50 directors

50 directors

1. Atom Egoyan


Atom Egoyan is a Canadian filmmaker. He was originally born in Cairo, Egypt. Both of his parents were painter. His family and him then settled in Canada. His desire was to be accepted by the Canadian society so he was very rebellious to his own Armenian culture. He interested in reading and writing plays since he was a kid. He graduated from Trinity College at the University of Toronto; this is where he developed his interest in writing.

Atom Egoyan is known for his indy films. He is one of the remarkable director and storyteller of the contemporary filmmaking. In his films, he often focuses on the issue of isolation and alienation. Also he often tells his stories in a non-linear plot structures. He did several of movies and also short films. His first movie that got him the attention is exotica in 1994 but it’s a movie called The Sweet Hereafter that landed him an Oscar nomination for Best Director. He’s currently working on a movie ‘Moving The Arts’

2. Federico Fellini


He was born in small village of Rimini in January 20, 1920. Fellini spent his childhood drawing, staging puppet shows and reading Il corriere dei piccoli, the popular children’s magazine that reproduced traditional American cartoons

He then went to Rome in 1939 and enrolled in university. He left his school in the time of WWII and became a cartoonist, drawing caricatures of American soldiers. He also began writing and acting in sketch comedy productions with his friend, Aldo Fabrizi. He also met his wife Giuletta Masina. She was an actress. She influences most of his works. He came to meet with another Italian director Roberto Rosellini, who wanted to get his friend Fabrizi to be in his film. Rosellini contacted Fellini about this and hired him as an assistant director where he got his experience on how to create and edit film.

His works mostly influenced by the Jungian theory ( a psychological theory about sensation, intuition, thinking, and feeling. We can get these themes from most of his movies like , Juliets Of Spirits, Satyricon, Casanova and City of Women. There’s even a word “Felliniesque” which means any kind of extravagant, fancy and baroque images in film and art in general.  He is also well known for his creativity of combining fantasy and baroque images together.

He won four Academy awards n the Best Foreign Language category. Many of the contemporary directors such as Woody Allen, David Lynch Pedro Almodovar and Terry Gilliam are inspired by Fellini works.

3. Jean Luc-Godard


Jean-Luc Godard was born on December 3, 1930. He is a French-Swiss filmmaker. He was born I Paris but spent most of his childhood in Switzerland. He was one of the very first artists of the French New Wave. French New Wave is a term coined by critics for a group of French filmmakers of the 1950s and 1960s. It’s a movement that opposed the classical cinema of Hollywood. They experimented with new editing, visual style and narrative part that break away from the old Hollywood ways. The principle of this movement was realism is the essence of cinema. They used more long shots they didn’t want to disrupt audience with cuts. We can see these characters in most of his films. Most of his films usually focused on the issues of politics, Vietnam conflicts, German poetry and Marxism. His most famous films are Breathless and Week End.

4. Michael Haneke


Michael Haneke was born on March 23, 1942. He is an Austrian director and writer. He was raised up in Vienna and went to the University of Vienna to study philosophy, psychology and theatre science. He first worked as a film critic and editor from 1967 to 1970. He debuted his first movie called The Seventh Continent in 1989. Three years later, he made a movie called Benny’s Video, this film created a lot of buzz for him. And in 2001, he made The Piano Teacher, which was his most successful film. Most of his films focus on the issues and problems in the modern society. His films have raised a lot of questions and controversies. He once said “Films that are entertainments give simple answers but I think that’s ultimately more cynical, as it denies the viewer room to think. If there are more answers at the end, then surely it is a richer experience.” He also has known for his bold and disturbing style of film. His films often make the audience really disturbed and uncomfortable.

5. Werner Herzog


Werner Herzog is a German film director, producer, screenwriter and opera director. He was born in German on 5 September 1942. He is associated with the German New Wave Movement. He grew up in an isolated mountain village in Bavaria. He said that he never watched any film and television or even used a telephone when he was a child. When he was thirteen years old he and his family lived in an apartment in Munich, which they shared with several other people. One of them was the actor Klaus Kinski. He made first phone call when he was 17. Then made his first film in 1961. His films concern about the heroes with false dream or individuals who find themselves in conflict with nature. In his films, he often has animals doing unusual things. His trademarks are the uses of long landscape shots and the uses screeching cello and violins as his musical scores. He is the only person who was able to work with a very eccentric actor, Klaus Kinski. He is also known for using real people, the local people in his documentaries. He said that it’s real and more believable. His films have won and nominated for many awards. He received many critical acclaim on the theme and messages in his films. He said that he never uses storyboard and he mostly improvises large parts of the script. He has three children with three different women and now currently living in LA.

