Best Director: 1965

Official Nominations: Robert Wise. David Lean. John Schlesinger. William Wyler. Hiroshi Teshigahara.

Robert Wise unsurprisingly picked up the win for The Sound Of Music. He is known for his musicals, but also did good work in the sci-fi genre. He brings his characteristic style to the film, but I just can’t enjoy this film without pretending there are zombies everywhere. David Lean extends his epic vision to Doctor Zhivago giving him the greatest financial success of his career. In spite of its success and the grand scale of proceedings, the handling of the central romance is clumsy and many scenes feel stretched or unnecessary. With Darling, Schlesinger starts to push the boundaries he would later crumble. It may have been one of the first films to depict the swinging 60s, but Schlesinger paints a darker picture than the one most people remember. William Wyler’s The Collector shocked quite a few viewers when released and it is a surprise that it was such a critical success given the Academy’s usual dim view on horror films. This is more accurately a thriller, and in the wrong hands could easily have become cheap exploitation, but Wyler’s perfection and eye for detail means everything is cold, calculated, and deliberate. Teshigahara’s The Woman In The Dunes was nominated in the previous year’s Best Foreign Film category and magically appears in the 1965 Director category. The film is avant-garde and has some blinding visuals and powerful moments, and is the director’s best film.

My Winner: Hiroshi Teshigahara.

My Nominations: Hiroshi Teshigahara. William Wyler. Jean-Luc Godard. Sergio Leone. Roman Polanski. Akira Kurosawa.

Wyler and Teshigahara make the transition over to my nominations and join a cast of experts from around the world. Godard release 2 films this year, Pierrot Le Fou and Alphaville. While PLF has the usual flare and pop culture knowing it is Alphaville which really stretches conventions, being one of the most bold sci-fi films of the decade. Leone gets another vote for his latest expansion of the spaghetti Western (For A Few Dollars More), and Kurosawa (Red Beard)gets a nod thanks to a much smaller, introspective piece than he was famed for. My win goes to Polanski, whose cutting exploration of paranoia, psychosis, pain, and suburban claustrophobia can still be used as a teaching tool on low-budget, situational directing for newbs.

My Winner: Roman Polanski

Let us know who you think deserves the Best Director Oscar of 1965? Let us know in the comments!

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