Top 250 Directors

Films highlighted red are listed in the Top 1,000 Films.

Page 1 2 3
Log in to copy items to your own lists.
Federico Fellini
The women who both attracted and frightened him and an Italy dominated in his youth by Mussolini and Pope Pius XII - inspired the dreams that Fellini started recording in notebooks in the 1960s. Life and dreams were raw material for his films. His native Rimini and characters like Saraghina (the devil herself said the priests who ran his school)...
“ Recommended Viewing: The White Sheik (1951), I Vitelloni (1953), La Strada (1954), Il Bidone (1955), Nights of Cabiria (1957), La Dolce Vita (1960), (1963), Juliet of the Spirits (1965), Spirits of the Dead (1968) [co-directed by Louis Malle & Roger Vadim], Fellini Satyricon (1969), The Clowns (1971), Fellini's Roma (1972), Amarcord (1973), Fellini's Casanova (1976), City of Women (1980), And the Ship Sails On... (1983), Ginger and Fred (1986), Fellini's Intervista (1987), The Voice of the Moon (1990) ” - Mike Bassett
Stanley Kubrick
Director, The Shining
Stanley Kubrick was born in Manhattan, New York City, to Sadie Gertrude (Perveler) and Jacob Leonard Kubrick, a physician. His family were Jewish immigrants (from Austria, Romania, and Russia). Stanley was considered intelligent, despite poor grades at school. Hoping that a change of scenery would produce better academic performance...
“ Recommended Viewing: Killer's Kiss (1955), The Killing (1956), Paths of Glory (1957), Spartacus (1960), Lolita (1962), Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), A Clockwork Orange (1971), Barry Lyndon (1975), The Shining (1980), Full Metal Jacket (1987), Eyes Wide Shut (1999) ” - Mike Bassett
Akira Kurosawa
Writer, Yojimbo
After training as a painter (he storyboards his films as full-scale paintings), Kurosawa entered the film industry in 1936 as an assistant director, eventually making his directorial debut with Sanshiro Sugata. Within a few years, Kurosawa had achieved sufficient stature to allow him greater creative freedom...
“ Recommended Viewing: Drunken Angel (1948), Stray Dog (1949), Rashômon (1950), Ikiru (1952), Seven Samurai (1954), Throne of Blood (1957), The Hidden Fortress (1958), The Bad Sleep Well (1960), Yojimbo (1961), High and Low (1963), Red Beard (1965), Dodes'ka-den (1970), Derzu Uzala (1975), Kagemusha (1980), Ran (1985) ” - Mike Bassett
Orson Welles
His father was a well-to-do inventor, his mother a beautiful concert pianist; Orson Welles was gifted in many arts (magic, piano, painting) as a child. When his mother died (he was seven) he traveled the world with his father. When his father died (he was fifteen) he became the ward of Chicago's Dr...
“ Recommended Viewing: Citizen Kane (1941), The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), The Stranger (1946), The Lady from Shanghai (1947), Othello (1952), Mr. Arkadin (1955), Touch of Evil (1958), The Fountain of Youth (1958), The Trial (1962), Chimes at Midnight (1966), F for Fake (1973) ” - Mike Bassett
Carl Theodor Dreyer
The illegitimate son of a Danish farmer and his Swedish housekeeper, Carl Theodor Dreyer was born in Copenhagen on the 3th of February, 1889. He spent his early years in various foster homes before being adopted by the Dreyers at the age of two. Contrary to popular belief (perhaps nourished by the fact...
“ Recommended Viewing: The Parson's Widow (1920), Michael (1924), Master of the House (1925), The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928), Vampyr (1932), Day of Wrath (1943), Two People (1945), Ordet (1955), Gertrud (1964) ” - Mike Bassett
Jean-Luc Godard
Director, My Life to Live
Jean-Luc Godard was born in Paris on December 3, 1930, the second of four children in a bourgeois Franco-Swiss family. His father was a doctor who owned a private clinic, and his mother came from a preeminent family of Swiss bankers. During World War II Godard became a naturalized citizen of Switzerland and attended school in Nyons (Switzerland)...
“ Recommended Viewing: Breathless (1959), Une Femme est une femme (1961), Vivre sa vie (1962), Contempt (1963), A Married Woman (1964), Alphaville (1965), Pierrot le fou (1965), Masculin Feminin (1966), Made in U.S.A. (1966), 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her (1966), La Chinoise (1967), Week-End (1967), Sympathy for the Devil (1968), Le Gai Savoir (1968), Tout va bien (1972) [co-directed by Jean-Pierre Gorin], Numéro deux (1975), Sauve qui peut (la vie) (1980), Passion (1982), Hail Mary (1985), Je vous salue, Sarajevo (1993), Histoire(s) du cinéma (1998), In Praise of Love (2001), Notre musique (2004), Film socialisme (2010) ” - Mike Bassett
Andrei Tarkovsky
Writer, Solaris
The most famous Soviet film-maker since Sergei M. Eisenstein, Andrei Tarkovsky (the son of noted poet Arseniy Tarkovsky) studied music and Arabic in Moscow before enrolling in the Soviet film school V.G.I.K. He shot to international attention with his first feature, Ivan's Childhood, which won the top prize at the Venice Film Festival...
“ Recommended Viewing: The Steamroller and the Violin (1961), Ivan's Childhood (1962), Andrei Rublev (1966), Solaris (1972), The Mirror (1975), Stalker (1979), Nostalghia (1983), The Sacrifice (1986) ” - Mike Bassett
Yasujirô Ozu
Director, Tokyo Story
Tokyo-born Yasujiro Ozu was a movie buff from childhood, often playing hooky from school in order to see Hollywood movies in his local theatre. In 1923 he landed a job as a camera assistant at Shochiku Studios in Tokyo. Three years later, he was made an assistant director and directed his first film the next year...
“ Recommended Viewing: I Was Born, But... (1932), The Only Son (1936), There Was a Father (1942), Late Spring (1949), Early Summer (1951), Flavour of Green Tea Over Rice (1952), Tokyo Story (1953), Early Spring (1956), Tokyo Twilight (1957), Equinox Flower (1958), Good Morning (1959), Floating Weeds (1959), Late Autumn (1960), The End of Summer (1961), An Autumn Afternoon (1962) ” - Mike Bassett
F.W. Murnau
Director, Nosferatu
He studied art and literature history at the University of Heidelberg. During World War I, he was a combat pilot.
“ Recommended Viewing: Nosferatu (1922), The Last Laugh (1924), Faust (1926), Sunrise (1927), City Girl (1929), Tabu (1931) ” - Mike Bassett
Luis Buñuel
The father of cinematic Surrealism and one of the most original directors in the history of the film medium, Luis Buñuel was given a strict Jesuit education (which sowed the seeds of his obsession with both religion and subversive behavior), and subsequently moved to Madrid to study at the university there, where his close friends included Salvador Dalí and Federico García Lorca...
Ingmar Bergman
Ernst Ingmar Bergman was born July fourteenth, 1918, the son of a priest. The film and T.V. series, The Best Intentions is biographical and shows the early marriage of his parents. The film 'Söndagsbarn' depicts a bicycle journey with his father. In the miniseries Private Confessions is the trilogy closed. Here...