6. Walter Hill

Walter Hill

Walter Hill was born in Long Beach, California on 10 January 1942. He went to Michigan State University studied history. He worked in and oil drilling and construction. It was said that Walter Hill spent his childhood daydreaming and reading comic books and listening to radio serials. He began his career in a training program in Directors Guild of Americas and then started working as second assistant director on The Thomas Crown Affair. He also worked as a second assistant director in Take the Money and Run, a movie by Woody Allen. His first feature film is Hard Times in 1975. Then in 1980 he directed his first official Western The Long Riders. He used real life brothers as historical outlaw siblings in the movie. After that he continues making films such as Streets of Fire, Crossroads, Red Heat Last Man Standing and many more. His work was considered a revival of the Western action. He said himself that “Every film I’ve done has been a Western” and he is also known for making a story that focus on one male character and everything happens around this male character. He wants to combine the theme of Western with the contemporary themes.

7. Kon Ichikawa

Kon Ichikawa was a Japanese filmmaker. He was norn on November 20, 1915 in Japan. He was one of the few Japanese directors that known internationally. He went to school in Osaka and graduated in 1933. Ichikawa began his career as a cartoonist. The post war period really inspired him to do his films. He did a film called The Burmese Harp in 1956, which is about this soldier turned Buddhist monk. The next one is The Fires on the Plain, which is also an anti-war film. He married Natto Wada who was a scriptwriter. She wrote many scripts that Kon Ichikawa later on made it into films and she’s probably the one that inspired his works the most. He also made movies about sexualities and teenage rebellion, which are Odd Obsession: The Key and The Punishing Room, which are ones of his films that caused a lot of controversies and social commentaries. Not until his later works like The Key, I Am a Cat, Conflagration that the West started to know about him. His films cover a wide spectrum of moods. He is also known for being a great visual stylist, how he design the shots and also known for being really good at screen adaptation.

8. Elia Kazan.

Elia Kazan was born on September 7 1909. He was an American film director, theatre director, screenwriter, and a novelist. He won three Academy Awards and five Tony Awards. He is known for his creative theatre production and also for works that involve with social and political theme. Kazan grew up with a Greek family and studied at Yale’s drama school. He started off his career doing Broadway shows including Men in White, Waiting for Lefty, Golden Boy, All my Sons, Death of a Salesman, etc. He won Tony awards for his directing in All My Sons and Death of a Salesman. Then he moved on into films, he won Academy awards for best director for Gentlemen’s Agreement and On the Waterfront. He often worked with Marlon Brando and Karl Malden. He was responsible for directed 21 actors and earned them Oscar nominations for the role that they played for him. He was involved with the Communist group in the 1930s. He was a member for a short period of time but still The House Un-American Activities Committee started an investigation about this group of people and called Kazan up to identify others members of the communist Party. Kazan named eight people including people that worked with him in the theatre.

Kazan was married three times and has four children. He died in 2003 at the age of 94.

9. Abbas Kiarostami

Abbas Kiarostami was born on June 22, 1940. Abbas is one of the most innovative and influential Iranian filmmakers. In the 90’s where the West had such a negative images on Iran, his films introduced new perspectives of Iran to the West. He was also one of the filmmaker in a New wave movement that happened in Iran in the 60’s. He was introduced to the West especially French by such films as Close-Up and Life and Nothing More. His films have a very unique style but in an unpretentious and poetical way with philosophical messages. His movies often play with the audience’s mind and provoke their creative imagination. He doesn’t tell audience everything but rather left something unsaid so he can challenge the audience’s expectations. He also uses a lot of dark screens in many of his movies. The audiences can only the sound but they see a black screen in front of them. He found that this way makes the audience engages more into the film and when the image appears in the screen that image became much more magical because it made the audience wait for a long time.

10. Mike Leigh.

Mike Leigh was born on February 20, 1943 in Greater Manchester, UK. He is and English writer and film and theater director. He studied directing at Royal Academy of Dramatic art. He started off his career in the 1970’s, making nine television plays including Nuts in May and Abigail’s Party. His early plays tended to be about the dysfunctional lives of middle class people.  In 1971 he made his debut with Bleak Moments and he waited seven year later to make his second film. People said that Mike Leigh is not the kind of director that everything has to go according to the script but he tends to improvise a lot along the production. He only comes up with some ideas of how he wants his movie to look like and slowly have his actors discovered about their own characters step by step along the way. He wants to make a stylistic film but also keeping it real and truthful, he wants to tell a true and ordinary story of people but in a way that he thinks is interesting. He often breaks the rules about plot structure and character arc in his movies. These are some of his films Life is Sweet, Naked, Secret & Lies, All or Nothing and Happy Go Lucky.

