Service with a Smile

The following is an excerpt from an excellent article from our friends at Ortho Christianity, entitled:  Who Do the Archons of the Patriarchate of Constantinople Serve?


Archons of the "First Without Equals"


By Kirill Alexandrov


In the 20th century, The Archon Society of the Patriarchate of Constantinople was institutionalized. On March 10, 1966, during the patriarchate Athenagoras I (the one who immediately after ascending to the throne declared that his main task was to promote American interests, the religious order of Archons was established—the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle. Its second name is the “Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate”.

The Order was created at the American Archbishopric of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in the form of a public non-profit organization. And in 1991, the Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople established a separate order for Archons living outside of America, the Brotherhood of [Archons of] the Most Holy Lady Pammakaristos”.

The spiritual mentor of the Order of St. Andrew is ex-officio the head of the American Archbishopric. Now, it is Archbishop Elpidophoros (Lambriniadis), the one who formulated the concept of the supremacy of the Patriarch of Constantinople, “First without Equals. This position fully explains the canonical nihilism of Constantinople. Since the canons do not provide opportunities for primacy, they are rejected.“.

Directly, the activities of the Order are led by a national commander. Now it’s Dr. Anthony J. Limberakis, MD. The governing bodies are also the Executive Committee and the National Council.

Each year, the Patriarch of Constantinople assigns the title of Archon to about two dozen candidates. The selection criteria, according to the procedure on,8 are as follows:

  1. Does the candidate have a record of service to his local parish, metropolis, and the national Church?
  2. Is the candidate willing and able to give of his Time, Talent, and Treasure, to the best of his ability, in advocating the cause of religious liberty for the Ecumenical Patriarchate and serve the needs of the Holy Mother Church?
  3. Is he willing and able to speak to local, state, and/or federal officials in support of religious freedom for the Ecumenical Patriarchate?
  4. Is the candidate willing and able to visit or participate in pilgrimages to the Ecumenical Patriarchate?
  5. How can the candidate advance the cause of the Ecumenical Patriarchate?

It is easy to see that almost all requirements relate to devotion—not to Orthodoxy in general, but to the Ecumenical (Constantinople) Patriarchate. This list does not even formulate requirements for the moral character of the candidate.

It is not for nothing that the list of criteria indicates the candidate’s willingness to lobby for the Phanar’s interests with the US authorities. In 2006, the Order of the Archons initiated the draft Resolution on Religious Freedom, which was accepted by all US states except four.

From the title of this resolution, we might conclude that it is designed to affirm religious freedom in the states for all religious organizations, or at least Orthodox. But this is not so. The provisions of the Resolution concern only the assertion of the rights of Phanar before the Turkish authorities. In particular, the Turkish administration is required to acknowledge that the Patriarch of Constantinople has a “universal i.e. ecumenical status”, and is not only the head of the local “Fener” Orthodox community.


The Order of Archons was directly involved in the project of creating the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU). Back in August 2018, when the Patriarchate of Constantinople did not decide on the creation of a OCU on the basis of two schismatic denominations of Ukraine, the Order of Archons stated that “it urges all Orthodox Christians to remember that the Ecumenical Patriarch has the right to grant a Tomos of autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, if he decides to do so.”

And in 2019, at the annual meeting of the Order in the United States, the head of the OCU, Epiphany Dumenko, was awarded the “Athenagoras Prize in the Field of Human Rights”. According to the description of the award on, it “is awarded every year at the annual banquet of the order to a person or organization that has consistently exemplified by action, purpose and dedication, concern for the basic rights and religious freedom of all people.”

It is rather cynical to present the prize for “caring for the fundamental rights and freedom of religion of all people” to the head of a religious organization whose followers seize churches of another denomination in Ukraine, beat bishops, priests and parishioners, and commit other atrocities.

It is rather cynical to present the prize for “caring for the fundamental rights and freedom of religion of all people” to the head of a religious organization whose followers seize churches of another denomination in Ukraine, beat bishops, priests and parishioners, and commit other atrocities. At the presentation of the prize, Order Commander Anthony Limberakis noted, “the many years of experience of Metropolitan Epiphany in protecting the Ecumenical Patriarchate.” And the site reported, “Metropolitan Epiphany was an active supporter of religious freedom and a key advocate for the ecclesiastical and canonical prerogatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.”

