Directors

by filip_akerman | created - 08 Jan 2011 | updated - 10 hours ago | Public

1. Yasujirô Ozu

Director | Tôkyô monogatari

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 ...

01 Early Summer (1951) 02 Tokyo Twilight (1957) 03 Good Morning (1959) 04 The End of Summer (1961) 05 I Was Born, But... (1932)

2. James Benning

Director | RR

James Benning was born in 1942 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. He is a director and editor, known for RR (2007), 13 Lakes (2004) and Casting a Glance (2007).

01 Casting a Glance (2007) 02 BNSF (2013) 03 One Way Boogie Woogie (1977) 04 Ten Skies (2004) 05 13 Lakes (2004)

3. Apichatpong Weerasethakul

Director | Loong Boonmee raleuk chat

Apichatpong Weerasethakul (b. 1970, Bangkok) grew up in Khon Kaen, a city in the north east of Thailand. He has a degree in Architecture from Khon Kaen University and a Master of Fine Arts in Filmmaking from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He has been making films and videos since the ...

01 Tropical Malady (2004) 02 Syndromes and a Century (2006) 03 Cemetary of Splendour (2015) 04 Blissfully Yours (2002) 05 Mysterious Objects at Noon (2000)

4. Jean Epstein

Director | La chute de la maison Usher

Jean Epstein was born on March 25, 1897 in Warsaw, Poland, Russian Empire. He was a director and writer, known for La chute de la maison Usher (1928), Mauprat (1926) and La glace à trois faces (1927). He died on April 2, 1953 in Paris, France.

01 Le Tempestaire (1947) 02 Coeur fidèle (1923) 03 Chanson d'Armor (1934) 04 La chute de la maison Usher (1928) 05 The Three-Sided Mirror (1926)

5. Carl Theodor Dreyer

Writer | Gertrud

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 ...

01 The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) 02 The Word (1955) 03 Gertrud (1964) 04 Day of Wrath (1943) 05 Mikael (1924)

6. Hiroshi Shimizu

Director | Kanzashi

The director was the subject of a retrospective when ten of his films were screened at the 2003 Tokyo Filmex. The event coincided with what would have been Shimizu's hundredth birthday.

01 Mr Thank You (1936) 02 Ornamental Hairpin (1941) 03 Nobuko (1940) 04 The Masseurs and a Woman (1938) 05 Four Seasons of Children (1939)

7. Peter B. Hutton

Director | Study of a River

Peter B. Hutton was born on August 24, 1944. He was a cinematographer and director, known for Study of a River (1997), No Picnic (1986) and Skagafjördur (2004). He died on June 25, 2016.

01 Landscape (For Manon) (1987) 02 At Sea (2007) 03 Boston Fire (1979) 04 Budapest Portrait: Memories of a City (1986) 05 New York Portrait, Chapter I-III (1979-1990)

8. Sang-soo Hong

Director | Bam gua nat

Sang-soo Hong was born on October 25, 1960 in Seoul, Korea. He is a director and writer, known for Night and Day (2008), Bamui haebyun-eoseo honja (2017) and U ri Sunhi (2013).

01 Nobody's Daughter Haewon (2013) 02 In Another Country (2012) 03 The Day He Arrives (2011) 04 Night and Day (2008) 05 Oki's Movie (2010)

9. Aki Kaurismäki

Producer | Le Havre

Aki Kaurismäki did a wide variety of jobs including postman, dish-washer and film critic, before forming a production and distribution company, Villealfa (in homage to Jean-Luc Godard's Alphaville (1965)) with his older brother Mika Kaurismäki, also a film-maker. Both Aki and Mika are prolific ...

01 Shadows In Paradise (1985) 02 The Match Factory Girl (1989) 03 Ariel (1987) 04 I Hired a Contract Killer (1991) 05 Take Care of Your Scarf, Tatiana (1994)

10. Jacques Rivette

Director | La belle noiseuse

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...

01 Duelle (1976) 02 Céline and Julie go Boating (1974) 03 Le pont du nord (1981) 04 Paris Belongs to Us (1960) 05 Gang of Four (1988)

11. Victor Sjöström

Actor | Smultronstället

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 ...

01 The Wind (1928) 02 The Man There Was (1917) 03 The Outlaw and His Wife (1918) 04 He Who Gets Slapped (1924) 05 Sons of Ingmar (1919)

12. Michael Snow

Director | Wavelength

Central figure of the American avant-garde. An artist who made an isolated animated short, A to Z (1956), Snow concentrated on his painting career until moving to New York in 1963. After attending avant-garde film screenings organized by critic-filmmaker Jonas Mekas and turning out a second film, ...

