Just so there are no misunderstandings, the opinion of those that happen to think that any director is pretentious is just that, an opinion. But with that being said, there are a lot of actors and directors out there, sometimes one and the same, that affix a lot more importance to their work and to themselves than is warranted. The only problem is that they have a great deal of support in the people that happen to think that they’re right in these endeavors. It would be hypocritical to say that the efforts aren’t worth anything since many of us have likely watched and even enjoyed the offerings of those that are among the most pretentious in the business, but recognizing why they’re not quite as worthwhile as some might think, meaning they’re not inspired or as genius as some want to think, is the difference between a free-thinking individual and a sycophant. Those that want to place their favorite actors and directors on a pedestal and act as if they can do no wrong are typically those that will defend anything that said individuals do, no matter if it’s truly great or just so-so. Even the most terrible presentations will be given a pass if only because ‘everyone’s human’ at that point, despite what fans might want to claim at any other time.
Here are several of the most pretentious directors in Hollywood.
5. Quentin Tarantino
It was tempting to put Tarantino in the top spot since when it comes to anyone questioning his movies he gets rather defensive at times, and many of his fans look at his works as though they’re the greatest thing to ever happen to cinema. It’s true that some of his ideas are quite interesting and fun to watch, but that’s about where the line stops since his rambling dialogue and strange but compelling movies are often a look into a mind that might not be all there at times and is capable of rambling on and on unless someone stops him in his tracks every so often. But as far as being a genius, he mixes and matches his movie ideas, kind of like the guys at Sherwin Williams mix and match paint.
4. Terry Gilliam
One thing about Terry is that he doesn’t want the studio’s controlling his movies, which is admirable since a lot of directors want that kind of freedom and don’t always get it. But the trick is that sometimes it is wiser to play ball if you really want to get your story out. It’s not being a conformist to any serious degree, but it does allow a person to make a lot more headway when it comes to giving a little to get a lot. His ability to make movies isn’t anything to sneeze at, but to be fair it might be a failing of his that many people have been aware of for a long time, and that he has no desire to change.
3. Gus Van Sant
There’s simply something about his movies that screams ‘pretentious’ since he makes no qualms about adding in certain elements that appear designed to make people feel that they absolutely need to pay attention or they’ll miss out on something. Obviously we’re going to watch since we don’t want to be left out of the mix, but at the same time a lot of people tend to feel a little insulted now and again just by watching his movies since they feel as though they’ve been placed in a high chair with an authoritative parent telling them that if they don’t watch closely they’ll miss the main point and feel left out.
2. Christopher Nolan
It could be the use of exposition that a lot of people don’t care for in Nolan’s movies since the want to try and figure out by visual cues and less dialogue just what’s going on, but he has made several great movies. It does sometimes feel however that he might see the need to explain things in his movies just a little too much, which is a bit annoying to some folks that just want to watch a great movie and not have everything explained to them. After all, some folks have spouses that can do the same thing, and it’s just as annoying.
1. Lars Von Trier
Surprisingly, there are times when the audience wants to be spoonfed. But there are also times when they resent it in a big way since it not only makes the director look incredibly pretentious and a bit full of themselves, but it also gives the impression that they don’t believe the audience is smart enough to figure things out. Audiences aren’t typically so dim that they can’t figure out the meaning of a movie, and if they can’t then it means that the director really went off the chain and did something that only they could understand.
Sometimes it’s best just to give a simple movie that people can enjoy.
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