It is rather cynical to present the prize for “caring for the fundamental rights and freedom of religion of all people” to the head of a religious organization whose followers seize churches of another denomination in Ukraine, beat bishops, priests and parishioners, and commit other atrocities. Another area of activity of the Order of the Archons is the support of ecumenical initiatives to bring the Patriarchate of Constantinople and the Vatican closer together. In 2007, the Order proclaimed Pope Benedict XVI and Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople the “Apostles of the World.”

On January 10, 2020, the Order held a constituent assembly in New York, at which the “St. Andrew Ecumenical Patriarchal Fund” was created. Anthony Limberakis, national commander of the Order of the Archons, became its chairman.

The fund aims to “to assist the Ecumenical Patriarchate in upholding and defending its canonical authority in the United States and elsewhere”, as well as “to defend and preserve the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s leadership role among the various Orthodox jurisdictions and organizations around the world.”9

Patriarch Bartholomew recently stated that the Patriarchate of Constantinople “is served not only by our own spiritual children, but also by others—by all Orthodoxy in the entire Christian world,” probably forgetting the words of Christ: Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. (Matthew 4:10).

However, it must be noted that the concept of the supremacy of the Patriarch of Constantinople as “First without Equals” is not just a general theoretical consideration. This concept is backed by strong financial and organizational support. But the question is: is this concept Orthodox or anti-Orthodox?

Kirill Alexandrov
Translation by Matfey Shaheen

Union of Orthodox Journalists



  1. Haiku Harry says

    Well fed little Greek boys with big piggy banks, many married to “xenes”, trying so hard for affirmation from long dead parents while displaying their merit badges and meaningless titles.

    • Gail Michalopulos says

      Really, you had to post this 9 times???

      • Wanted to make sure people saw it . I’m sorry if I over did it . I actually lost count . People were blasting the EP and other jurisdictions so I wanted them to see that the MP did it too. Greatly saddened does multiple posts so I didn’t think it was a problem. I agree that 9 is excessive and I do apologize.

        • Gail Michalopulos says

          I understand, StephenD, No problem. Sorry if I sounded frustrated.

          The backend of WordPress is so difficult when it comes to finding duplicates, especially when you have multiple reviewers. It doesn’t sort like the front end. So when someone says, “please delete my comment above”, we have no idea which comment they’re referring to. We have go to the front end of the site (what you all see), find the thread, search through X number comments to find the one that might be it and then go into the into the backend and find it again to delete it. The system often takes several minutes to update. I make changes and then go play a game of solitaire because it can take that long. We’re hoping to move to a different platform (Google) but haven’t yet figured out how to bring your comments over. As soon as we do, it’ll be a lot easier on all of us.

          BTW, when you don’t see your comment with others submitted around the same time, it is usually because you posted something of interest that George and I want to comment on as we release it. If that happens, it takes a little longer.

          • E M Cimmins says

            Thank you, Gail.
            I had sometimes wondered why a post or two of mine seem to be delayed, but they’ve always been posted. I’d wondered if I was in the wrong time zone or if I had some glitch in my browser settings.
            I really appreciate what you’ve got going here at Monomakhos, and it’s good to understand more of the ‘inner workings’ to avoid confusion.
            E M Cimmins

            • Gail Michalopulos says

              Thank you!!! Feel free to let us know if there are any problems that you see on your end. We really do try to make this a good experience for everyone.

              • I second the thank you for Monomakos. You provide a very important outlet of information and analysis. It is truly a service to Orthodoxy.
                May you both be blessed!

                • Gail Michalopulos says

                  Thank you. We couldn’t do it without all of you. Seriously. I know it seems trite but in this case, many people read this blog (and never comment) to see what all you are thinking. That you take the time to respond and express how you honestly feel is why this all works. Plus, some of George’s best material come from the people on this blog.

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    Definitely! We get a lot of good source material from readers like you.

            • George Michalopulos says

              E M, thank you for noticing Gail’s work behind the scenes. She does yeoman-like work.  I couldn’t do it without her.

        • For your information Stephen…although the Patriarch of Russia was out of line for telling the faithful to stay home…the Churches are not closed and the people are still attending. That’s a big difference to what Bartholomew did.