01 La Région centrale (1971) 02 Wavelength (1967) 03 Back and Forth (1969) 04 One Second in Montreal (1969) 05 So Is This (1982)

13. Robert Bresson

Writer | Au hasard Balthazar

Robert Bresson trained as a painter before moving into films as a screenwriter, making a short film (atypically a comedy), Affaires publiques (1934) in 1934. After spending more than a year as a German POW during World War II, he made his debut with Les anges du péché (1943) in 1943. ...

01 Mouchette (1967) 02 Au hasard Balthazar (1966) 03 Pickpocket (1959) 04 A Man Escaped (1956) 05 A Gentle Woman (1969)

14. Marguerite Duras

Writer | Le camion

Ms. Duras was born in southern Vietnam and lost her father at age 4. The family savings of 20 years bought the family a small plot in Cambodia, but everything was lost in a single season's flooding. The disaster killed her mother as a result. After high school in Saigon, Ms. Duras left Indochina to...

01 India Song (1975) 02 Baxter, Vera Baxter (1977) 03 Woman of the Ganges (1974) 04 Destroy, She Said (1969) 05 Agatha et les lectures illimitées (1981)

15. Marcel L'Herbier

Director | L'inhumaine

Marcel L'Herbier was born on April 23, 1888 in Paris, France. He was a director and writer, known for L'inhumaine (1924), Le bonheur (1934) and Sacrifice d'honneur (1935). He was married to Marcelle Pradot. He died on November 26, 1979 in Paris.

01 L'inhumaine (1924) 02 The Late Mathias Pascal (1926) 03 L'argent (1928) 04 El Dorado (1921) 05 L'homme du large

16. Andrei Tarkovsky

Writer | Solyaris

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 (1962), which ...

01 Solaris (1972) 02 Stalker (1979) 03 The Mirror (1975) 04 Andrei Rublev (1966) 05 Nostalghia (1983)

17. Bruce Baillie

Director | The Cardinal's Visit

Bruce Baillie was born on September 24, 1931 in Aberdeen, South Dakota, USA. He is a director and cinematographer, known for The Cardinal's Visit (1980), Dr. Bish Remedies (1987) and Quick Billy (1971).

01 Castro Street (1966) 02 Mass for the Dakota Sioux (1964) 03 Quick Billy (1971) 04 Tung (1966) 05 Valentin de las Sierras (1968)

18. Mikio Naruse

Director | Ukigumo

Biography in: John Wakeman, editor. "World Film Directors, Volume One, 1890-1945". Pages 819-826. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1987.

01 Mother (1952) 02 Yearning (1964) 03 Apart from You (1933) 04 Sound of the Mountain 05 Late Chrysanthemums (1954)

19. Sharon Lockhart

Director | Double Tide

Sharon Lockhart was born on June 5, 1964 in Norwood, Massachusetts, USA. She is a director and writer, known for Double Tide (2009), Pine Flat (2006) and Lunch Break (2008).

01 Goshogaoka (1998) 02 Double Tide (2010) 03 Pine Flat (2006) 04 Lunch Break (2005) 05 Teatro Amazonas (1999)

20. Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Writer | Faustrecht der Freiheit

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...

01 World on a Wire (1973) 02 Chinese Roulette (1976) 03 In a Year of 13 Moons (1978) 04 Berlin Alexanderplatz (1980) 05 Fear of Fear (1975)

21. Roberto Rossellini

Writer | Paisà

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 ...

01 Voyage to Italy (1954) 02 Germany Year Zero (1948) 03 India, matri Bhumi (1959) 04 The Taking of Power of Louis XIV (1966) 05 Europa '51 (1952)

22. Artavazd Peleshian

Director | Mer dare

Creator of the "distange montage," Artavazd Peleshian, one of the key Soviet documentarians, removed the boundaries of feature and documentary films, editing both sequences as a real poetical unity. His "distange montage" was a new step in the development of film editing. Even his student works (...

01 Our Century (1983) 02 We (1969) 03 Beginning (1967) 04 Seasons (1975) 05 Inhabitants (1970)

23. Jean Renoir

Writer | La grande illusion

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 ...

01 Rules of the Game 02 Toni 03 Le crime de Monsieur Lange 04 This Land is Mine 05 Boudu sauvé des eaux

24. David Lynch

Writer | Twin Peaks

Born in precisely the kind of small-town American setting so familiar from his films, David Lynch spent his childhood being shunted from one state to another as his research scientist father kept getting relocated. He attended various art schools, married Peggy Lynch and then fathered future ...

01 Mulholland Dr. (2001) 02 Inland Empire (2006) 03 Blue Velvet (1987) 04 Lost Highway (1997) 05 Eraserhead (1977)

25. Kenji Mizoguchi

Director | Saikaku ichidai onna

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 ...