11. Ernst Lubitsch.

Ernst Lubitsch was born on January 28 1892 in Germany. He is considered one of the most sophisticated and most elegant directors. As he developed his style in making movies years after years his films were known as having ‘The Lubitsch touch.’ It’s a term that was used to promote his film. It usually referred to a movie with very sophisticated style with sense of sexy humor, wit, and elegance. His style of making movies also considered as a deriving from an ordinary narrative form of the silent film. He would focus on the small details in the movie that can be surprisingly relevant to the main ideas of the movie. His films included To be or Not to Be (1942), Monte carlo (1930), Trouble in Paradise (1932) and The Shop Around the Corner     (1940) In March 1947, Lubitsch was awarded a Special Academy Award for his “25-year contribution to motion pictures”.

12. Sidney Lumet.

Sidney Lumet is an American film director. He was born on June 25, 1924. He had made over 50 films including 12 Angry Men, Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, network, and The Verdict. He is considered one of the Masters of Cinema alongside Martin Scorsese and Stanley Kubrick. He was known for his ability to get the best performance out of his actors. Most of his films are very emotional and often too sentimental. It was said that one oh his steady themes during his career is the “fragility of justice and the police and their corruption.” He shot most of his films in his beloved city, New York.

13. Terrence Malick.

Terrence Malick is an American screenwriter, filmmaker and producer. Over decades he has directed both shot films and feature films. He was born on November 30, 1943. His masterpieces are Badlands and Days of Heaven. He was also nominated for Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Director for The Thin Red Line. He is mostly known for his naturalist cinematography and his editing style. He was known to include nature as the major element in his films. His films are consisted of very beautiful and repetitive images of nature. Also he often uses the music to help heighten the drama and emotion of the certain parts of the story and he makes extensive use of off-screen narration by his characters.

14. Louis Malle.

Louis Malle was born on October 3, 1932 in Northern France. His films explore wide range of subjects, very controversial. His films include Ascenseur pour l’échafaud (1958), Atlantic City (1981), and Au revoir, les enfants (1987). He created films that explored life and its meaning. Malle’s family discouraged his early interest in film but, in 1950, allowed him to enter the Institute of Advanced Cinematographic Studies in Paris. His résumé showed that he had worked as an assistant to filmmaker Robert Bresson. Malle avoided repeating himself – tried to explore something different in every film he made. And he liked to take his time making films, which is why he avoided working with Hollywood.

15. Anthony Mann.

Anthony Mann was born on June 30, 1906 in California. Mann started out as an actor, appearing in plays off-Broadway in New York City. In 1938, he moved to Hollywood and work for a low budget film as an assistant director for RKO. Mann movies fall into mainly three categories, low budget, B-feature films noir and Western. He had a distinctive style of combining the nature images with human drama. His films often show unwell heroes attempting to resolve personal pain and confusion. His masterpiece is Man of the West; the film is considered one of the greatest American films about America. His works also often included heavy elements of sadism.

16. Jean Pierre Melville.

Jean Pierre Melville was born on October 20, 1917 in Paris. He was one of the most independent French filmmaker. He served in World War II and fought in Operation Dragoon when he returned from war he then started working as director. He had his own studios and became well known for his tragic, minimalist film noirs, such as Le Samouraï (1967) and Le Cercle rouge (1969). His works was influenced by American cinema for example the outfits in his films or accessories like weapons, clothes and especially hats. He was also one of the first French directors who used real location to shoot his films. He’s also very influential for French New wave film movement. Jean-Pierre Melville made a total of 13 features during his 25-year career. His films are about gangsters, crimes and war. In many of his films, most of the central characters end up dead.

17. George Miller.

George Miller was born on March 3, 1945 in Brisbane, Australia. He is an Academy Award winning director, screenwriter and producer. He is well known for his movie, Mad Max and also from his involvement in the animation, Happy Feet. George attended a Film Workshop at Melbourne University. He wrote and directed Mad Max movies, starring Mel Gibson and wrote and directed Babe and Babe: Pig in The City. He is the person who helped Australian films to the international in the 80’s. He is also a part of the Australian New Wave. The strange thing for him is that he graduated

With a degree in medicine from the University of New South Wales in 1970s, and spent 18 months in the hospital’s emergency room, may be this is where he started to look at the world from a different point of view.

18. Kenji Mizoguchi.

Kenji Mizoguchi was born in 1898 in the middle class district of Hongo, Tokyo. He is one of the masters of filmmaler in the golden age of Japanese cinema. He was best known for mastering the techniques of using long take and mise-en-scene. He first worked as an actor in a production company in Japan then he moved on to work as and assistant director and then in 1922 he made his first film. He had made more than 90 films in the silent era but only his last 12 films that are really known internationally. His films are known for the championing of women. He is known as the first feminist director. He was influenced by the Japanese arts; we can see it in his films where he emphasis on lighting and space in the picture just like Japanese arts. He was infamous for his rehearsals. He would have his actresses doing the rehearsal hundreds of times. This is because his love in using long take which means there’re little to no room for error.

