When he's on, he is on, creating some of the best films ever made. Even when he's a bit off and careens into self-indulgent territory (*cough*Gangs of New York*cough), he still makes a film worthy of discussion and debate. Even if he wasn't the director of such films as Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and Goodfellas, his tireless work in the field of film preservation would be enough to put him permanently in my good graces.
Some of my favourite movies of all time have been directed by Sidney Lumet. Network, 12 Angry Men, Dog Day Afternoon and one of my favourite movies from 2007, Before The Devil Knows You're Dead. Now 86, that film may turn out to be his swan song before entering a very well deserved retirement with 5 decades of extraordinary work behind him.
I'm not up on all of Almodovar's oeuvre just yet, having so far only seen his films from the late 90s onward, but I have yet to come across an Almodovar film I haven't liked. Penelope Cruz, an actress who has really come into her own in the last few years, is never better than when she teams up with this master filmmaker.
He's the man. He got me hooked with Pulp Fiction and ever since then I have been one happy viewer, duly rewarded every time he makes a movie. Pulp is still my favourite, but second place is ever changing, depending on my mood. 2014 and the third installment of Kill Bill can't come soon enough.
I don't use the word genius very often, but it's the only word sufficient to describe Guy Maddin. One of the most exciting and least appreciated filmmakers working today, I always eagerly anticipate seeing what he'll do next.