Who are the great American film directors? Stanley Kubrick? Martin Scorsese? Orson Welles? The AV Club has put together an A – Z of the best directors, and it’s sure to cause debate among film fans. While Kubrick, Scorsese and Welles all make the cut, notables such as Woody Allen, Francis Coppola, John Huston, and Buster Keaton are all missing. The pop culture website set a few ground rules for inclusion. “To narrow the field, we excluded documentarians from competition, saving ourselves the trouble, for example, of fitting Morris and Maysles onto the already crowded M ballot. And while you didn’t need to have been born in the States for us to consider you an ‘American’ director (hence Billy Wilder), you did have to do almost all of your work in America or for an American studio (hence no Hitchcock, who had a thriving career in the U.K. before decamping for Hollywood).”
The site padded the list a little, allowing for several runners-up. Since the list was posted on Thursday, the comments section (the life and soul of Disqus) has been filled with arguments about whether Howard Hawks is a better director than Todd Haynes, or why there are only two women on the list (Kelly Reichardt and Kathryn Bigelow). All of which is no doubt good for the AV Club’s click-rate and coffers (after all, they’ve just made a deal with Amazon and no doubt would like as many clicks as possible).