“ Recommended Viewing: Summer with Monika (1952), Sawdust and Tinsel (1953), Smiles of a Summer Night (1955), The Seventh Seal (1957), Wild Strawberries (1957), Through a Glass Darkly (1961), Winter Light (1963), The Silence (1963), Persona (1966), Hour of the Wolf (1967), Shame (1968), The Passion of Anna (1969), Cries and Whispers (1972), Autumn Sonata (1978), Fanny and Alexander (1982), Saraband (2003) ” - Mike Bassett
Fritz Lang
Director, M
He studied at the College of Technical Sciences of Vienna's Academy of Graphic Arts but unhappy with the career path chosen for him by his parents, he ran away to study art in Munich and Paris. He then spent many years travelling the world including Asia. In 1913, he returned to Paris to paint. When World War I began...
“ Recommended Viewing: Destiny (1921), Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler (1922), Die Niebelungen (1924), Metropolis (1927), Spione (1928), M (1931), The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933), Fury (1936), You Only Live Once (1937), Western Union (1941), Ministry of Fear (1944), The Woman in the Window (1944), Scarlet Street (1945), Secret Beyond the Door (1948), House by the River (1950), Rancho Notorious (1952), Clash by Night (1952), The Blue Gardenia (1953), The Big Heat (1953), Human Desire (1954), Moonfleet (1955), While the City Sleeps (1956), Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956), The Tiger of Eschnapur (1958), The Indian Tomb (1958) ” - Mike Bassett
“ Recommended Viewing: Shadows (1959), Faces (1968), Husbands (1970), Minnie and Moskowitz (1971), A Woman Under the Influence (1974), The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976), Opening Night (1977), Gloria (1980), Love Streams (1984) ” - Mike Bassett
Alfred Hitchcock
Director, Psycho
Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was born in Leytonstone, Essex, England. He was the son of Emma Jane (Whelan; 1863 - 1942) and East End greengrocer William Hitchcock (1862 - 1914). His parents were both of half English and half Irish ancestry. He had two older siblings, William Hitchcock (born 1890) and Eileen Hitchcock (born 1892)...
“ Recommended Viewing: The Lodger (1926), Blackmail (1929), Rich and Strange (1932), The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934), The 39 Steps (1935), Sabotage (1936), The Lady Vanishes (1938), Rebecca (1940), Foreign Correspondent (1940), Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941), Suspicion (1941), Saboteur (1942), Shadow of a Doubt (1943), Lifeboat (1944), Spellbound (1945), Notorious (1946), Rope (1948), Strangers on a Train (1951), I Confess (1953), Dial M for Murder (1954), Rear Window (1954), To Catch a Thief (1956), The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), The Wrong Man (1956), Vertigo (1958), North by Northwest (1959), Psycho (1960), The Birds (1963), Marnie (1964), Frenzy (1972), Family Plot (1976) ” - Mike Bassett
Charles Chaplin
Writer, Modern Times
Charlie Chaplin, considered to be one of the most pivotal stars of the early days of Hollywood, lived an interesting life both in his films and behind the camera. He is most recognized as an icon of the silent film era, often associated with his popular "Little Tramp" character; the man with the toothbrush mustache, bowler hat, bamboo cane, and a funny walk...
“ Recommended Viewing: Easy Street (1917), The Immigrant (1917), Shoulder Arms (1918), The Kid (1921), The Pilgrim (1923), A Woman of Paris (1923), The Gold Rush (1925), The Circus (1928), City Lights (1931), Modern Times (1936), The Great Dictator (1940), Monsieur Verdoux (1947), Limelight (1952) ” - Mike Bassett
Jean Renoir
Son of the famous Impressionist painter Pierre Auguste, he had a happy childhood. Pierre Renoir was his brother, and Claude Renoir was his nephew. After the end of World War I, where he won the Croix de Guerre, he moved from scriptwriting to filmmaking. He married Catherine Hessling, for whom he began to make movies; he wanted to make a star of her...
Robert Bresson
Robert Bresson trained as a painter before moving into films as a screenwriter, making a short film (atypically a comedy), Public Affairs in 1934. After spending more than a year as a German POW during World War II, he made his debut with Angels of Sin in 1943. His next film, Les dames du Bois de Boulogne would be the last time he would work with professional actors...
“ Recommended Viewing: Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne (1945), Diary of a Country Priest (1951), A Man Escaped (1956), Pickpocket (1959), The Trial of Joan of Arc (1962), Au hasard Balthazar (1966), Mouchette (1966), Une Femme douce (1969), Four Nights of a Dreamer (1972), Lancelot du Lac (1974), The Devil, Probably (1977), L'Argent (1983) ” - Mike Bassett
Ernst Lubitsch
From Ernst Lubitsch's experiences in Sophien Gymnasium (high school) theater, he decided to leave school at the age of 16 and pursue a career on the stage. He had to compromise with his father and keep the account books for the family tailor business while he acted in cabarets and music halls at night...
Michelangelo Antonioni
Writer, Blow-Up
Michelangelo Antonioni was born in 1912 into a middle-class family and grew up in bourgeois surroundings of the Italian province. In Bologna he studied economics and commerce while he painted and also wrote criticism for a local newspaper. In 1939 he went to Rome and worked for the journal "Cinema" studying directorship at the School of Cinema...
“ Recommended Viewing: Story of a Love Affair (1950), The Lady Without Camelias (1953), Le Amiche (1955), Il Grido (1957), L'Avventura (1960), La Notte (1961), L'Eclisse (1962), Red Desert (1964), Blow-Up (1966), Zabriskie Point (1970), The Passenger (1975), Identification of a Woman (1982) ” - Mike Bassett
John Ford
Director, The Searchers
John Ford came to Hollywood following one of his brothers, an actor. Asked what brought him to Hollywood, he replied "The train". He became one of the most respected directors in the business, in spite of being known for his westerns, which were not considered "serious" film. He won six Oscars, counting (he always did) the two that he won for his WWII documentary work...
Howard Hawks
Director, The Big Sleep
What do the classic films Scarface, Twentieth Century, Bringing Up Baby, Only Angels Have Wings, His Girl Friday, Sergeant York, To Have and Have Not, The Big Sleep, Red River Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Rio Bravo have in common? Aside from their displays of great craftsmanship, the answer is director Howard Hawks...
“ Recommended Viewing: Scarface (1932), Ceiling Zero (1935), Bringing Up Baby (1938), Only Angels Have Wings (1939), His Girl Friday (1940), Ball of Fire (1941), To Have and Have Not (1944), The Big Sleep (1946), Red River (1948), I Was a Male War Bride (1949), The Thing from Another World (1951) [co-directed by Christian Nyby], Monkey Business (1952), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), Rio Bravo (1959) ” - Mike Bassett
Martin Scorsese
Martin Charles Scorsese was born on November 17, 1942 in Queens, New York City, to Catherine Scorsese (née Cappa) and Charles Scorsese, who both worked in Manhattan's garment district, and whose families both came from Palermo, Sicily. He was raised in the neighborhood of Little Italy, which later provided the inspiration for several of his films...
