I've toyed with writing about Wes Craven, John Lasseter and Quentin Tarantino but on a balance the director who has made the most top notch films on my DVD shelf is Steven Spielberg. I know it's a bit of an obvious choice and probably not the most popular choice among film snobs, but I don't care! His multi-billion dollar mainstream blockbuster movie machine has spewed out some excellent films over the last few decades.
This is the man who made ET. A film so influential to my youth. I remember sobbing as ET's life ebbed away and rejoicing as the kids escaped to take him back to his ship. Then sobbing again as he croaked "I'll be right here!" whilst pointing with his glowing finger!
Jaws was the film that terrified me and made me always check open expanses of water for the tell tale shark fin! The boat scene was simply awesome. The decapitated head was a touch of sheer genius. The end where Jaws gets blown to smithereens was a cheer out loud moment (except for the shark...he was none too pleased!)
Jurassic Park had dinosaurs...what's not to love. The way this film alluded to a mass of film merchandising (we still have the dinosaur playset and the mini Jeff Goldblum and Sam Neill figures!) whilst at the same time questioning the whole concept of the Jurassic Park commercialism is a case of art and reality contradicting each other! Was this a deliberate wry satirizing of an industry gone mad or a way to make shedloads of dollars!! Who cares...it's got velociraptors that can open doors!
Close Encounters of the Third Kind is just amazing. A real thinking person's Sci-Fi film. It is intelligent, moving and a gentle story of wonder and imagination. It brought outer space to planet earth. The little boy climbing through the cat flap and running into the light was chilling. The mash potato mountain was a scene re-enacted in households everywhere at dinner time. We all did the hand movements and sand Da-da-da-do-da! An inspiring film!
Add to this the Indiana Jones films, Schindler's List, Minority Report, Saving Private Ryan, The Colour Purple and The Terminal and you can not deny this director's film making genius. However, he has made some awful films like Hook and War of the Worlds...but I can forgive him for that. He gave me cute little aliens, killer sharks, dinosaurs and space ships with big flashing lights!