Sometimes, its not always easy for me to pick my favorites of anything. I can be rash, or sometimes I can be in the moment. Making my top ten of each year, making my top 1000 almost a year ago, I really try with those lists. I take time to think what really made an impression on me when I sit down to make lists. Naming favorite actors and filmmakers gets tough for me. Its weird because I feel like I generally like most actors and I like most filmmakers. I've spent my whole my life being deep in film fandom, and I've come to realize that even the best actors and even the best filmmakers have some movies on their resumes that aren't good. It doesn't make them bad. Movies are art, and sometimes it means something different to others. Also I love movies from all genres and decades, and that makes picking favorites more complicated too.
But after some thinking, and watching a really cool trailer over the weekend, I think I know who my favorite working director is. I've spent lots of time watching this guys movies. I've loved them all. But loving his movies isn't enough. There are plenty of directors out there that I don't think have missed yet, like Quentin Tarantino. I've loved all of Tarantino's films. The thing with Tarantino. Its the same thing with Christopher Nolan. You can see this with dozens of filmmakers. Tarantino, Nolan...these guys take the same core idea and retell the same story over and over again. Tarantino is always making a Western. Essentially all of his movies are Westerns, that revolve around revenge. Nolan's "Memento," "Inception" and "The Dark Knight" may not look the same. But they are all about a man who is trying to better his life, but ends up making things worse. Same with "The Prestige" too. Great movies, but all feature the same core concept.
Even when you look at work by titans such as Steven Spielberg or Martin Scorsese, these are two men who don't necessarily repeat themselves. However, and I am going to sound like an artsy-fartsy tool for saying this, but they both have distinct "visual signatures." There are certain styles and certai shots that you can only find in a Speilberg or Scorsese movie. You can watch "Goodfellas," "Shutter Island," "Gangs of New York" and "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore" over a nice long weekend and come away thinking, yeah Martin Scorsese made all of those. It's hard to describe, but many directors have their own visual signatures. Things you can spot and tell yourself, hey this is made by so-and-so.
I think Edgar Wright is my favorite working director. "Shaun of the Dead," "Hot Fuzz," "Baby Driver," "Scott Pilgrim" I LOVE THESE MOVIES. I LOVE THEM LOTS. But again, its more than love. I love that Edgar Wright never really repeats himself. "Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz" may both feature Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in lead roles, but they are totally different movies, not just in story but execution as well. "Baby Driver" may as well exist on a totally different planet from those films. As does "Scott Pilgrim" and even "At World's End." They each feel different thematically.
Edgar Wright is a genuine movie nerd. His favorites list was my inspiration to create my Top 1000 Favorite Films. He is a lover of all movies, and genres and styles. That really shows in his movies. When you watch each movie I listed above, there is a certain genre he is playing with in each film or genres. He is able to make them stick out in a particular way. There are tons of references to other films, which just shows Wright's nerdiness. It's amazing to see him show off his inspirations, while also making the movies his own.
Check out this trailer for "The Last Night in Soho." My God, I can't wait to see this. "Shaun of the Dead" may have had horror elements, but it was an ultimately funny movie. "The Last Night In Soho" looks like a full blown horror movie. I can't wait to see it.