01 Loyal 47 Ronin 02 Sansho the Bailiff 03 The Story of the Last Chrysantemums 04 Empress Yang Kwei Fei 05 Sisters of the Gion

26. John Cassavetes

Actor | Love Streams

John Cassavetes was born on December 9, 1929 in New York City, New York, USA as John Nicholas Cassavetes. He was an actor and director, known for Love Streams (1984), The Dirty Dozen (1967) and A Woman Under the Influence (1974). He was married to Gena Rowlands. He died on February 3, 1989 in Los ...

01 A Woman Under the Influence (1974) 02 The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976) 03 Faces (1968) 04 Opening Night (1977) 05 Shadows (1959)

27. Éric Rohmer

Director | Le genou de Claire

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, ...

01 Perceval (1979) 02 La collectionneuse (1967) 03 L'ami de mon amie (1987) 04 Claire's Knee (1970) 05 La rayon vert (1986)

28. Norman McLaren

Producer | Neighbours

Norman McClaren is one of the most awarded filmmakers in the history of Canadian cinema, and a pioneer in both animation and filmmaking. Born in Scotland, he entered the Glasgow School of Fine Arts in 1932 to study set design. His early experiments in animation included actually scratching and ...

01 Pas de deux (1968) 02 Begone Dull Care (1949) 03 Lines: Vertical (1960) 04 Lines: Horizontal (1962) 05 Synchromy (1971)

29. F.W. Murnau

Director | Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans

F.W. Murnau was a German film director. He was greatly influenced by Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Shakespeare and Ibsen plays he had seen at the age of 12, and became a friend of director Max Reinhardt. During World War I he served as a company commander at the eastern front and was in the German air ...

01 Sunrise (1927) 02 Phantom (1922) 03 Tartuffe (1925) 04 The Last Laugh (1924) 05 Faust (1926)

30. Peter Kubelka

Director | Mosaik im Vertrauen

Peter Kubelka was born on March 23, 1934 in Vienna, Austria. He is a director and editor, known for Mosaic in Trust (1955), Unsere Afrikareise (1966) and Adebar (1957).

01 Adebar (1957) 02 Arnulf Rainer (1960) 03 Schwechater (1958) 04 Unsere Afrikareise (1966) 05 Mosaik im Vertrauen (1955)

31. Miklós Jancsó

Director | Csillagosok, katonák

Miklos Jancsó was born in 1921 in Vac, Hungary. His mother Angela Poparada was Romanian and his father Sandor Jancsó Hungarian. Jancsó received a degree in Law from the University of Cluj-Napoca in 1944. After fighting in WWII and a brief period as a POW, he chose to join the Film and Theater ...

01 Red Psalm (1971) 02 Elektra (1974) 03 The Round-Up (1966) 04 The Red and the White (1967) 05 My Way Home (1965)

32. Peter Greenaway

Director | The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover

Peter Greenaway trained as a painter and began working as a film editor for the Central Office of Information in 1965. Shortly afterwards he started to make his own films. He has produced a wealth of short and feature-length films, but also paintings, novels and other books. He has held several ...

01 A Zed & Two Noughts (1985) 02 The Falls (1980) 03 Vertical Features Remake (1978) 04 The Cook, The Thief, His Wife And Her Lover (1989) 05 Drowned by Numbers (1988)

01 The Bogeyman (1979) 02 Kanchana Sita (1977) 03 Stephen (1980) 04 The Circus Tent (1978)

34. Satyajit Ray

Writer | Pather Panchali

Satyajit Ray was born in Calcutta on May 2, 1921. His father, Late 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 ...

01 The World of Apu (1959) 02 Pather Panchali (1955) 03 The Music Room (1958) 04 The Big City (1963) 05 Aparajito (1956)

35. Maurice Pialat

Director | Sous le soleil de Satan

Maurice Pialat was born on August 31, 1925 in Cunlhat, Puy-de-Dôme, France. He was a director and writer, known for Under the Sun of Satan (1987), À Nos Amours (1983) and Police (1985). He was married to Sylvie Pialat. He died on January 11, 2003 in Paris, France.

01 La maison des bois 02 La gueule ouverte 03 À nos amours 04 Nous ne vieillirons pas ensemble 05 Van Gogh

36. Ming-liang Tsai

Director | Dong

Born in Kuching, Malaysia, he graduated from the Drama and Cinema Department of the Chinese Cultural University of Taiwan and worked as a theatrical producer and TV director. His second feature film, Vive L'Amour (1994), won the Golden Lion (best picture) at the 1994 Venice Film Festival. His ...