19. Anthony Minghella.

Anthony Minghella was born on January 6, 1954 in UK. He was a film director, playwright and screenwriter. An Anthony Minghella film assured movie-goers would enjoy a film blessed with a literate script, superlative performances and first-rate production values. His great craftsmanship was apparent from the beginning, with the bittersweet 1990 comedy Truly Madly Deeply (1990), in which the ghost of Alan Rickman comes back to his lady love, Juliet Stevenson, with unintended consequences. The theme of a ghostly love also was present in The English Patient (1996) his greatest success. It is for that film he will be best remembered. Minghella claimed that with The English Patient (1996), which won nine Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director, that he had reached the heights of his directing career.

20. F.W. Murnau

Friedrich Wilhelm “F.W.” Murnau (28 December 1888 – 11 March 1931) was one of the most influential German film director of the silent Era. An important figure in the expressionist movement in German cinema during the 1920s. Murnau’s visual style unites the diverse themes and stories that constitute his best work; his fluently moving camera implies and openness of attitude that transcends both the rigid schematics of Expressionism and the limiting conventions of genre. His films are difficult to categorize, but they retain an ability to touch the heart and stimulate both mind and eye. Murnau’s most famous film is Nosferatu, a 1922 adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula and another important film is The Last Laugh. The film introduced the subjective point of view camera, where the camera “sees” from the eyes of a character and uses visual style to convey a character’s psychological state. The film also introduced the mix of camera movements such as tracking shots, pans, tilts and zoom.

21. Mira Nair

Mira Nair was born in 15TH October 1957, India. She’s the youngest daughter out of three children. She grew up in the middle class family. She began her film career as an actor and then turned to directing award-winning documentaries, including So Far From India and India Cabaret. Her debut feature film, Salaam Bombay! was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1988. Her films often explore the problems in the society such as races, classes and sexualities. We can see that her works are similar to the documentary film and that’s because she started off her career doing documentaries.

22. Francois Ozon

François Ozon (born November 5, 1967) is a French film director and screen writer and whose films are usually characterized by sharp satirical wit and a freewheeling view on human sexuality. He has achieved international acclaim for his films 8 femmes (2002) and Swimming Pool (2003). He studied film at Le Femis and started making short films like Une robe d’ete’ (1996) and Scene de lit  (1998) that already display his defining style. His motion picture directing debut was Sitcom (also 1998), which was well received by both critics and audiences. Some of his movies have a common theme about gay relationship.

23. Yasujiro Ozu.

Yasujiro Ozu (12 December 1903 – 12 December 1963) was born in the Fukagawa district of Tokyo. Ozu was an important Japanese film director and script writer. He is known for his distinctive technical style, developed since the silent era. Marriage and family, especially the relationship between the generations, are among the most persistent themes in his body of work. Ozu was first hired as an assistant camera man. He became an assistant director within three years, and directed his first film, Zange no Yaiba (The Sword of Penitence, now lost), in 1927. He went on to make a further 53 films: 26 in his first five years as a director. Ozu is possibly as well-known (if not more) for the technical style and innovation of his films as for the narrative content. The style of his films is most distinctive in his later films. Ozu did not use typical transitions between scenes. In between scenes he would show shots of certain static objects as transitions, or use direct cuts, rather than fades or dissolves. Ozu moved the camera less and less as his career progressed, and ceased using tracking shots altogether in his color films. He also invented the “tatami shot”, in which the camera is placed at a low height, supposedly where it would be if one were kneeling on a mat. This style of filmmaking produced quiet and thoughtful films of rare beauty and elegance.

24. Alan J Pakula.

Alan Jay Pakula (April 7, 1928 – November 19, 1998) was an American film director, writer and producer noted for his contributions to the conspiracy thriller genre. He studied drama at Yale University. He started his career as an assistant in the cartoon department at the Warner Brothers. In 1962, he produced To Kill a Mockingbird, for which he was nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award. In 1969, he directed his first feature, The Sterile Cuckoo, starring Liza Minnelli. And in 1971, he released his first commercial success, Klute. And in 1982 he scored another hit with Sophia’s Choice starring Meryl Streep.

