The Top Five Directors Who Confuse the Hell out of Us

The Top Five Directors Who Confuse the Hell out of Us

The Top Five Directors Who Confuse the Hell out of Us

A good director can make a film stay with you long after you’ve viewed it. Questions turn into quests for those who want to know the “why” behind the “what” of films by famous directors. Do they try to confuse us, or is their genius a rare wine that only is savored by those who can understand the more subtle notes. Whatever the case, here are five (actually six as one is a duo) that have totally confused their fans.

Stanley Kubrick

Never has a director messed with our heads more than Stanley Kubrick. His vision of Stephen King’s “The Shining” has so many hidden clues and confusing elements that there have been several documentaries such as “The Shining Code” and “Room 237” that attempts to explain some of the mind wracking “clues” contained in the film. Some say the horror film was Kubrick’s “confession” that he directed the moon landing. Others say it is a commentary on Native American Genocide (just look at the well-placed baking powder cans on the pantry shelf) but then again there is also a winter’s stock up of Tang so the space race theory might have some merit. How about the black and white photo at the end of the movie dated July 4, 1921? Why is Jack in that picture? Even if he had always been the caretaker, why would he be pictured front and center at a fancy dress ball?

Quentin Tarantino

Some famous directors love to play a part in the action. That little smirk he gives us in the opening credits of “Reservoir Dogs” lets the audience know he is indeed gonna mess with our heads. That movie made us cringe, laugh, and never listen to the song “Stuck In the Middle With You” the same way again. In his retro-flavored masterpiece from his “Grindhouse” offering “Death Proof” we see Kurt Russell having himself a drink at the bar, so how grisly could this story be? He may look a bit rough but like his role in “Escape From New York” but we can count on Kurt to play the reluctant hero, right? Tarantino throws us a curveball when Stuntman Mike turns out to be a truly terrifying sociopath. In film after film, he blurs the lines between hero and villain till we don’t know which end is up.

Sofia Coppola

Once it was clear that she wasn’t a stellar actress, her family connections got her some pretty sweet directorial gigs. Her art is pretty yet so abstract it leads film goers to scratch their heads. Her postmodern take on “Marie Antoinette” was so “out there” that many in the audience could not decide if the film was brilliant or just plain silly. She dazzled us with gorgeous scenery and well placed pop music threads, so who knows? I just really love that song “Hong Kong Garden”. Was Louis secretly gay? All signs point to yeah, probably. Nonetheless, he did his royal duty. Her take on these historical characters as young and vulnerable breathed new life into their story but the film raises more questions than it answers.

David Lynch

I had an English professor who was obsessed with Lynch. Our postmodernism class included watching “Blue Velvet and “Eraserhead”, as well as obsessing over the latest happening on “Twin Peaks” during its initial run. I could not get over the carving scene in “Eraserhead”.which Lynch wrote and directed. What was that about anyway? I pretended that I understood the symbolism and was able to turn in a passable paper on David Lynch’s interpretation of a dystopian society, social isolation, and the fragile human condition etc. but I didn’t get it and still don’t. If anyone can decode that movie, please let me know.

Ethan and Joel Coen

The Coen brothers have transformed cinema with movies like “Fargo” “O Brother Where Art Thou” and “Barton Fink” to name a few. What was up with that dog in “O Brother Where Art Thou” anyway? Was it really a hell hound? The girl in the photo from “Barton Fink” is fodder for odd daydreams or surreal nightmares, if you remember the earlier scene and imagine John Goodman chasing you through an inferno with a shotgun. Was it all just a writer’s dream?


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