By no means are directors expected to make the same movie over and over again – but they also don’t tend to fly genre to genre like some kind of bipolar carnival game either.
Here are a few directors who – if they were to put on an autograph signing – would find themselves in the midst of a very polarized crowd of fans.
12. Guy Ritchie – Snatch to Swept Away
It’s not fair to say that the romantic Madonna horror-fest that is Swept Away had a fan base sustainable enough to actually appear at a theoretical Guy Richie autograph signing, however if they did exist I feel like they’d be the scariest bunch there.
I tried watching this movie once but got distracted trying to see how long I could hold my hand directly in an open flame instead.
11. Kevin Smith – Cop Out to Red State
Kevin Smith tends to joke about his lack of ambition when it comes to his own cinematic style, having focused more on comedic performance. While Red State takes a few steps forward, I personally thought the simplicity lent itself to this movie. He’s not whipping the camera around or showing us how many cool songs he knows – but rather lets the scenes play out naturally, making them surprisingly sinister.
That said, I don’t think the same lack of complexity will help him for his next horror film Tusk – which sounds so incredibly daffy that it even scared Quentin Tarantino off.
10. Shane Black – Kiss Kiss Bang Bang to Iron Man 3
Shane Black has been in the business for a long time as a writer – but that doesn’t make going from a $15 million dollar crime comedy to a $200 million dollar Iron Man 3 any less weird. Especially since the final product actually felt more like a Shane Black film than an Iron Man film, which is awesome depending on who’s watching it.
9. Alfonso Cuaron – Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban to Children Of Men
Harry Potter fans hated Prisoner Of Azkaban, which leads me to believe that Harry Potter fans have terrible taste. That said, I am a Harry Potter fan, and I liked Prisoner Of Azkaban, so now my world is turned upside down. It’s like the end of The 6th Day.
The film always did seem out of place, what with the natural but gray lighting and oddly artistic tracking shots. Only until Children Of Men did it become clear why: Cuaron was too good for Harry Potter. At least in terms of directing – acting-wise, nothing was too good for that scarred wizard freak, apparently.
8. Kimberly Peirce – Boys Don’t Cry, Stop-Loss, & Carrie
Stop-Loss was a straight-to-DVD film about the horrors surrounding the war in Iraq and the young men and women who had to endure it, odd meat in the sandwich that is the amazing Boys Don’t Cry and the freaking Carrie remake.
But considering that the film was inspired by Peirce’s own brother’s experience during the war – the bizarre shifts in genre are most likely just the director devoting herself to the stories that are most personal to her, so long as they make everyone else want to kill themselves with depression.
7. Matthew Vaughn – Layer Cake to Stardust to Superheroes
Odd pickle, that Matthew Vaughn. One assumes that producing enough Guy Richie gave him just enough cred to start a career in slick British crime comedies of his own – getting right to it with Layer Cake, a film that managed to set himself apart from the director he was most connected with at the time.
And had someone then told me he’d then be doing a film with Robert De Niro, I would have been off-my-shit excited about it. And that’s exactly what happened, with Stardust, the film about a magical world of… I’m guessing stardust.
In the end, that mean style of directing is doing much good – branching out to both Kick-Ass and then X-Men: First Class, it makes me want to see more stylized directors doing silly shit. Who’s up for a Tarantino Wolverine film?