The Guardian, a UK publication, just revealed their list of the “100 must influential people in the cinema today”. Full list here. Now, their list is through a British publication’s eyes so there are a few rankings that don’t quite jell with us yanks (for example, #10 Ed Vaizey is the Prime Mister of Culture), however I found it to be interesting and below are my reactions to some, which is precisely the reason lists like this are produced: to create discussion.
#1 James Cameron – No debate. Avatar is a game-changer, and not just for 3D cinema but digital photography and performance capture. He has wrote and directed the two highest grossing films of all-time. Can’t get bigger clout than that.
#2 Steven Spielberg – He’s still around? Yes. Been working deals behind-the-scenes since the latest Indiana Jones disappointed (but he made bank on it). He’s got two films next year: Rin Tin Tin and War Horse. I hope Spielberg still has some good movies left in him, but he’ shouldn’t be ranked second… #4 John Lasseter should. Pixar has one of the best track-records in film history. I’ll see anything they do any day, and everyone is with me.
#6 Christopher Nolan – Yep.
#9 George Clooney – Nope. Way to high. He draws more attention in humanitarian causes than his movies. But he’s one of the most popular guys in town.
#3 Leonardo DiCaprio, #4 Brad Pitt, #11 Johnny Depp – Depp should be the highest, but a lot of these guy’s big hits have to do with the directors and the property more than their drawing power. Robert Downey Jr. should be up there, but isn’t even on the list. Bollocks. Niether is Adam Sandler, who I’ve never been a huge fan of. But his summer comedies do consistently well. Nearly twice as much as the Tom Cruise / Cameron Diaz action movie.
#53 Harry Knowles – HA! Sorry Harry, you’re influence stretches from I-35 to Mopac (that’s an Austin reference for those not familiar).
#21 Aaron Sorkin – Highly Regarded? Sure. Powerful? No. Writers control two things in this town: Jack and Shit.
#26 Sacha Baron Cohen – Above studio executives, Jerry Bruckheimer and the most powerful agents at the biggest agencies? NOT.
#60 Michael Cera – That’s a joke, right?
Judd Apatow – Not on here. I’m not a fan of Funny People, but the man’s the biggest name in comedy right now.
Tom Cruise – Should be on here. Not nearly as formidable a force as he once was in the ’90’s and ’00’s, but he could get a movie greenlit with a snap of a finger. Few Stars can do that…like Tom Hanks, also not on here. Hanks got HBO to spend $200M on The Pacific, and produce a seven-part mini-series about John Adams with Paul Giamatti. THAT’S power.