25.Pier Paolo Pasolin

Pier Paolo Pasolini (March 5, 1922 – November 2, 1975) was born in Bologna, it was the year that Fascism came to power. He was raised up by a fascist family in a small town in Northern Italy. He is one of the most significant of the directors who emerged in the second wave of Italian postwar cinema in the early 1960s but Pasolini was always much more than just a distinctive and innovative filmmaker. By the time he came to make his first film, Accattone, in 1961, he had already published numerous collections of poetry, two highly acclaimed novels. In 15 years after that his films speak loudest for Italian political and cultural debate. He used cinema as a form of expressing himself. Pasolini was brutally murdered by being run over several times with his own car, dying on 2 November 1975 not long after his last movie came out, Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma.

26.Alexander Payne.

Constantine Alexander Payne (February 10, 1961) was born in Omaha, Nebraska. He went to UCLA film school. He is an American Academy Award-winning film director. His films are famous for their dark humor and satirical depictions of contemporary American society. His films also revolve around adultery in marriage and relationships. He also tends to set his films in Omaha. He has scenes of historical landmarks and museums in his films, and tends to use actual people for minor roles such as real life waitress for waitress. His films also explore the human emotion such as loneliness. He wrote and directed his first feature film in 1995, Citizen Ruth. He won an Academy Award and Golden Globe award for Best screenplay for Sideways in 2005.

27. Sam Peckinpah.

Sam Peckinpah was born on February 21, 1925. He was an American film director and screenwriter who was well known for his western movie called The Wild Bunch. He was a very important filmmaker in the 70’s with his innovative and distinctive way of doing western movies. His works mostly deal with the issue of values and ideas and the corruption among people in the society. In 1961 he directed his first western film, The Deadly Companion. He has couples of films that made him internationally known for example The Wild Bunch, The Ballad of Cable Hogue, Straw Dogs, Junior Bonner, and The Getaway. His characters are often loners or losers who desire to be more acceptable by the society by their lives kept them from doing so. The conflicts of masculinity are also a major theme of his work. Because we grew up in a ranch with lawyers and judges, we can see in his works that he’s deeply concerned about the old fashion of values and morals.

28. Arthur Penn.

Arthur Penn was born in Philadelphia in 1922 to parents that soon separated, Penn spent many of his formative years living with his mother and brother. He was one of the very important director in 1970s alongside Sidney Lumet, John Frankenheimer, and Sam Peckinpah. He is best known as the director of Bonnie and Clyde (1967), Penn produced a critically acclaimed body of work though the 1960s and 1970s, keenly focusing on themes relevant to the times. His first movie is The Left Handed Gun. His movies often involve with issues of violence and depression. His later works are not really as successful as his early works but in his heyday, he was considered one of the most complex and interesting filmmaker in America.

29. Sydney Pollack.

Sydney Pollack was born on July 1, 1934 in Indiana, USA. He was one of the most successful directors in the 70’s and 80’s. He was also an Academy award director, actor, and writer who directed and produced over 40 films. From 1952 to 1954 he studied acting with Stanford Meisner at The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in New York. ollack began his acting career on stage, then made his name as television director in the early 1960s. He made his big screen-acting debut in War Hunt(1962), where he met fellow actor Robert Redford, and the two co-stars established a life-long friendship. His biggest success came with Out of Africa(1985), starring Robert Redford and Meryl Streep. The movie earned eleven Academy Award nominations in all and seven wins, including Pollack’s two Oscars: one for Best Direction and one for Best Picture.
 he was also nominated for Best Director Oscars for They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? and Tootsie.

30. Bob Rafelson.

Robert “Bob” Rafelson (born February 21, 1933) is an American film director, writer and producer. He is most famous for directing and co-writing the film Five Easy Pieces, starring Jack Nicholson, as well as being one of the creators of the pop group and TV series, The Monkees.

People said that he’s a neglected American film director because he tells a bitter truth and he didn’t sugarcoat everything he wants to say for example in his Five Easy Pieces, he expressed his feeling about the burned out liberalism and disoriented society. in America or in The King of Marvin Garden where he talks about the faux American dreams. He often starts out his movie with a very tension and interesting moments, which often confused the audience. He devotes his attention not only to the straightforward expression of his themes but also to getting brilliant acting out of his casts. He forces them to explore the darker sides of their characters.

31. Nicolas Roeg.

Nicolas Jack Roeg was born on August 15, 1928 in London. He is a film director and cinematographer who is famous for his films such as Performance, Walkabout, Don’t Look now and The Man who Fell to Earth. He started working as an editor and then moved on to be cinematographer 12 years later. He first got attention with the work he did with David Lean for Lawrence of Arabia. He is known for his not continued, non-linear narrative style, often cut back and fourth, zoom in and out or even put some flashback scene in between scenes. He is also known for excellent uses of music, which help made his scenes even more ground breaking.  Some of his techniques are very influential to music video directors. His most recent film is The sound of Claudia Schiffer in 2000.