  2. The Archons do not serve Christ, neither do they serve the Church, unless it is the bidding of the Patriarchate of Constantinople 
    As a separate note, I wonder if the hierarchs have seriously considered the repercussions of them closing down Churches. The following tweet is from a Catholic, but, I would imagine the sentiment may be similar: 
    ”I believe after this epidemic is over, a lot of people will continue to practice “social distancing” from the Church. If you can live without the sacraments when you needed them most, what’s the point of going to church when everything is back to normal?”

  3. E M Cimmins says

    You trying to bring down the EP’s Opus Dei on our heads?

    • George Michalopulos says

      E M, you are giving these guys waaaaayyyyy too much credit. They’re good businessmen and all but they don’t know the first thing about theology. Or ecclesiology. Or anything else associated with the Gospel. But then again, I have to wonder about the skills-set of the Metropolitans-of-Extinct-Dioceses that make up the bulk of the Phanar.

      • E M Cimmins says

        LOL, okay George, point taken.
        They sure do seem to be an intimidating bunch though, if the quotes and video from a couple of their members recently are taken at face value.
        Whew! Forget a dark alley, I wouldn’t want to run into these guys in the light of day! Too much of a La Cosa Nostra vibe for me.
        Take care (!),
        E M Cimmins
        P.S. the “Metropolitans-of-Extinct-Dioceses” was pretty funny, too. It speaks volumes.

  4. I attended a pan-Orthodox seminar in my area last spring about how to revive a ‘lukewarm’ parish and keep it thriving—presented by a gentleman that was an Archon of the EPC. And, although I found his seminar material to be quite interesting, I was so turned off by his constant reminder that he was an Archon. He sported an Archon lapel pin proudly on his blazer, and mentioned what it stood for at the beginning of his presentation. But at least 5-6 times during the morning and afternoon he kept reminding us of the fact that he was one of the chosen and what great work they did around the world for Orthodoxy. The only thing that saved anything for me was some of his informational material (about reviving parishes) and the nice lunch that was provided during a break. Otherwise, well… .

    • Gail Michalopulos says

      They are VERY invested in that Archon business, as you said, Alex. Curious. Was it a younger man or an order man?

      • Well, Gail, it depends on how you define younger or older? (I’m just into my early 50s; yet my younger brothers think that I’m an old guy!) If I had to make an educated guess on physical appearance, I’d say that the gentleman making the presentation was in his late 60s, perhaps?

    • The only thing I would disagree with is staying so long in the talk.  I never would have heard someone mention his membership in that childish organization 5-6 times, I’d have been gone after the first one.  Walking out on bishops and their silly fans is a good gesture.  Nothing else seems to get their attention.  It’s sad to see people without the ability to be embarrassed.

      • Eh, oh well…I paid for the seminar, plus had plans to go out for dinner afterwards with some friends that came with me. Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet. (Many Orthodox Christians have died for their faith; my small sacrifice pales in comparison.)

  5. George Michalopulos says


  6. George, if you could I would be very interested to see your predictions/thoughts about how the landscape of the Orthodox world is going to change when we come on the other side of the COVID crisis. What are your thoughts of how this will shape Orthodoxy in the U.S? The world? Will there be a realignment? 
    I am meeting with my local ROCOR priest to see what the process is for switching from my current jurisdiction to ROCOR. Of the 4 parishes in my city they are the only ones to remain open. In this day and age, I want to belong to a parish/jurisdiction that has conviction in what they believe. In the hour when they were needed, the bishops abandoned us 

    • Gail Michalopulos says

      I just told him that, too, Petros!

      • George Michalopulos says

        She did. If I don’t get cracking she’s going to send me to bed without supper?

    • Switching parishes is done by showing up.  Easy.  Rocor parishes are frequently just as stuck as anywhere else.  Notice they define themselves by where they aren’t?  Bizarre.  As weird as Syrians claiming some connection to Antioch where they haven’t been for 800 years.  A lot of being an orthodox is stifling the urge to laugh out loud.  The bishops don’t make it easy to continue, so I make a point to miss church when they show up, thankfully a rare visit.  If someone said the bishop would be here every Sunday til the health crisis is over there would be no objection to staying home, it would happen naturally.

  7. Greatly Saddened says

    Let us face reality. The Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate are strictly there to support the Ecumenical Patriarchate. In my most humble opinion, I do not sense they have any interest in Pan Orthodoxy. In other words, let’s keep it ‘Greek!’

    • G.S.
      a small correction if you don’t mind:
      let’s keep it ‘Fanariot!’