“ Recommended Viewing: Mean Streets (1973), Taxi Driver (1976), New York, New York (1977), The Last Waltz (1978), Raging Bull (1980), The King of Comedy (1983), The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), Goodfellas (1990), Cape Fear (1991), The Age of Innocence (1993), Casino (1995), Kundun (1997), My Voyage to Italy (1999), Bringing Out the Dead (1999), The Aviator (2004), A Letter to Elia (2010) ” - Mike Bassett
François Truffaut
François began to assiduously go to the movies at 7. He was also a great reader but not a good pupil. He left school at 14 and started working. In 1947, aged 15, he founded a film club and met André Bazin, a French critic, who becomes his protector. Bazin helped the delinquent Truffaut and also when he was put in jail because he deserted the army...
“ Recommended Viewing: The 400 Blows (1959), Shoot the Piano Player (1960), Jules et Jim (1961), The Soft Skin (1964), The Bride Wore Black (1968), Stolen Kisses (1968), The Wild Child (1969), Bed & Board (1970), Two English Girls (1971), Day for Night (1973), The Woman Next Door (1981), Confidentially Yours (1983) ” - Mike Bassett
Buster Keaton
When at six months of age he tumbled down a flight of stairs unharmed, he was given the name "Buster" by Harry Houdini who, along with W.C. Fields, Bill Robinson ("Bojangles"), Eddie Cantor and Al Jolson shared headlines with "The Three Keatons": Buster, his father Joe Keaton and mother Myra Keaton...
“ Recommended Viewing: One Week (1920) [co-directed by Eddie Cline], Neighbors (1920) [co-directed by Eddie Cline], The Boat (1921) [co-directed by Eddie Cline], Cops (1922) [co-directed by Eddie Cline], Our Hospitality (1923) [co-directed by John Blystone], Sherlock Jr. (1924), The Navigator (1924) [co-directed by Donald Crisp], Seven Chances (1925), The General (1926) [co-directed by Clyde Bruckman], Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928) [co-directed by Charles Reisner], The Cameraman (1928) [co-directed by Edward Sedgwick], Spite Marriage (1929) [co-directed by Edward Sedgwick] ” - Mike Bassett
Michael Powell
Director, The Red Shoes
The son of Thomas William Powell & Mabel (nee Corbett). Michael Powell was always a self confessed movie addict. He was brought up partly in Canterbury ("The Garden of England") and partly in the South of France (where his parents ran an hotel). Educated at Kings School, Canterbury & Dulwich College he first worked at the National Provincial Bank from 1922 - 1925...
“ and Emeric Pressburger, "The Archers"

Recommended Viewing: The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943), A Canterbury Tale (1944), I Know Where I'm Going! (1945), A Matter of Life and Death (1946), Black Narcissus (1947), The Red Shoes (1948), The Small Back Room (1949), Gone to Earth (1950), The Tales of Hoffman (1951) ” - Mike Bassett
Nicholas Ray
Nicholas Ray was born Raymond Nicholas Kienzle, Jr. in 1911, in small-town Galesville, Wisconsin, to Lena (Toppen) and Raymond Joseph Kienzle, a contractor and builder. He was of German and Norwegian descent. Ray's early experience with film came with some radio broadcasting in high school. He left the University of Chicago after a year...
“ Recommended Viewing: They Live by Night (1948), In a Lonely Place (1950), Born to Be Bad (1950), On Dangerous Ground (1951), The Lusty Men (1952), Johnny Guitar (1954), Run for Cover (1955), Rebel Without a Cause (1955), Bigger Than Life (1956), Bitter Victory (1957), Party Girl (1958) ” - Mike Bassett
Kenji Mizoguchi
Director, Ugetsu
Coming from a lower class family Mizoguchi entered the production company Nikkatsu as an actor specialized in female roles. Later he became an assistant director and made his first film in 1922. Although he filmed almost 90 movies in the silent era, only his last 12 productions are really known outside of Japan because they were especially produced for Venice (e.g...
Jean Vigo
Writer, L'Atalante
Jean Vigo had bad health since he was a child. Son of anarchist militant Miguel Almareyda, he also never really recovered from his father's mysterious death in jail when he was 12. Abandoned by his mother, he passed from boarding school to boarding school. Aged 23, through meetings with people involved in the movies...
“ Recommended Viewing: À propos de Nice (1929), Taris (1931), Zero for Conduct (1933), L'Atalante (1934) ” - Mike Bassett
Douglas Sirk
Film director Douglas Sirk, whose reputation blossomed in the generation after his 1959 retirement from Hollywood filmmaking, was born Hans Detlef Sierck on April 26, 1897, in Hamburg, Germany, to a journalist. Both of his parents were Danish, and the future director would make movies in German, Danish and English...
Max Ophüls
Director Max Ophüls was born Max Oppenheimer in Saarbrücken, Germany. He began his career as a stage actor and director in the golden twenties. He worked in cities such as Stuttgart, Dortmund, Wuppertal, Vienna, Frankfurt, Breslau and Berlin. In 1929 his son Marcel Ophüls was born in Frankfurt, Germany...
“ Recommended Viewing: Liebelei (1932), La Signora di Tutti (1934), Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948), Caught (1949), The Reckless Moment (1949), La Ronde (1950), Le Plaisir (1951), Madame de... (1953), Lola Montès (1955) ” - Mike Bassett
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Above all, Rainer Werner Fassbinder was a rebel whose life and art was marked by gross contradiction. Openly homosexual, he married twice; one of his wives acted in his films and the other served as his editor. Accused variously by detractors of being anticommunist, male chauvinist, antiSemitic and even antigay...
Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Ford Coppola was born in 1939 in Detroit, Michigan, but grew up in a New York suburb in a creative, supportive Italian-American family. His father, Carmine Coppola, was a composer and musician. His mother, Italia Coppola (née Pennino), had been an actress. Francis Ford Coppola graduated with a degree in drama from Hofstra University...
“ Recommended Viewing: The Godfather (1972), The Conversation (1974), The Godfather: Part II (1974), Apocalypse Now (1979), Rumble Fish (1983) ” - Mike Bassett
Pier Paolo Pasolini
Writer, Accattone
Pier Paolo Pasolini achieved fame and notoriety long before he entered the film industry. A published poet at 19, he had already written numerous novels and essays before his first screenplay in 1954. His first film Accattone was based on his own novel and its violent depiction of the life of a pimp in the slums of Rome caused a sensation...
“ Recommended Viewing: Accatone (1961), Mamma Roma (1962), La Rabbia (1963) [co-directed by Giovanni Guareschi], The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1964), The Hawks and the Sparrows (1966), Oedipus Rex (1967), Teorema (1968), Medea (1969), The Decameron (1970), The Canterbury Tales (1971), Arabian Nights (1974), Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975) ” - Mike Bassett
Sergei M. Eisenstein
The son of an affluent architect, Eisenstein attended the Institute of Civil Engineering in Petrograd as a young man. With the fall of the tsar in 1917, he worked as an engineer for the Red Army. In the following years, Eisenstein joined up with the Moscow Proletkult Theater as a set designer and then director...
“ Recommended Viewing: Strike (1924), Battleship Potemkin (1925), October (1927) [co-directed by Grigori Aleksandrov], The General Line (1929), Que viva Mexico! (1932), Alexander Nevsky (1938), Ivan the Terrible, Part One (1944), Ivan the Terrible, Part Two (1946) ” - Mike Bassett
John Huston
An eccentric rebel of epic proportions, this Hollywood titan reigned supreme as director, screenwriter and character actor in a career that endured over five decades. The ten-time Oscar-nominated legend was born John Marcellus Huston in Nevada, Missouri, on August 5, 1906. His ancestry included English...
