Stars pick the directors they want to watch

Let's say there's a row of beautiful movie theaters, and the marquee of each one reads, "New film by (name of filmmaker here)." And let's say there's no other information about the film itself. Which one would you choose? We offered this dilemma to some notable performers and filmmakers, asking the question: "If you could see a new movie by any living filmmaker — and not know anything about the movie beforehand — whose would you choose?" Here's how they responded.

Judd Apatow
(director, "This Is 40," "Knocked Up")
"I am always excited to see a new film by Peter Weir ('The Truman Show,' 'Witness'). His work is always thoughtful, emotional and challenging. All of his movies are great, every single one of them."

Fred Armisen
(actor, "Saturday Night Live," "Portlandia")
"John Waters ('Hairspray,' 'Pink Flamingos'). He's got a theme running through all of his movies, and I want to see the next chapter of that."

Sofia Coppola
(director, "The Bling Ring," "Lost in Translation")
"Jane Campion ('The Piano,' 'Top of the Lake'). I love her work and haven't seen anything recently."

Jason Isaacs
(actor, the "Harry Potter" series, "The Patriot")
"Rodrigo Garcia ('Mother and Child,' 'Nine Lives'). He's a magnificent, beautiful writer."

Mads Mikkelsen
(actor, "Hannibal," "Casino Royale")
"I've got to say Martin Scorsese ('Good Fellas,' 'Taxi Driver'). He opened up my eyes to a whole different way of making film. I'd grown up with these action films, and all of a sudden I saw a lot of human beings running around in there, and I was so fascinated. He's been a big inspiration to me."

Emily Mortimer
(actress, "The Newsroom," "Lovely & Amazing")
"Martin Scorsese or Pedro Almodovar ('Talk to Her,' 'Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown'). I think both of them manage to combine a kind of fresh, exciting, radical eye with the old glamour of moviemaking. ... So watching their movies, you both feel excited and challenged."

Rupert Murdoch
(chairman, News Corp.)
"I think (Steven) Spielberg ('Lincoln,' 'E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial') is still the greatest storyteller, but I'd like to see another picture from Ben Affleck. He did a great job with 'Argo.' "

Wayne Blair
(director, "The Sapphires")
"For me it would be Spike Lee ('Do the Right Thing,' 'Malcolm X'). I know the film would be thought-provoking, not in a commercial way but in a social way."

Alessandro Niviola
(actor, "Ginger & Rosa," "Face/Off")
"Ken Loach ('The Wind That Shakes the Barley,' 'Riff-Raff'). I just watched 'Kes' (1969), and it's my new favorite movie. ... He's (76) years old now, and I think he's got a few more in him."

Daniel Radcliffe
(actor, "Harry Potter" series, "The Woman in Black")
"I'm a big Chris Nolan ('The Dark Night,' 'Inception') fan. I think he's kind of amazing."

Paul Rudd
(actor, "Admission," "This Is 40")
"It's a big list. It's a really big list. It's just too many. I want to see anything Jonathan Demme does or Quentin Tarantino. Mike Leigh. Albert Brooks. There's just too many to name."

Chris Tucker
(actor, "Silver Linings Playbook," "Rush Hour")
"Always Spielberg or David O. Russell ('The Silver Linings Playbook,' 'The Fighter'). Those guys are great."

Naomi Watts
(actress, "The Impossible," "Mulholland DriveDr.")

and Liev Schreiber
(actor, "X-Men Origins: Wolverine"; director, "Everything Is Illuminated")
Schreiber: "(Michael) Haneke ('Amour,' 'Funny Games')."
Watts: "Yeah, let's see his. Oh, my God, that's a good answer."
Schreiber: "He's always doing something progressive. He's always doing something interesting."

Harvey Weinstein
(co-chairman, The Weinstein Co.)
"Tarantino ('Django Unchained,' 'Pulp Fiction'). Scorsese next. Spielberg third. You know what? All of them together. I think they're great."

mcaro@tribune.com | Twitter @MarkCaro

Your turn
"If you could see a new movie by any living filmmaker — and not know anything about the movie beforehand — whose would you choose and why?" Send your responses to mcaro@tribune.com.

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
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