      • E M Cimmins says

        Risking hell to advance Hellenism? Is that the choice they offer?
        E M Cimmins

        • No. It’s risking hell to advance Fanariotism.

          • E M Cimmins says

            Hello Ioannis,

            So, a lesser cause (Phanariotism) misuses a greater cause (Hellenism) to justify supporting the lesser cause. Is the greater cause of Hellenism so great and central it must be included in the highest cause of Holy Orthodoxy? Or. as I suspect, just grand ethnophyletism?

            Thank you for any insight,
            E M Cimmins

            • Hello E M,
              The Christian question is not which cause is lesser, ie whether Phanarion (=the little lamp) or the Greeks should dominate the world. They are both wrong!
              And even if such a cause were correct, surely a whole nation (Greek, English etc) is more reasonable than just a few persons (in Phanar, Vatican or what have you).

              No doubt you know what “gossip” newspapers or websites write about “those Greeks and their country”, but, as in other countries, there are many kinds of Greeks, traditional, modern, faithful, atheists.

              Very briefly, Greece was invaded by the Muslim Turks for about 400 years.
              In 1821 it was liberated with the help of God, preserving her Orthodoxy and language. She managed to keep those elements for 400 years!

              Theodoros Kolokotronis, General of the armed forces in 1821 explained how they decided to fight:
              “We said, we shall fight for the Faith and the Country, and we said for the Faith first!”

              I know indeed, there are some “Greeks” who are first Greek and then anything else. Well then E M, I am telling you, they are not even real Greeks, but they cannot understand it.

              Let alone the words of the Bible about no difference between “Jew or Greek”.

              • E M Cimmins says

                Thank you very much for your reply, Ioannis.
                I confess I don’t know anywhere near what I wish I knew about Greek history. It’s like that old adage about not being able to eat just one potato chip. There is so much to learn of history, I doubt having another lifetime would satisfy my interests.
                I am also thankful I do not read gossip papers or websites as a habit, and am therefore happily ignorant of smears against the Greeks and their country. Although I haven’t had the opportunity to visit Greece, I am glad to say there are Greeks among one of our local parishes whom I hold in highest regard and have the greatest warmth; and my knowledge of its history, although limited, is still very inspiring.
                I think I understand you when you speak to the essence of being a true Greek in that one must be Orthodox, but I’m not sure that’s what you mean. I have heard this in regards to the Russians, and how the only true Pole is Catholic.
                The info on Gen Kolokotronis is also insightful.
                In my (most recent) studies of the history of the Ecumenical Throne, I can’t shake the feeling that, since the fall of Constantinople, She has been, and remains, a captive Throne. Would you agree?
                I’ve also read that the Greek authorities didn’t want the Ecumenical Throne moved to Greece after Greek independence. This prohibition has been noted as occurring just after the time of Met Meletios (Metaxakes) and his uncle, former Greek premier Eleftherios Venizelos. Do you have any idea why? I can’t find it anywhere. Why would Greece not want the Ecumenical Throne safely moved to its territory and be free of the Turks? It’s a puzzle for me. Here is a link:
                (refer to second-to-last paragraph, beginning “On October 12,…)
                Thank you again!
                E M Cimmins

                • Mr. Cimmins,
                  Although I speak without certainty, I strongly suspect the Greeks didn’t want it moved because of Canon III of the second Council.
                  “The Bishop of Constantinople, however, shall have the prerogative of honour after the Bishop of Rome; because Constantinople is New Rome.”
                  It appears that then, as now, they actually believed that the city itself has a significance of its own and that only the bishop of that particular city can hold the primacy bestowed by the canon.  The thought seems to be that to abandon the city is to run the risk of forfeiting primacy.  And since it is a Greek (by ancestry, though not by citizenship) that held – and holds – the office, the Greeks manage to retain the first place of honor.

                • E M,
                  Thank you for your meaningful reply:

                  “I think I understand you when you speak to the essence of being a true Greek in that one must be Orthodox, but I’m not sure that’s what you mean.”
                  Considering that during 400 years of Muslim rule we kept our Orthodoxy and also that we fought for liberation “for the Faith FIRST”, shows that a liberated real Greek is an Orthodox or else an apostate. If you meet a Greek who tells you he is Greek first and secondly Orthodox or what have you, then do remind him of “For the Faith and the Country” (Yper Pisteos kai Patridos) in the correct sequence/priority.   