32. Eric Rohmer.

EricRohmer was born on April 4, 1920 in Tulle, Paris. His real name is Maurice Henri Joseph Scherer. He is considered one of the most important figures in New Wave Cinema. He first worked as an editor for the influential French film journal Cashiers du cinema. His films often focus on the intelligent protagonists who often fail to achieve their desires. His characters desire to do something, which is different to the way they act, which simply mean that what the character say is not exactly what they truly want. His films also often refer to the ideas in novels such as his film A Winner’s Tale, which refers to Shakespeare. His films considered as very innovative and have really strong performances. He is not a fan of a full-face close up, he considers it as pretentious and he said it’s not the way we see each other in reality. He also avoids the uses of music that come from the off screen source. His movies often set in a beautiful seaside resort or beaches. Also he often spends a plentiful amount of time in his movies for long conversations and showing his character going from one place to another.  His characters are mostly in their twenties, middle class and university educated.

33. Roberto Rossellini.

Roberto Rossellini was born on May 8, 1906. He was an important person in amongst Italian filmmaker. His father was the first to opened cinema in Rome, which gave him a passed to all films at the time. After his father died, he became sound maker for film and eventually learned and mastered all the things in the field. He was one of members the neorealist cinema. He grew up in Rome in the time that Fascism was very powerful. His films with Ingrid Bergman were not very successful but he is very influential for the others French filmmaker. He is considered the father of the French New Wave. His films are very influential to many contemporary directors such as Martin Scorsese. Scorsese even made a film about him called My Voyage to Italy, which is a rendition of the one of Rossellini’s Voyage to Italy.

34.Walter Salles.

Walter Moreira Salles was born on April 12, 1956 in Rio de Janeiro. He is a well-known Brazilian filmmaker and producer. He studied at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. His first got attention from his film called Terra Estrangeira or Foreign Land in 1995, which was widely accepted by film critics. Then in

1998 he made another big hit, Central do Brasil that got him two Academy Award nominations for Best Actress in a leading role and Best Foreign Language Film. His biggest international success is Diarios de Motocicleta which is a film about the young Che Guevara. Then in 2005 he released his first English speaking film called Dark Water, an adaptation from Japanese movie.

35. John Sayles.

John Thomas Sayles was born on September 28, 1950 in New York. He s an American indy film director and screenwriter. He was raised up in Catholic family. He began reading novels since he was only 9 years old. He started his career in film working with Roger Corman. After that he started doing his own film called Return of the Secaucus 7, which only cost him $30,000 and 25 days to make. He set the film in a large house so he doesn’t have to change location and ask for permission and he only set the story for only three days and wrote a character about his age so he can get his friend to act for him. He often considered as and father of American Indy filmmaker. He always tells a true story with out any glossy and scripted lies.

36. John Schlesinger.

John Schlesinger was born on February 16, 1926 in London. He was an English filmmaker and stage director. He grew up in London in a middle class Jewish family. He graduated from Balliol College, Oxford. He first worked as an actor. His first film is a documentary film called Terminus. His fist fiction movie is A Kind of Loving. in 1962. Then in 1969 his film, Midnight Cowboy was his first international success film and won two Oscars for Best director and Best Picture. His works focus on the gender relations especially homosexuality and the problems of trying to face the truth about life and relationship. We can see such theme in The Next Best Thing. He also had a distinctive way of looking at the lives of middle class people, also with races and cultures. His trademark is the uses of recurrent objects such as glass, fireworks, liquids feet, dogs and spectacles.

37. Paul Schrader.

Paul Joseph Schrader was born on July 22, 1946. He is an American screenwriter and director. He grew up in a very strict and religious family who prohibited him from seeing movies. He first watched his first movie when he was 18 years old, the movie was The Absent-Minded Professor. He went to the UCLA film school. He was highly influenced by Robert Bresson, Yasujiro Ozu and Carl Dreyer. He has received more recognition for his screenplays more that his directing works. He started working as screenwriter. He actually is the one who wrote Taxi Driver, the film that Scorsese directed. His most original movie was the movie he co-produced with Japanese producer called Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters.

38. Don Siegel.

Donald Siegel was born on October 26, 1912 in Chicago. He was an influential American film director and producer. He went to school at Cambridge University, England. In the mid-30’s, he began working as an editor and second unit director. Then in 1945 he directed two short films called Hitler Lives and A Star in the Night which both won Academy Awards and launched him a career as a feature film director. His first feature film was The Verdict in 1946. He also directed Flaming Star in 1960 which often considered as Elvis Presley’s best performance. He’s also very influential to an actor and director, Clint Eastwood. Eastwood’s film Unforgiven is a dedication to Don Siegel. Clint Eastwood himself even said that everything he knows about filmmaking, he learned from Siegel.