“ Recommended Viewing: The Maltese Falcon (1941), In This Our Life (1942), Let There Be Light (1946), The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948), Key Largo (1949), The Asphalt Jungle (1950), The African Queen (1951), Beat the Devil (1953), The Misfits (1961), The Night of the Iguana (1964), Fat City (1972), The Man Who Would Be King (1975), Wise Blood (1979), The Dead (1987) ” - Mike Bassett
“ Recommended Viewing: Ossessione (1943), La Terra trema (1947), Bellissima (1951), Senso (1954), Le Notti bianche (1957), Rocco and His Brothers (1960), The Leopard (1963), Of a Thousand Delights (1965), The Damned (1969), Death in Venice (1971), Ludwig (1972) ” - Mike Bassett
David Lynch
Born in 1946 in Missoula, Montana, David Lynch was raised in small-town America. After high school, he went to Boston to attend the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. Shortly after that, he planned a three-year trip to Europe to work on his art, but didn't take to it and left after 15 days. In 1977...
“ Recommended Viewing: The Grandmother (1970), Eraserhead (1977), The Elephant Man (1980), Dune (1984), Blue Velvet (1986), Wild at Heart (1990), Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992), Lost Highway (1997), The Straight Story (1999), Mulholland Dr. (2001), Inland Empire (2006) ” - Mike Bassett
Krzysztof Kieslowski
Mr. Kieslowski started his career shooting documentaries and later became associated with the "cinema of moral anxiety" movement. It grouped several Polish directors, including Krzysztof Zanussi and Andrzej Wajda, and aimed at depicting the conditions of Poles under communism. His best known work was the Three Colors trilogy: Three Colors: Red...
“ Recommended Viewing: Camera Buff (1979), No End (1985), A Short Film About Killing (1988), A Short Film About Love (1988), Dekalog (1988), The Double Life of Veronique (1991), Three Colors: Blue (1993), Three Colors: White (1993), Three Colors: Red (1994) ” - Mike Bassett
Robert Altman
Director, Gosford Park
Robert Altman was born on February 20th, 1925 in Kansas City, Missouri, to B.C. (an insurance salesman) and Helen Altman. He entered St. Peters Catholic school at the age six, and spent a short time at a Catholic high school. From there, he went to Rockhurst High School. It was then that he started exploring the art of exploring sound with the cheap tape recorders available at the time...
“ Recommended Viewing: M*A*S*H (1970), McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971), The Long Goodbye (1973), Thieves Like Us (1974), California Split (1974), Nashville (1975), 3 Women (1977), Tanner '88 (1988), The Player (1992), Short Cuts (1993), Cookie's Fortune (1998), Gosford Park (2001) ” - Mike Bassett
Billy Wilder
Originally planning to become a lawyer, Billy Wilder abandoned that career in favor of working as a reporter for a Viennese newspaper, using this experience to move to Berlin, where he worked for the city's largest tabloid. He broke into films as a screenwriter in 1929, and wrote scripts for many German films until Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933...
“ Recommended Viewing: The Major and the Minor (1942), Five Graves to Cairo (1943), Double Indemnity (1944), The Lost Weekend (1945), A Foreign Affair (1948), Sunset Blvd. (1950), Ace in the Hole (1951), Stalag 17 (1953), Sabrina (1954), Witness for the Prosecution (1957), Some Like it Hot (1959), The Apartment (1960), One, Two, Three (1961), Kiss Me, Stupid (1964), The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970), Avanti! (1972) ” - Mike Bassett
Jean-Pierre Melville
Writer, Le Samouraï
The name "Melville" is not immediately associated with film. It conjures up images of white whales and crackbrained captains, of naysaying notaries and soup-spilling sailors. It is the countersign to a realm of men and their deeds, both heroic and villainous. It is the American novel, with its Ishmaels and its Claggarts a challenge to the European canon...
“ Recommended Viewing: Le Silence de la mer (1949), Les Enfants terribles (1949), Bob le flambeur (1955), Le Doulos (1962), Second Breath (1966), Le Samouraï (1967), Army of Shadows (1969), The Red Circle (1970), Dirty Money (1972) ” - Mike Bassett
Marcel Carné
Marcel Carné, the son of a cabinet maker, entered the movies as the assistant of Jacques Feyder. At the age of 25 he directed his first movie Jenny. Colaborating with the writer Jacques Prévert, the decorator Alexandre Trauner, the musician and composer Maurice Jaubert and the actor Jean Gabin...
“ Recommended Viewing: Drole de drame (1937), Port of Shadows (1938), Hotel du Nord (1938), Le Jour se lève (1939), The Devil's Envoys (1942), Les Enfants du paradis (1945) ” - Mike Bassett
Hal Ashby
Director, Being There
Hal Ashby was born the fourth and youngest child in a Mormon household in Ogden, Utah, on September 2, 1929. His father was a dairy farmer. After a rough childhood that included the divorce of his parents, his father's suicide, his dropping out of high school, getting married and divorced all before he was 19...
“ Recommended Viewing: Harold and Maude (1970), The Last Detail (1973), Shampoo (1975), Bound for Glory (1976), Being There (1979) ” - Mike Bassett
Éric Rohmer
Admirers have always had difficulty explaining Éric Rohmer's "Je ne sais quoi." Part of the challenge stems from the fact that, despite his place in French Nouvelle Vague (i.e., New Wave), his work is unlike that of his colleagues. While this may be due to the auteur's unwillingness to conform, some have argued convincingly that...
“ Recommended Viewing: The Sign of Leo (1959), Suzanne's Career (1963), La Collectionneuse (1966), My Night at Maud's (1969), Claire's Knee (1970), Chloe in the Afternoon (1972), The Marquis of O (1976), The Aviator's Wife (1981), Pauline at the Beach (1983), Full Moon in Paris (1984), The Green Ray (1986), Boyfriends and Girlfriends (1987), A Summer's Tale (1996), An Autumn Tale (1998) ” - Mike Bassett
“ * co-directed by Ágnes Hranitzky

Recommended Viewing: Family Nest (1979), The Prefab People (1982), Almanac of Fall (1984), Damnation (1988), Sátántangó (1994), Werckmeister Harmonies (2000)*, The Man from London (2007)*, The Turin Horse (2011)* ” - Mike Bassett
Roberto Rossellini
The master filmmaker Roberto Rossellini, as one of the creators of neo-realism, is one of the most influential directors of all time. His neo-realist films influenced France's nouvelle vague movement in the 1950s and '60s that changed the face of international cinema. He also influenced American directors, including Martin Scorsese...
“ Recommended Viewing: Rome, Open City (1945), Paisan (1946), Germany, Year Zero (1947), Stromboli (1949), The Flowers of St. Francis (1950), Europa '51 (1952), Voyage in Italy (1953), General Della Rovere (1959), The Rise to Power of Louis XIV (1966), Il Messia (1975), Beaubourg (1977) ” - Mike Bassett
Satyajit Ray
Satyajit Ray was born in Calcutta on May second, 1921. His father, Sukumar Ray was an eminent poet and writer in the history of Bengali literature. In 1940, after receiving his degree in science and economics from Calcutta University, he attended Tagore's Viswa-Bharati University. His first movie Pather Panchali won several International Awards and set Ray as a world-class director...