                  “…the Ecumenical Throne”
                  Please read Canon 28 (4th Ec.Synod) PLUS the interpretation by St.Nikodimos. The main function of the Ecumenical Patriarch WAS to facilitate visiting/remote Bishops (from the whole Ecumene!), who needed to see the Head of State and get some assistance. This was an equal bishop who acted kinda Coordinator simply because he was based in the Capital. Nowadays the two/three basic parameters for this function have been eliminated:
                  (1) There is no Head of State in Istanbul now, he has moved to Ankara.
                  (2) There are practically no Orthodox left in Turkey, and certainly not many remote Bishops in Turkey.
                  (3) Actually the Turkish Head of State couldn’t care less about  problems of Orthodox Bishops inside Turkey let alone remote Bishops from other countries! Ecumene means “housed” ie inhabited earth. Strictly speaking, if using the original functioning (hypothetically), the Bishop of Moscow if he needed State aid, he should go to Bartholomew who in turn would (go to Ankara! and) ask Erdogan to assist (eg. give money) to this Moscow Bishop! This crazy example illustrates how much Bartholomew can execute his original basic  function (raison d’être) NOW!
                  To put it in a nutshell:
                  For a truly “Ecumenical” Patriarch to function as per Canon 28, he must be based in the “Ecumenical Capital” close to “Ecumenical President”. Where is that, in Istanbul, Washington, Moscow, Beijing????  

                  “Why would Greece not want the Ecumenical Throne safely moved to its territory and be free of the Turks?”
                  From the previous question above, you’ll appreciate that the Greek Head of State, of a small and ruined just-liberated country could not give the real support to the Ecumenical Patriarch as the Cple Emperor had done.   
                  Secondly, the specific Patriarch Metaxakis was a difficult case. Among other things we was a mason. 
                  Thirdly, there were, no doubt political criteria and even personal choices and arrangements of the politicians involved. 

                  • E M Cimmins says

                    Thank you so much for your insightful reply, Ioannis.
                    There is so much I could say about your responses, and about Brian’s responses, too. I have much to think about and study. It’s all very, very helpful. It’s also rather sad. It’s as though the EP is struggling to make itself relevant again in a world that has passed it by.
                    E M Cimmins

      • Greatly Saddened says

        Amen, Ioannis!

      • George Michalopulos says

        Indeed. “Fanariote” is to Hellenism as Hip-Hop is to Rhythm n’ Blues. In other words, a decidedly inferior and derivative (dare I say degraded?) off-shoot.

  8. Archons? ‘Give money, get badges…’
    Us? “We don’t need no stinkin’ badges”

    • Archpriest Alexander F.C. Webster says

      Ah, another classic movie fan (“The Treasure of the Sierra Madre,” starring Humphrey Bogart).

      • George Michalopulos says

        For all you cinephiles out there: yesterday on Turner Classic Movies was a Toshiro Mifune/Akira Kurosawa marathon of all sixteen of their collaborations. (It was the hundredth anniversary of Mifune’s birth.) Beginning with Drunken Angel (1948) and ending with Red Beard (1965). Sadly, I missed it, hopefully I’ll catch it on the back-end.

        It’s amazing, but the dearth of creativity in Hollywood goes all the way back to the 1950s when they cannibalized Kurosawa’s canon, including The Seven Samurai (The Magnificent Seven), The Hidden Fortress (Star Wars: A New Hope) and Yojimbo (Last Man Standing).

        Then again, Kurosaawa borrowed Macbeth to make “Throne of Blood”. But I excuse him as only the best should be allowed to borrow from the best.

        • Tim R. Mortiss says

          One of Kurosawa’s greatest movies is Dersu Uzala, based upon the Russian book of the same name. Extraordinary movie, filmed in Siberia. Don’t miss it, especially you who have an interest in Russia. It is a classic there, as is the book.

        • Archpriest Alexander F.C. Webster says

          Here are a couple of film topics guaranteed to generate plenty of discussion among us cinemaniacs stuck in our homes during the COVID 19 crisis:

          What is the “greatest” film (Hollywood or otherwise) ever produced and why?
          What is your “favorite” film, and is it same as the one you nominated in reply to question no. 1?


