Director Challenge Series

Introducing the *first ever* series here on the blog… the My Jawbreakers Director Challenge Series!

Let me explain: I’ve spent a lifetime building film literacy. 75% of my brain is movie facts and trivia. Each time you watch a film, you make judgements– I like that, this didn’t make sense, oh, that was pretty!– and those judgements are based on deliberate choices. Choices, I have come to learn, that are made by he or she who fills the role of director.

Observing films as robust and complete bodies of work helped me understand what film direction entails; often films are mere utterances molded into breathing art by the hard work of directors.

Countless directors of today have carved out a name for themselves, each presenting a catalogue of distinct successes, risks and storytelling. I’ve been wanting to kick my film fandom up a notch by committing to and examining the filmography of renowned directors the same way I would, say, binge watch Lindsay Lohan movies in one weekend.

By noting reoccurring patterns, motifs and ticks within directors’ portfolios, I hope to fully understand their authorship and/or vision in filmmaking. Some highly decorated and famous, some up-and-coming, and others in-between, I intend to examine the full filmography of directors of my choosing.

The Parameters:
  1. Full consideration of a director’s filmography– that’s the challenge part. I have to watch all movies directed by proposed director to develop a sense for their work. This is done on Scout’s honor, of course.
  2. To avoid discussion getting clunky, my analysis will be centered around these speaking points:
    • Magnum Opus— their overall greatest work.
    • Weakest Entry— the runt of the litter.
    • Icon— the film that captures the director in their stride.
    • Wild Card— a standout for alternative reasons.
    • Honorable Mention(s)
    • Screenplay— their best written work.
    • Muse(s)— actor(s)/actress(es) that weave themselves into the directors’ cinematic vision.
  3. Wrapping up each challenge portion is two-fold:
    • Describing my experience watching the catalogue; the journey I went on and where it took me.
    • A final impression of the director’s work and style, to be capped off by the feat of encapsulating his/her filmography in 3 words.


The time-frame on this challenge is open and I’ll take any suggestions offered! Otherwise, challenge accepted.