“ Recommended Viewing: Pather Panchali (1955), Aparajito (1956), The Music Room (1958), The World of Apu (1959), Kanchenjungha (1962), The Big City (1963), Charulata (1964), Days and Nights in the Forest (1969), Distant Thunder (1973), The Chess Players (1977), Pikoor Diary (1981) ” - Mike Bassett
“ Recommended Viewing: Night and Fog (1955), Toute la mémoire du monde (1956), Le Chant du Styrène (1959), Hiroshima mon amour (1959), Last Year at Marienbad (1961), Muriel (1963), Providence (1977), Mon oncle d'Amérique (1980) ” - Mike Bassett
“ Recommended Viewing: Dinner at Eight (1933), Little Women (1933), David Copperfield (1935), Camille (1936), Holiday (1938), The Women (1939), The Philadelphia Story (1940), A Woman's Face (1941), Gaslight (1944), Adam's Rib (1949), Born Yesterday (1950), The Actress (1953), It Should Happen to You (1954), A Star is Born (1954), Bhowani Junction (1956), Heller in Pink Tights (1960), My Fair Lady (1964) ” - Mike Bassett
Kar-Wai Wong
Wong Kar-wai (born 17 July 1956) is a Hong Kong Second Wave filmmaker, internationally renowned as an auteur for his visually unique, highly stylised, emotionally resonant work, including Ah fei zing zyun (1990), Dung che sai duk (1994), Chung Hing sam lam (1994), Do lok tin si (1995), Chun gwong cha sit (1997)...
“ Recommended Viewing: Days of Being Wild (1990), Chungking Express (1994), Ashes of Time (1994), Fallen Angels (1995), Happy Together (1997), In the Mood for Love (2000), 2046 (2004), The Grandmaster (2013) ” - Mike Bassett
Samuel Fuller
Sam Fuller had six siblings: three brothers (Ving, Ray and Tom) and three sisters (Evelyn, Tina and Rose). His most famous sibling was his older brother, the nationally syndicated comic strip artist and cartoonist, Ving Fuller. In the 1920s Ving was a staff cartoonist at the New York Evening Graphic...
“ Recommended Viewing: I Shot Jesse James (1949), The Steel Helmet (1951), Pickup on South Street (1953), House of Bamboo (1955), Forty Guns (1957), The Crimson Kimono (1959), Underworld, U.S.A. (1961), Shock Corridor (1963), The Naked Kiss (1964), The Big Red One (1980), White Dog (1982) ” - Mike Bassett
“ Recommended Viewing: The Big Parade (1925), The Crowd (1928), Show People (1928), Hallelujah! (1929), Our Daily Bread (1934), Stella Dallas (1937), The Citadel (1938), Northwest Passage (1940), H.M. Pulham, Esq. (1941), Duel in the Sun (1946), The Fountainhead (1949), Beyond the Forest (1949), Lightning Strikes Twice (1951), Ruby Gentry (1952), Man Without a Star (1955) ” - Mike Bassett
“ Recommended Viewing: Seventh Heaven (1927), Lucky Star (1929), A Farewell to Arms (1932), Man's Castle (1933), Little Man, What Now? (1934), Desire (1936), Mannequin (1937), History is Made at Night (1937), Three Comrades (1938), The Shining Hour (1938), Strange Cargo (1940), Moonrise (1948) ” - Mike Bassett
Anthony Mann
Director, El Cid
“ Recommended Viewing: Strange Impersonation (1946), Desperate (1947), Railroaded! (1947), T-Men (1947), Raw Deal (1948), Reign of Terror (1949), Border Incident (1949), Side Street (1950), Winchester '73 (1950), The Furies (1950), Devil's Doorway (1950), Bend of the River (1952), The Naked Spur (1953), Thunder Bay (1953), The Man from Laramie (1955), The Far Country (1955), Men in War (1957), Man of the West (1958), El Cid (1961), The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964) ” - Mike Bassett
Vincente Minnelli
Director, Gigi
Born Lester Anthony Minnelli in Chicago on February 28 1903, his father Vincent was a musical conductor of the Minnelli Brothers' Tent Theater. Wanting to pursue an artistic career, Minelli worked in the costume department of the Chicago Theater, then on Broadway during the depression as a set designer and costumer...
“ Recommended Viewing: Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), The Clock (1945), Undercurrent (1946), The Pirate (1948), Father of the Bride (1950), An American in Paris (1951), The Bad and the Beautiful (1952), The Band Wagon (1953), The Cobweb (1955), Tea and Sympathy (1956), Gigi (1958), Some Came Running (1958), Home from the Hill (1960), Two Weeks in Another Town (1962) ” - Mike Bassett
David Lean
David Lean was an English film director, producer, screenwriter and editor, best remembered for big-screen epics such as The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and Doctor Zhivago (1965). He is also known for the Dickens adaptations of Great Expectations (1946) and Oliver Twist (1948), as well as the romantic drama Brief Encounter (1945)...
“ Recommended Viewing: In Which We Serve (1942) [co-directed by Noel Coward], This Happy Breed (1944), Blithe Spirit (1945), Brief Encounter (1945), Great Expectations (1946), Oliver Twist (1948), The Passionate Friends (1949), Madeleine (1949), Hobson's Choice (1954), Summertime (1955), The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Doctor Zhivago (1965) ” - Mike Bassett
Sam Peckinpah
"If they move", commands stern-eyed William Holden, "kill 'em". So begins The Wild Bunch, Sam Peckinpah's bloody, high-body-count eulogy to the mythologized Old West. "Pouring new wine into the bottle of the Western, Peckinpah explodes the bottle", observed critic Pauline Kael. That exploding bottle...
“ Recommended Viewing: Ride the High Country (1962), The Wild Bunch (1969), Straw Dogs (1971), The Getaway (1972), Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1973), Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974) ” - Mike Bassett
“ Recommended Viewing: The Seventh Continent (1989), Benny's Video (1992), 71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance (1995), Funny Games (1997), Code Unknown (2000), The Piano Teacher (2001), Time of the Wolf (2003), Caché (2005), The White Ribbon (2009), Amour (2012) ” - Mike Bassett
Abbas Kiarostami
Abbas Kiarostami was born in Tehran, Iran, in 1940. He graduated from university with a degree in fine arts before starting work as a graphic designer. He then joined the Center for Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults, where he started a film section, and this started his career as a filmmaker at the age of 30...
“ Recommended Viewing: Where is the Friend's Home? (1987), Homework (1989), Close-Up (1989), And Life Goes On... (1992), Through the Olive Trees (1994), A Taste of Cherry (1997), The Wind Will Carry Us (1999), Ten (2002), Certified Copy (2010), Like Someone in Love (2012) ” - Mike Bassett
“ Recommended Viewing: Desistfilm (1954), Window Water Baby Moving (1962), Mothlight (1963), Dog Star Man (1964), The Art of Vision (1965), Scenes from Under Childhood (1967-1970), The Act of Seeing with One's Own Eyes (1971), Text of Light (1974), The Stars Are Beautiful (1974), Murder Psalm (1980), Arabic Series (1980-1982), The Dante Quartet (1987), Passage Through: A Ritual (1990), For Marilyn (1992), Persian Series (1999-2001) ” - Mike Bassett
Roman Polanski
Director, The Pianist
Roman Polanski is a Polish film director, producer, writer and actor. Having made films in Poland, Britain, France and the USA, he is considered one of the few truly international filmmakers. Roman Polanski was born in Paris in 1933. His parents returned to Poland from France in 1936, three years before World War II began...