39. Douglas Sirk.

Douglas Sirk was born on April 26, 1900 in Hamburg, Germany. He was best known for his work in Hollywood melodramas in the 50’s. He started his career in 1922 in the Weimar Republic theatre. By 1942 he was working in Hollywood where he directed Hitler’s Madman. In the 50’s he made a series of colorful and melodramas movies with the Universal Picture including Magnificent obsession, Written On The Wind and Imitation of Life. Those films that he made were very commercially successful but the critics were not very pleased with his movies. His films were considered not very important and lack of originality and too obvious and boring. But later in the 70’s, opinions of the critics on Sirk’s films started to change. His films were considered as very interesting. They started to see his film as very critical on the American society and very irony. They also think that his films were very carefully made with a beautiful lighting and framing. A critic once said that it’s hard to understand Sirk’s films because they’re very sophisticated and the themes are not reveal and visible but rather conceal the messages from the audience.

40. Steven Soderbergh.

Steven Andrew Soderbergh was born on January 14, 1963. He is an American film producer, screenwriter, cinematographer, editor and director. He won Academy Awards for his films such as Erin Brockovich and Traffic. At the age of 15, he enrolled into film animation class and made his short films with second hand equipments. After he graduated, he started working as a freelance editor. In 1987 he made a short film called Winston which this project expand to a bigger movie project called Sex, Lies and Video Tape which eared him an Cannes Film festival Palme d’Or Award. He is also a master mind behind the success of Ocean’s Eleven, Ocean’s twelve and Ocean’s thirteen. He also owns a production house called Section Eight Company with George Clooney which through the years has produced many critically success films such as Far From Heaven, Insomnia and Syriana. In his works, he often uses images and scores as a main tool in order for him to tell a story. His works concentrate the theme of exploration of moral and the consequences of lying as we can see in his Ocean films or his film called Full Frontal. He is considered as one of the people in a modern movement, a movement much likes the French New Wave.

41. Preston Sturges.

Preston Sturges was born on August 29, 1898 in Chicago, He was a screenwriter and film director. He grew up in a wealthy family and had opportunities to observe the life style of the Chicago upper class/ He started off as an actor in Broadway. He came to attention in the 1940 when he sell his Academy Award winning script ‘The Great McGinty’ to Paramount which later made into the film and got him Oscars award for Best original screenplay. The film’s success kicked off his career and he became a independent filmmaker. When he was at his peak at Paramount in the mid-1940s, he was not only the highest paid screenwriter but he was one of the highest paid people in America. After that he continued making movies for example The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek and Hail the Conquering Hero. His works are mostly about his forceful, elegant, subtle opinions on the contemporary society. His films are mostly fast paced with unique style of dialogue. He was known for his talent in creating a beautiful, stylized dialogue that made his films different and fresh.

42. Andrei Tarkovsky

Andrei Arsenyevich Tarkovsky was born on Arpil 4, 1932. He was a Russian filmmaker, film editor and film theorist. Tarkovsky only directed 7 feature films out of the entire 27 years he spent as a director. The first five of his films were made in The Soviets and the last two were made in Italy and Sweden. He made such films as Andrei Rublev, Solaris, The Mirror and Stalker. His works often deal with human spiritualities and metaphysical themes. His trademark is the uses of extremely long takes that allowed time to make an impact on the audience. Also his style of cinematography is to left a lot of atmospheres around the characters including four elements earth, air, fire and water in his frame. He was also known for creating vivid textured images of nature and creating breathtaking portraits of his actors.

43. Jacques Tati.

Jacques Tati was born on October 9, 1907 in French. He was a comedian filmmaker and actor. Through out his career as a director, he only directed six feature films including the famous Playtime and Parade. Playtime was released in 1967; it took him nine years to complete this. It was critically success but extremely disappointment commercially. He was known for a way he styled his mise-en-scene; it was very detailed and culculated.  He has recurring themes in his works such as modernization, children at play, mass ebtertainment. He got an Academy award for his work on the Playtime. His last two were Trafic and Parade which were also not very successful.

44. Lars von Trier.

Lars von Triers is a Danish film director and screenwriter, he was born on April 30, 1956. He grew up in a communist and nudist family. He made his first film when he was 11 years old, where he got a camera as a gift.  He enrolled in to film school in 1979 and made such films as Nocturne and Image of Liberation, which both won awards at Munich film Festival. His first breakthrough was by the film Element of Crime in 1984, which deals with a psychological theme. In 1995 he became a member of a cinematic movement called Dogme 95. He said that in order to be a good filmmaker, you have to set yourself apart stylistically, he often changed the mood of his films by changing color palettes or changing the music. He also uses a lot of sexual images in his films for example in The idiots (1998).

