This is a conundrum that has been plaguing my already plagued mind for quite some months now. Earlier this year, I revisited William Friedkin’s The Exorcist and Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby, which prompted a number of questions for me: if a horror movie is not scary, can it be considered ‘good’ or ‘successful’? Indeed, if a horror movie is not scary, can it be considered a horror movie in the first place? What is a horror movie? Why is Rosemary’s Baby considered to be a horror movie, but No Country for Old Men isn’t?
A few days ago, I was speaking to someone who was carefully deliberating about his favourite ten living directors. Personally, it was something that I had not really considered, much to my chagrin. I love lists. I love writing lists and I love reading lists. Despite my disorganised and disorderly psyche, the rigid and definitive structure of lists gives me some strange form of comfort. I keep a list of every movie I see in the cinema each year, and rank them based on my personal preference (I already have ten films that I’ve seen this year that I would be more than happy to see remain on my end of year top ten). Of course I have considered who my favourite directors of all time are, but I had never compiled a list of my favourite living directors.