Who says the cinema doesn't have punk rockers? Yes, even though marketing firms and agencies and producers and studios try to clamp down and streamline every aspect of filmmaking from the initial idea to the DVD release, some filmmakers manage to come in and make a lot of noise, push a lot of buttons and just generally make life unpredictable. These are the mavericks, the outsiders, the misfits, the crackpots and the weirdos, and the new issue of Sight and Sound magazine has paid tribute with an entire issue ("The Mad, the Bad and the Dangerous") devoted to them. The issue begins with an article by Mark Cousins, listing the top 50 "wild bunch" filmmakers whose voices ring the loudest. (You won't find Ang Lee on this list.)
They're not necessarily the "best" filmmakers, and even Cousins says: "Do the Wild Bunch Dionysians outstay their welcome? Absofuckinlutely. Too much Borowczyk or Abel Ferrara sends me running back to Ozu. Still, I love (most of) these directors. They seem to need cinema, or creative expression, more than other film-makers. They need it the way alcoholics need booze: they're not using cinema -- it's using them. Such helplessness is touching." The list includes well-known names like Ferrara, David Lynch, Dario Argento, Catherine Breillat, Tod Browning, Luis Bunuel, Cecil B. DeMille, Claire Denis, Federico Fellini, Werner Herzog, Guy Maddin, Takashi Miike, Tsui Hark, Paul Verhoeven, Lars von Trier and even poor old Edward D. Wood Jr.