5 Directors I Hate- And You Should Too

So, these guys are terrible. I mean so awful they make me wish for an acute case of hysterical blindness. Or maybe a sharp stick to jab out my eyes and the eyes of anyone sitting near me.

Seriously, who keeps giving Terry Gilliam money? Seriously. Twelve Monkeys, The Fisher King, and Time Bandits all made some money, but he’s had some straight up bombs, like The Adventures of Baron Munchausen and Tideland. And the guy really couldn’t care less about his audience. At the beginning of Tideland, there’s an introduction by Gilliam where he says you probably won’t like the movie. Why do we need him to preface his movie by telling us we’re going to dislike it? I don’t understand how that helps the viewer enjoy the movie, unless he’s hoping they’ll end up saying, “Well, it really wasn’t that bad.” I think people praise his artistry because they need to come up with an excuse for wasting their time.

Profitability aside, the reason I hate Terry Gilliam is because of the way he uses children in his movies. Sarah Polley starred in Baron Munchausen when she was nine. When she heard about another young girl cast as the lead in Tideland, she exchanged emails with Gilliam about her concern for the girl’s safety due to her own bad experiences during the filming of Munchausen. Gilliam basically says he couldn’t tell she was having such a bad experience and that maybe, as a kid, she saw things as more dangerous than they really were. But that’s kind of the point- a kid sees things differently and can suffer lifelong problems caused by something an adult would shrug off. So, how did Gilliam use this info? He had nine-year old Jodelle Ferland prepare heroin syringes, watch her mother die, lay with her father’s preserved corpse, talk about being pregnant, and kiss an older guy, amongst other things. Individually you could say some of those things really aren’t so bad and could be directed so she might not understand what was she was actually doing, but taken as a whole, I’d think a lot of adults would be disturbed by having to act out those things.


What can I say about Brett Ratner? Nothing good, that’s for sure. Wait, I think I can say he’s really had a lot of success for someone without much talent. That’s a compliment, right? As I prophesized, Ratner has been on a life-long cosmic collision course with this list. It’s not that his movies are terrible, even if they are pointless. Not everyone gets the concept of subtlety, and I’m fine with that. I hate him because he just doesn’t care about what he’s doing. He makes movies so he can be famous, go to parties, and get laid. He’s the guy who says “There’s no difference between a tacky Jew from Miami and a rap star. They both want the Cadillac and the Rolex with the diamonds”, “I’d wear that brunette! She was totally cute!”, and the one that kills me (final cut, if you don’t know, is having the last word on what the finished film looks like) “Why do I need final cut? Final cut is for artistes quote unquote–directors whose movies don’t make a lot of money. Maybe Scorsese should have final cut because a guy like Harvey Weinstein or a studio might change it to make it a little more accessible or a little more commercial and he has a vision of what he wants it to be. He wants it to be four hours long or whatever.”


Gus Van Sant has made some decent movies, but I hate him, hate him, hate him for remaking Psycho. A shot-for-shot remake of a classic, revered movie sounds like a good idea. Right? Right? RIGHT? Well, it must have to someone, because that’s what they did. It was like some extremely oblique way of colorizing the original while making it uninteresting and irrelevant in the process. There’s a reason no one had done it before- because it’s a fruitless effort. What could the best outcome have been? Did someone really think people would say that they outdid Hitchcock? Matched him? Getting credit for being able to accurately copy him is about the best that could have been done, but why even try for that? Just to prove you could? I’m asking a lot of questions because I’ll never understand the impetus behind remaking Psycho. Never ever.


John Landis directed the first segment of Twilight Zone: The Movie. During filming, actor Vic Morrow and two child actors were killed, and that’s why I hate John Landis. He violated child labor laws to hire the two children so he would be able to film at night. It also left them without an advocate on the set. Despite other crew members raising concerns over the special effects in the climactic scene, Landis pushed ahead. After 2:00 AM, well after the children should have been removed from the set, a fireball got too close to a low-flying helicopter, which crashed, crushing one of the kids and decapitating Morrow and the other child. Landis and two others were indicted for on two counts of manslaughter for the deaths of the children, based on the theory that their deaths resulted form the illegal act of hiring them. Landis did the best he could to lay the blame on everyone but himself and was ultimately found not guilty. He was the director and the person in charge of what happened on the set. Things got out of control and three people died. Those are facts. And I hate him.


I’ve always hated Quentin Tarantino the person. I can’t think of another human being who would be more appropriately described as “a dick.” Egotistical, arrogant, narcissistic, self-absorbed, smug, pompous- take your pick. But I thought Tarantino the director was okay. And with Jackie Brown, I thought he’d matured past having the hallmarks of his movies be violence, silly situations, and giving himself lots of screen time. Then Kill Bill came along and crapped on everything. He wasn’t noticeable onscreen, but the rest of his foolishness was back with a vengeance. Add Death Proof to the mix and now his trademarks are ripping off old movies and self-idolation, which falls squarely in line with his personal traits. Kill Bill, Death Proof, there’s really nothing there but a lot of style and movie references. This guy is a dick and I hate him.


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