“ Recommended Viewing: Knife in the Water (1962), Repulsion (1965), Cul-de-sac (1966), Rosemary's Baby (1968), Chinatown (1974), The Tenant (1976), Tess (1979), Death and the Maiden (1994), The Ninth Gate (1999), The Pianist (2002), Oliver Twist (2005) ” - Mike Bassett
Carol Reed
Director, The Third Man
Carol Reed was the second son of stage actor, dramatics teacher and impresario founder of the Royal School of Dramatic Arts Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree. Reed was one of Tree's six illegitimate children with Beatrice Mae Pinney, who Tree established in a second household apart from his married life. There were no social scars here; Reed grew up in a well-mannered...
“ Recommended Viewing: Odd Man Out (1947), The Fallen Idol (1948), The Third Man (1949), Oliver! (1968) ” - Mike Bassett
Jacques Rivette
Although François Truffaut has written that the New Wave began "thanks to Rivette," the films of this masterful French director are not well known. Rivette, like his "Cahiers du Cinéma" colleagues Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Claude Chabrol and Éric Rohmer, did graduate to filmmaking but, like Rohmer...
“ Recommended Viewing: L'Amour fou (1968), Out 1: noli me tangere (1971), Out 1: Spectre (1972), Celine and Julie Go Boating (1974), La Belle noiseuse (1991), Haut bas fragile (1995), Va savoir (2001), The Duchess of Langeais (2007) ” - Mike Bassett
Sergio Leone
Sergio Leone was an Italian film director, producer and screenwriter, credited as the inventor of "Spaghetti Western" genre. Leone's film-making style includes juxtaposing extreme close-up shots with lengthy long shots. His movies include the sword and sandal action films The Last Days of Pompeii and The Colossus of Rhodes...
“ Recommended Viewing: A Fistful of Dollars (1964), For a Few Dollars More (1965), The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966), Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), Once Upon a Time in America (1984) ” - Mike Bassett
Werner Herzog
Director, Grizzly Man
Director. Writer. Producer. Has studied history, literature and theatre, but hasn't finished it. Founded his own production company in 1963. Has staged several operas, besides others in Bayreuth, Germany, and at the Milan Scala in Italy. Herzog has won numerous national and international awards for his films.
Frank Capra
One of seven children, Frank Capra was born on May 18, 1897, in Bisacquino, Sicily. On May 10, 1903, his family left for America aboard the ship Germania, arriving in New York on May 23rd. "There's no ventilation, and it stinks like hell. They're all miserable. It's the most degrading place you could ever be," Capra said about his Atlantic passage...
“ Recommended Viewing: The Bitter Tea of General Yen (1933), It Happened One Night (1934), Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936), Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), Meet John Doe (1941), Arsenic and Old Lace (1944), It's a Wonderful Life (1946) ” - Mike Bassett
Jacques Tati
The comic genius Jacques Tati was born Taticheff, descended from a noble Russian family. His grandfather, Count Dimitri, had been a general in the Imperial Army and had served as military attaché to the Russian Embassy in Paris. His father, Emmanuel Taticheff, was a well-to-do picture framer who conducted his business in the fashionable Rue de Castellane and had taken a Dutch-Italian woman...
“ Recommended Viewing: L'École des facteurs (1947), Jour de Féte (1948), Mr. Hulot's Holiday (1953), Mon Oncle (1958), Playtime (1967), Traffic (1971) ” - Mike Bassett
Nicolas Roeg
Director, Walkabout
When he made his directorial debut in 1970, Nicolas Roeg was already a 23-year veteran of the British film industry, starting out in 1947 as an editing apprentice and working his way up to cinematographer twelve years later. He first came to attention as part of the second unit on David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia...
“ Recommended Viewing: Performance (1970) [co-directed by Donald Cammell], Walkabout (1971), Don't Look Now (1973), The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976), Bad Timing (1980), Insignificance (1985), The Witches (1990) ” - Mike Bassett
Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, on February 11, 1909, Joseph Leo Mankiewicz first worked for the movies as a translator of intertitles, employed by Paramount in Berlin, the UFA's American distributor at the time (1928). He became a dialoguist, then a screenwriter on numerous Paramount productions in Hollywood...
“ Recommended Viewing: Dragonwyck (1946), Somewhere in the Night (1946), The Late George Apley (1947), The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947), A Letter to Three Wives (1949), House of Strangers (1949), No Way Out (1950), All About Eve (1950), People Will Talk (1951), Five Fingers (1952), The Barefoot Contessa (1954), Guys and Dolls (1955), Suddenly, Last Summer (1959), Sleuth (1972) ” - Mike Bassett
Michael Curtiz
Director, Casablanca
Michael Curtiz was a Hungarian-born (as Mihaly Kertesz) American director who turned out some of the best-regarded films ever to come out of Hollywood. He received his diploma from the School for Dramatic Arts in Hungary in 1906. He then went to live in Pécs, then Szeged. He began acting in and then directing films in his native Hungary in 1912...
“ Recommended Viewing: Captain Blood (1935), The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) [co-directed by William Keighley], Angels with Dirty Faces (1938), Dodge City (1939), The Sea Hawk (1940), The Sea Wolf (1941), Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), Casablanca (1942), Mildred Pierce (1945), The Unsuspected (1947), My Dream is Yours (1949), Young Man with a Horn (1950), The Breaking Point (1950), King Creole (1958) ” - Mike Bassett
Vittorio De Sica
Director, Bicycle Thieves
Vittorio De Sica grew up in Naples, and started out as an office clerk in order to raise money to support his poor family. He was increasingly drawn towards acting, and made his screen debut while still in his teens, joining a stage company in 1923. By the late 1920s he was a successful matinee idol of the Italian theatre...
“ Recommended Viewing: The Children Are Watching Us (1944), Shoeshine (1946), Bicycle Thieves (1948), Miracle in Milan (1951), Umberto D. (1952), Two Women (1960), After the Fox (1966) ” - Mike Bassett
Terrence Malick
Terrence Malick was born in Ottawa, Illinois. His family subsequently lived in Oklahoma and he went to school in Austin, Texas. He did his undergraduate work at Harvard, graduating summa cum laude with a degree in philosophy in 1965. A member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society, he attended Magdalen College...
“ Recommended Viewing: Badlands (1973), Days of Heaven (1978), The Thin Red Line (1998), The New World (2005), The Tree of Life (2011), To the Wonder (2012), Knight of Cups (2015) ” - Mike Bassett
Bernardo Bertolucci
Bernardo Bertolucci, the Italian director whose films are known for their colorful visual style, was born in Parma, Italy, in 1940. He attended Rome University and became famous as a poet. He served as assistant director for Pier Paolo Pasolini in the film Accattone and directed The Grim Reaper. His second film...
