Published by the Huffington Post on December 17, 2009
The Golden Globe nominations were announced this week, placing a handful of Hollywood directors on a pedestal for all others to admire. Martin Scorsese will be bestowed with the prestigious Cecil B. DeMille Award while James Cameron has returned from his post-‘Titanic‘ absence to join Clint Eastwood, Quentein Tarantino, Jason Reitman and Kathryn Bigelow in the Best Director category. All of these talented individuals will certainly be showered with warm write-ups and have hefty paychecks in their futures; however, I’d like to look a few directors that won’t be getting much attention this awards season — this might be because they are either dead, lacking a recent film or were simply shunned by the industry. Of course, there are plenty of directors that could make a top-whatever list, so I’ve decided to focus on those directors that recently popped up in an internet video. There were some real treasures that showed up on YouTube and other video sharing sites this season, and some of them deserve another round of accolades. Topping the list is perhaps the best discovery made, in terms of Hollywood history, in a long while. Thought to be lost forever, a six-part interview with the master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock, turned up on YouTube earlier this year. The interview originally aired as one of the first Tomorrow Shows with Tom Snyder in 1973. David Lynch. Suspense might not be the best word to describe Lynch’s style, rather introspective and nutty better fit this eccentric director. From ‘Blue Velvet‘ and ‘Twin Peaks‘ to ‘Dune’ and ‘Mulholland Drive,’ Lynch never fails to cause debate amongst film buffs and simply confuse the average moviegoer. Now, imagine if Lynch had directed the Star Wars film ‘Return of the Jedi,’ because George Lucas offered him the gig. Werner Herzog wouldn’t be considered bizarre in Lynchian terms, but the foreign director is by no means easy to digest. I’ll simply ignore his recent addition to motion pictures — ‘The Bad Lieutenant’ stars Nicholas Cage, therefore making it an utter waste of time — but his filmography is full of gems like ‘Grizzly Man’ and ‘Fitzcarraldo.’ It’s the latter film that earned him recent recognition, long after its 1980s release, as the director published a book that compiles his notebooks during the film shoot. Time Magazine caught up with the director and posted this cool chat with Werner in July. While predominantly known as an actress, Natalie Portman is a woman of many hats, or at least two, as she recently directed a segment for the charming film ‘New York, I Love You.’ To be honest, the only reason I’m calling her out as a director is to have a reason to post a clip from the Funny or Die series ‘Between Two Ferns With Zach Galifinakis.’ Perhaps the most awkward interview show ever… Finally, the American Film Institute has been hard at work fillings its YouTube archives with plenty of treats for film lovers including awards show highlights and archived Q & A’s with Hollywood heavyweights. One such interview clip is with one of the big boys, Steven Spielberg. Despite a recent lack of luck developing his long gestating Abraham Lincoln feature film starring Liam Neeson, Spielberg is always on my radar — as long as he doesn’t puke out another ‘Jurassic Park‘ flick. Here he is talking up the benefits of filming in continuity, something not many directors believe in.