          • Probably the greatest religious film (non-Hollywood) ever made is Il Vangelo Secondo Matteo – The Gospel According To Matthew – by Pier Paolo Pasolini; an atheist, Marxist, homosexual [???]. With the exception of his mother, who played the aged Virgin Mary, he used no professional actors. All parts were played by Italian villagers. All are magnificent. There was no scriptwriter. Pasolini had a copy of the Gospel and filmed that.

            The opening scene, where Joseph realises that Mary is pregnant, is staggeringly beautiful. It brings tears to my eyes every time I visualise it.

            If you only see one religious film this Paschal tide,
            see this one.

          • George Michalopulos says

            The Man Who Would Be King is in the top three. I’d say Patton as well. The Passion of the Christ certainly. I’d put Kagemusha: the Shadow Warrior, Aleksandr Nevsky and Napoleon Dynamite somewhere in the top ten. I always make time to watch Goodfellas.

            Incidentally, a few days before the lockdown, the lovely Galina and myself went to see Jon Heder, Jon Greis and Efren Ramirez, three of the stars of that movie at a special viewing at The Theater Tulsa. It was packed and well worth the money. After the viewing, they came out and answered questions from the audience. That was only three weeks ago but it seems like we inhabited another world then.

            Oh, the last fifteen minutes of Blazing Saddles, the Busby Berkely/song-and-dance “French Mistake” number is priceless.

          • Sage-Girl says

            Archpriest Alexander Webster:
            Best films? It would be the Jesus movies ? & most memorable are: 
            Jesus of Nazareth — with British actor Robert Powell is my fave…
            also: Greatest Story Ever Told — with Swedish actor Max von Sydow … he just died.
            Of course, The Passion – but seriously hard to watch… 

            • George Michalopulos says

              Sage-Girl, in The Greatest Story Ever Told, one thing I noticed about the Last Supper was von Sydow’s face: the light emanated from it. In other words, rather than being illumined from an exterior source, it appeared to come from Jesus’ presence itself. I don’t know how the cinematographer did this but that’s what struck me.

              Michael B, do you have any thoughts on this?

              • Michael Bauman says

                George, it could be some sort of backlighting and lens-filter combo.  Before computers there was still a lot that could be done with lighting effects. 

            • Gail Sheppard says

              I can’t even watch the trailers for The Passion. Can you imagine what it would be like to be His mother and have to watch your son be crucified? Beyond comprehension. – Did you ever see the movie Brother Sun and Sister Moon (1972 Franco Zeffirelli)? I saw it a long time ago and for some reason, it really got me to. Especially that scene where Francis is increasingly uncomfortable sitting in the front of the church with his family, while the poor and unfortunate crowd together in the back. I have often wondered if that’s why Pope Francis took the name of St. Francis. Is it possible he saw that movie, too? – I just looked it up. Apparently, he did.

  9. Michael Bauman says

    Kuroswa was an amazing visual story teller. My favorite is Ikuru. Dersu Usala and Kagemushu are also high on my list.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Agreed. Probably the greatest director of all time. Do you think that Ridley Scott’s cinematography in Gladiator was influenced by Kagemusha? Or is it my imagination?

      • Michael Bauman says

        My favorite film if all time is Wait Until Dark 1967 with Audrey Hepburn and Alan Arkin.   
        Best: Kagemushu

      • Archpriest Alexander F.C. Webster says

        I must differ, George, regarding the greatest director.

        My nominee would be Orson Welles, particularly for his 1941 film Citizen Kane, which is also my choice for best film ever produced. Anyone who disclose s the ending of the film, when the mystery of “Rosebud” is revealed to the audience, ought to be banished from all polite company.

        Runners-up for best director of all time are, in my estimation but in no particular order, Alfred Hitchcock, Akira Kurosawa, Stanley Kubrick, and Steven Spielberg.

        At the apex of Spielberg’s many cinematic triumphs are Schindler’s List (the little girl in the faded red coat in this otherwise black and white film personalizes the Holocaust better than any of the dozens of films on the subject–a reflection of sheer genius) and Saving Private Ryan (an unequaled  masterpiece in our era: “the greatest anti-war pro-soldier film” in all the world–and you may quote me–which anti-military Hollywood shamelessly snubbed for the “best picture” Oscar in 1999 in favor of the silly, frivolous romp, Shakespeare in Love).

  10. Sage-Girl says

    Anyone ever see the old 1939 film ? with
    Lionel Barrymore : On Borrowed Time

    The ending is so heavenly … a story about
    importance of death.