“ Recommended Viewing: The Conformist (1969), The Spider's Stratagem (1970), Last Tango in Paris (1973), 1900 (1976), The Last Emperor (1987) ” - Mike Bassett
Tod Browning
Director, Dracula
Belonging to a well-situated family, Charles Browning fell in love at the age of 16 with a dancer of a circus. Following her began his itinerary of being clown, jockey and director of a variety theater which ended when he met D.W. Griffith and became an actor. He made his debut in Intolerance: Love's Struggle Throughout the Ages...
“ Recommended Viewing: The Unholy Three (1925), The Unknown (1927), West of Zanzibar (1928), Dracula (1931), Freaks (1932), Mark of the Vampire (1935), The Devil-Doll (1936) ” - Mike Bassett
D.W. Griffith
David Wark Griffith was born in rural Kentucky to Jacob "Roaring Jake" Griffith, a former Confederate Army colonel and Civil War hero. Young Griffith grew up with his father's romantic war stories and melodramatic nineteenth-century literature that were to eventually mold his black-and-white view of human existence and history...
“ Recommended Viewing: The Musketeers of Pig Alley (1912), The Birth of a Nation (1915), Intolerance (1916), Broken Blossoms (1919), True Heart Susie (1919), Way Down East (1920), Orphans of the Storm (1922), Isn't Life Wonderful (1924) ” - Mike Bassett
Henri-Georges Clouzot
Writer, Diabolique
Beginning his film career as a screenwriter, Henri-Georges Clouzot switched over to directing and in 1943 had the distinction of having his film The Raven banned by both the German forces occupying France and the Free French forces fighting them, but for different reasons. He shot to international fame with The Wages of Fear and consolidated that success with Diabolique...
“ Recommended Viewing: The Murderer Lives at Number 21 (1942), Le Corbeau (1943), Quai des Orfèvres (1947), The Wages of Fear (1953), Les Diaboliques (1955), The Mystery of Picasso (1956) ” - Mike Bassett
Jacques Tourneur
Director, Out of the Past
Born in Paris in 1904, Tourneur went to Hollywood with his father, director Maurice Tourneur around 1913. He started out as a script clerk and editor for his father, then graduated to such jobs as directing shorts (often with the pseudonym Jack Turner), both in France and America. He was hired to run the second unit for David O. Selznick's A Tale of Two Cities...
“ Recommended Viewing: Cat People (1942), I Walked with a Zombie (1943), Out of the Past (1947), Berlin Express (1948), The Flame and the Arrow (1950), Wichita (1955), Great Day in the Morning (1956), Nightfall (1956), Night of the Demon (1957) ” - Mike Bassett
Otto Preminger
Otto Ludwig Preminger was born in Wiznitz, Bukovina, Austria-Hungary. His father was a prosecutor, and Otto originally intended to follow his father into a law career; however, he fell in love with the theater and became a stage director. He directed his first film in 1931, and came to the US in 1936 to direct on the Broadway stage...
“ Recommended Viewing: Laura (1944), Fallen Angel (1945), Forever Amber (1947), Daisy Kenyon (1947), Whirlpool (1949), Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950), Angel Face (1953), Bonjour Tristesse (1958), Anatomy of a Murder (1959), Advice and Consent (1962), The Cardinal (1963) ” - Mike Bassett
Jean Cocteau
Jean Cocteau was one of the most multi-talented artists of the 20th century. In addition to being a director, he was a poet, novelist, painter, playwright, set designer, and actor. He began writing at 10 and was a published poet by age 16. He collaborated with the "Russian Ballet" company of Sergei Diaghilev...
“ Recommended Viewing: The Blood of a Poet (1930), La Belle et la bête (1946), Les Parents terribles (1948), Orpheus (1950), Les Enfants terribles (1950), Testament of Orpheus (1959) ” - Mike Bassett
Victor Sjöström
Director, Körkarlen
Victor Sjöström was born on September 20, 1879, and is the undisputed father of Swedish film, ranking as one of the masters of world cinema. His influence lives on in the work of Ingmar Bergman and all those directors, both Swedish and international, influenced by his work and the works of directors whom he himself influenced...
“ Recommended Viewing: The Phantom Carriage (1921), He Who Gets Slapped (1924), The Wind (1928) ” - Mike Bassett
Josef von Sternberg
Director, The Blue Angel
Josef von Sternberg split his childhood between Vienna and New York City. His father, a former soldier in the Austro-Hungarian army, could not support his family in either city; Sternberg remembered him only as "an enormously strong man who often used his strength on me." Forced by poverty to drop out of high school...
“ Recommended Viewing: Underworld (1927), The Docks of New York (1928), The Last Command (1928), The Blue Angel (1930), Morocco (1930), Dishonored (1931), Shanghai Express (1932), The Scarlet Empress (1934), The Devil is a Woman (1935), The Shanghai Gesture (1941), Macao (1952), Anatahan (1953) ” - Mike Bassett
Claude Chabrol
Director, La Cérémonie
French film director considered a master in the mystery genre. He is credited with starting the "nouvelle vague" French film movement.
“ Recommended Viewing: Le Beau Serge (1958), Les Cousins (1959), A double tour (1959), Les Bonnes femmes (1960), The Third Lover (1962), Les Biches (1968), La Femme infidèle (1969), This Man Must Die (1969), Le Boucher (1970), Just Before Nightfall (1971), Wedding in Blood (1973), Pleasure Party (1975), L'Enfer (1993), La Cérémonie (1995), Merci pour le chocolat (2000), A Comedy of Power (2005) ” - Mike Bassett
Erich von Stroheim
Erich von Stroheim was born Erich Oswald Stroheim in 1885, in Vienna, Austria, to Johanna (Bondy), from Prague, and Benno Stroheim, a hatmaker from Gliwice, Poland. His family was Jewish. After spending some time working in his father's hat factory, he emigrated to America around 1909. Working in various jobs he arrived in Hollywood in 1914 and got work in D.W...
“ Recommended Viewing: Foolish Wives (1922), Greed (1924), The Merry Widow (1925), The Wedding March (1928), Queen Kelly (1929) ” - Mike Bassett
Woody Allen
Writer, Annie Hall
Woody Allen was born Allan Stewart Konigsberg on December 1, 1935 in Brooklyn, New York, to Nettie (Cherrie), a bookkeeper, and Martin Konigsberg, a waiter and jewellery engraver. His father was of Russian Jewish descent, and his maternal grandparents were Austrian Jewish immigrants. As a young boy...
“ Recommended Viewing: Love and Death (1975), Annie Hall (1977), Manhattan (1979), Zelig (1983), Broadway Danny Rose (1984), Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989), Husbands and Wives (1992), Bullets Over Broadway (1994), Mighty Aphrodite (1995), Everyone Says I Love You (1996), Deconstructing Harry (1997), Sweet and Lowdown (1999), Small Time Crooks (2000), The Curse of the Jade Scorpion (2001), Match Point (2005) ” - Mike Bassett
Andrzej Wajda
Director, Katyn
Andrzej Wajda is an Academy Award-wining director. He is the most prominent filmmaker in Poland known for The Promised Land, Man of Iron, and Katyn. He was born Andrzej Wajda on March 6, 1926, in Suwalki, Poland. His mother, Aniela Wajda, was a teacher at a Ukrainian school. His father...