45. Francois Truffaut.

Francois Truffaut was a French filmmaker and one of the founders of the French new Wave. He was born on February 6, 1932 in Paris. He had an unsatisfying childhood where he used cinema to escape from the reality.  He began going to movies since he was only 7. He got out of school and started working when he was 14. Then in 1947 he founded a film club and met Andre Brazin, a French critic who is his protector at the time. Then he started working as a film critic. He was highly influenced by Alfred Hitchcock’s works. He released his first movie in 1955 called A Visit. Not until 1959 where he had his first breakthrough with his movie, The 400 Blows that won Best Director award from the Cannes Film Festival. It was this movie that marked the beginning of French New Wave. It was said that all of Truffaut work was mainly about a search for a lost childhood.

46. Agnes Varda.

Agnes Varda was considered the grandmother of the French new Wave. She was born on May 30, 1928 in Brussels Belgium. She studied Art History at the Ecole du Louvre and after that started working as a photographer. She mostly did her movies in a documentary style that focus on realism, feminist issues and social commentary. In 1985, for her documentary style film Vagabond, she received the Golden Lion of the Venice Film Festival. She also often did movies that inspired by her love in painting such as Van Gogh and Millet. She also did a lot of experiment with her camera for example When the camera is accidentally left running, the lens cap bobbing in and out of frame and she didn’t want to waste the footage which made her film has more youthfulness in it. She makes movies about herself; she often has her friends and family to get involve in her films.

47. Luchino Visconti.

Luchino Visconti di Modrone was born on November 2, 1906. He grew up on a wealthy family in Milan. His family is one of the richest families in Northern Italy. As he grew up he was exposed to all kind of arts and later on influenced his life. He was a homosexual Italian opera and cinema director. His best films are such as The Leopard and Death in Venice. He began in film business working as an assistant director and then in 1943, he made his debut with a film called Obsessione which he both wrote and directed it. His films are considered as a neorealistic style. Although there’re some films that he tried to break away from neorealistic by combining the romanticism with realism but it wasn’t much success. His movies also focus on issues about family and society. His landmark is the use of long takes with extensive camera movements and also with well-planned actor blocking.

48. Peter Weir.

Peter Lindsay Weir was born on August 21, 1944 in Sydney, Australia. He is a film director who played an important role in Australian new wave cinema which his works such as Picnic at Hanging Rock, The Last Wave and Gallipoli. The Cars that Ate Paris is his first full feature film and then 1975 he made his real breakthrough with Picnic at Hanging Rock. Then he moved to the United Stated and has his first big hit in 1985 with Witness which earned him an Oscar nomination for Best director. Then in 1989 he has another big success with his film Dead Poets Society. His films are varied in subject but they mostly dealt with the motivation of characters that find themselves in hard times or in strange situation for example in The True man Show.

49.Billy Wilder.

Billy Wilder was an Austrian-American filmmaker, producer and journalist. He made 60 films throughout his time in the business. He was born in Poland on June 22, 1906. Wilder first worked as a journalist and had always dreamed of becoming a lawyer. He moved to Hollywood in 1933 and continued being a screenwriter. He had his first success with his movie call Ninotchka in 1939 which got him his first Oscar nomination. In 1940’s he had come up with several of big hits. Then in 1946, he earned
Best Director and Best Screenplay Academy Awards on his work The Lost Weekend. It was the first American movie to explore the problem with alcoholism. Then in 1959 he came up with another big hit Some Like it Hot which introduced cross-dressing to America. In his films he wouldn’t do a stylized shots like other directors because he thinks that the fancy shot will distract the audience from the story. He also has known for his ability to get the best of performances out of his actors and actresses. He directed 14 actors in Oscar nomination performances. In total he won six Academy Awards.

50. Busby Berkeley.

Busby Berkeley was born on November 29, 1895 in Los Angeles, California. He was known for his musical movies that have well put together blocking and extravagant props. His techniques in doing his movies are that he preferred to use only one camera to shoot his movie and he did this very early in his career when he was on the set of his first movie Whoppee, saying that he don’t need more than one cam.

He also said that he feels relax when he in the bath so, he’d spent an hour or two in the bathtub, coming up with new ideas for his movie.

Also, storyboard is very important for him. Cause before shooting he need to map everything out and make a storyboard of how things going to be like in his scene.

And of course his production involves a lot of people so he find a way to communicate with him by using blackboard to show them the blocking and movement that he want.

Berkeley also played a lot with the overhead shots that result in these very recognizable images. He would do overhead shots to form kaleidoscopic images.

In order to get these images that he want in the film he needed to experimented with a lot of camera angles. Sometime he put the camera on a crane and swoops in over and around the studio or he even needed to drill a hole in the ceiling and put the camera there to get the overhead shots.


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