatre: Walking into a multiplex is like walking into a crowded arcade to begin with (that air hockey game is my favourite sound), and then there’s 20 minutes of trailers for stuff like “The Dukes of Hazzard” before the movie starts. I’m used to going early to get a good seat, and sitting there in peace until the lights go down. But now they project commericals onto the screen ALL THE TIME. As soon as the movie goes down, the commericals go up. And I’m not talking about a quiet slide show — I mean, TV COMMERICALS with the volume set to bust. So no matter when you walk into the theatre, it’s full of noise.

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