“ Recommended Viewing: A Generation (1955), Kanal (1957), Ashes and Diamonds (1958), Innocent Sorcerers (1960), Everything for Sale (1969), The Promised Land (1974), Man of Marble (1977), Katyn (2007) ” - Mike Bassett
David Cronenberg
Director, The Fly
David Cronenberg, also known as the King of Venereal Horror or the Baron of Blood, was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in 1943. His father was a journalist, and his mother was a piano player. After showing an inclination for literature at an early age (he wrote and published eerie short stories, thus following his father's path) and for music (playing classical guitar until he was 12)...
“ Recommended Viewing: The Brood (1979), Videodrome (1983), The Dead Zone (1983), The Fly (1986), Dead Ringers (1988), Naked Lunch (1991), Crash (1996), Spider (2002), A History of Violence (2005), Eastern Promises (2007), Cosmopolis (2012) ” - Mike Bassett
Michael Powell
Director, The Red Shoes
The son of Thomas William Powell & Mabel (nee Corbett). Michael Powell was always a self confessed movie addict. He was brought up partly in Canterbury ("The Garden of England") and partly in the South of France (where his parents ran an hotel). Educated at Kings School, Canterbury & Dulwich College he first worked at the National Provincial Bank from 1922 - 1925...
“ Recommended Viewing: The Edge of the World (1937), The Thief of Bagdad (1940) [co-directed by Ludwig Berger & Tim Whelan], 49th Parallel (1941), Peeping Tom (1960), They're a Weird Mob (1966) ” - Mike Bassett
“ Recommended Viewing: Big Business (1929) [co-directed by James W. Horne], Duck Soup (1933), Ruggles of Red Gap (1935), Make Way for Tomorrow (1937), The Awful Truth (1937), Love Affair (1939), An Affair to Remember (1957) ” - Mike Bassett
“ Recommended Viewing: La Jetée (1962), The Base of the Air is Red (1977), Sans Soleil (1983), The Last Bolshevik (1993) ” - Mike Bassett
Stanley Donen
Since he was a child, Stanley Donen attended dance classes and debuted on Broadway at age 17. With the help of the producer Arthur Freed and the actor Gene Kelly he got the chance to direct the musicals On the Town, Singin' in the Rain, and Love Is Better Than Ever which revolutionized the genre. Another...
“ and Gene Kelly

Recommended Viewing: On the Town (1949), Singin' in the Rain (1952), It's Always Fair Weather (1955) ” - Mike Bassett
Seijun Suzuki
Director, Branded to Kill
Seijun Suzuki was born in Nihonbashi, Tôkyô, on May 24, 1923. In 1943, he entered the army to fight at the front. In 1946, he enrolled in the film department of the Kamakura Academy and passed the assistant director's exam. For the next few years, he worked as an assistant director at several studios...
“ Recommended Viewing: Underworld Beauty (1958), Youth of the Beast (1963), Kanto Wanderer (1963), The Flowers and the Angry Waves (1964), Gate of Flesh (1964), Story of a Prostitute (1965), Tattooed Life (1965), Fighting Elegy (1966), Tokyo Drifter (1966), Branded to Kill (1967), Zigeunerweisen (1980), Pistol Opera (2001) ” - Mike Bassett
Jacques Becker
Writer, Le Trou
His interest in films was stimulated by a meeting with King Vidor, who offered him employment in the US as actor and assistant director. However, he remained in France and became assistant to Jean Renoir, a friend of the family, during that director's peak period (1932-39). In 1934 he ventured briefly into independent production...
“ Recommended Viewing: Antoine et Antoinette (1947), Rendezvous in July (1949), Édouard et Caroline (1950), Casque d'or (1952), Touchez pas au Grisbi (1953), Le Trou (1960) ” - Mike Bassett
“ Recommended Viewing: Lola (1961), Bay of Angels (1963), The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964), The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967) ” - Mike Bassett
Wim Wenders
Director, Wings of Desire
Wim Wenders is an Oscar-nominated German filmmaker who was born Ernst Wilhelm Wenders on August 14, 1945 in Düsseldorf, which then was located in the British Occupation Zone of what became the Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Federal Republic of Germany, known colloquially as West Germany until reunification)...
“ Recommended Viewing: Alice in the Cities (1974), Kings of the Road (1976), The American Friend (1977), Paris, Texas (1984), Wings of Desire (1987) ” - Mike Bassett
Georges Franju
Georges Franju is a figure of immense importance in the history of French cinema, not primarily for his films (exceptional though many of these are) but for being the co-founder, with Henri Langlois, of the Cinematheque Française in 1937--France's most famous and important film archive. He worked primarily as a film archivist until 1949...
“ Recommended Viewing: Le Sang des bêtes (1949), Hôtel des Invalides (1952), Head Against the Wall (1959), Eyes Without a Face (1959), Judex (1963) ” - Mike Bassett
William Wyler
Director, Ben-Hur
William Wyler was an American filmmaker who, at the time of his death in 1981, was considered by his peers as second only to John Ford as a master craftsman of cinema. The winner of three Best Director Academy Awards, second again only to Ford's four, Wyler's reputation has unfairly suffered as...
“ Recommended Viewing: Dodsworth (1936), Dead End (1937), Jezebel (1938), Wuthering Heights (1939), The Westerner (1940), The Letter (1940), The Little Foxes (1941), The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), The Heiress (1949), Detective Story (1951), Roman Holiday (1953), The Desperate Hours (1955) ” - Mike Bassett
Preston Sturges
Preston Sturges' own life is as unlikely as some of the plots of his best work. He was born into a wealthy family. As a boy he helped out on stage productions for his mother's friend, Isadora Duncan (the scarf that strangled her was made by his mother's company, Maison Desti). He served in the U.S...
“ Recommended Viewing: Christmas in July (1940), The Lady Eve (1941), Sullivan's Travels (1941), The Palm Beach Story (1942), The Miracle of Morgan's Creek (1944), Hail the Conquering Hero (1944), The Great Moment (1944), Unfaithfully Yours (1948) ” - Mike Bassett
Edward Yang
Writer, Yi Yi
Born on November 6, 1947 in Shanghai, China, Edward Yang has become one of the most talented international filmmakers of his generation. Along with Hou Hsiao-Hsien and Tsai Ming-Liang, Yang ranks among the leading artists of the Taiwanese New Wave, and one of the world's most brilliant auteurs. Growing up in Taipei...
“ Recommended Viewing: Taipei Story (1985), The Terrorizers (1986), A Brighter Summer Day (1991), A Confucian Confusion (1994), Yi yi (2000) ” - Mike Bassett
Kenneth Anger
Director, Eaux d'artifice
Kenneth Anger is an independent filmmaker and author. He claims to have appeared as the child prince in A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935), but Warner Brothers production reports and casting sheets conclusively document that a little girl, child actress Sheila Brown, actually played the role. Anger did...
“ Recommended Viewing: Fireworks (1947), Puce Moment (1949), Rabbit's Moon (1950), Eaux d'artifice (1953), Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome (1954), Scorpio Rising (1964), Invocation of my Demon Brother (1969), Kustom Kar Kommandos (1970), Lucifer Rising (1972) ” - Mike Bassett