01 Goodbye, Dragon Inn (2002) 02 Vive L'Amour (1994) 03 Rebels of the Neon God (1992) 04 The River (1997) 05 The Wayward Cloud (2005)

37. Germaine Dulac

Director | La souriante Madame Beudet

The daughter of a cavalry captain, she was raised by a grandmother in Paris, where she studied various forms of art with an emphasis on music and the opera. In 1905 she married engineer-novelist Marie-Louis Albert-Dulac and under his influence veered toward journalism. As one of the leading radical...

01 L'invitation au voyage (1928) 02 Thèmes et variations (1927) 03 La coquille et le clergyman (1928) 04 Étude cinégraphique sur une arabesque (1929) 05 Celles qui s'en font (1926)

38. Werner Herzog

Director | Fitzcarraldo

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...

01 The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (1974) 02 Stroszek (1977) 03 Fitzcarraldo (1982) 04 Land of Silence and Darkness (1971) 05 Even Dwarfs Started Small (1971)

39. João César Monteiro

Actor | Recordações da Casa Amarela

Born in Figueira da Foz, a cosmopolitan beach resort, moved to Lisbon at the age of 15. In 1963 studies cinema at London School of Technique and starts his first movie at 1965 only concluded five years later. "Silvestre" from Portuguese short stories was presented at Venice Film Festival, where he ...

01 Silvestre (1982) 02 Hovering Over the Water (1986) 03 A Comédia de Deus (1995) 04 The Last Dive (1992) 05 As Bodas de Deus (1999)

40. Chantal Akerman

Director | Un divan à New York

Chantal Akerman was born on June 6, 1950 in Brussels, Belgium as Chantal Anne Akerman. She was a director and writer, known for Un divan à New York (1996), Je, tu, il, elle (1974) and The Meetings of Anna (1978). She was married to Sonia Wieder-Atherton. She died on October 5, 2015 in Paris,...

01 From the East (1993) 02 Les rendez-vous d'Anna (1978) 03 Toute une nuit (1982) 04 News From Home (1977) 05 Jeanne Dielman (1975)

41. Stan Brakhage

Director | The Loom

Stan Brakhage was born on January 14, 1933 in Kansas City, Missouri, USA as Robert Sanders. He was a director and cinematographer, known for The Loom (1986), The God of Day Had Gone Down Upon Him (2000) and Persian Series (2001). He was married to Marilyn Jull and Jane Brakhage. He died on March 9,...

01 A Child's Garden and the Serious Sea (1991) 02 Yggdrasill: Whose Roots Are Stars in the Human Mind (1997) 03 The Dante Quartet (1987) 04 Anticipation of the Night (1958) 05 The Riddle of Lumen (1972)

42. Hollis Frampton

Director | Information

Hollis Frampton was born on March 11, 1936 in Ohio, USA. He was a director and editor, known for Information (1966), The Birth of Magellan: Cadenza XIV (1980) and The Birth of Magellan: Mindfall I (1980). He died on March 30, 1984 in New York, USA.

01 Zorn's Lemma (1970) 02 Hapax Legomena III: Critical Mass (1971) 03 Hapax Legomena II: Poetic Justice (1972) 04 Hapax Legomena I: Nostalgia (1971) 05 Artificial Light (1969)

43. Louis Feuillade

Director | Les vampires

A prolific director--over 700 films, most of them short- or medium-length--Louis Feuillade began his career with Gaumont where, as well as directing his own features, he was appointed artistic director in charge of production in 1907. His work was largely comprised of film series; his first series,...

01 Les vampires (1915) 02 Judex (1916) 03 Tih minh (1918) 04 Barrabas (1919) 05 Fantomas (1914)

44. Manoel de Oliveira

Director | Os Canibais

Manoel de Oliveira was born on December 11, 1908 in Oporto, Portugal as Manoel Candido Pinto de Oliveira. He was a director and writer, known for Os Canibais (1988), Voyage to the Beginning of the World (1997) and Gebo et l'ombre (2012). He was married to Maria Isabel Brandão de Meneses de Almeida ...

01 Os Canibais (1988) 02 Francisca (1981) 03 Doomed Love (1978) 04 Anxiety (1998) 05 Mon cas (1986)

45. Jean-Luc Godard

Director | À bout de souffle

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 ...

01 Alphaville (1965) 02 Band of Outsiders (1964) 03 The Joy of Learning (1969) 04 Contempt (1963) 05 Crazy Pete (1965)

46. Danièle Huillet

Director | Sicilia!

Danièle Huillet was born on May 1, 1936 in Paris, France. She was a director and editor, known for Sicilia! (1999), Klassenverhältnisse (1984) and Der Tod des Empedokles oder: Wenn dann der Erde Grün von neuem Euch erglänzt (1987). She was married to Jean-Marie Straub. She died on ...

+ Jean-Marie Straub 01 Othon 02 Anna Magdalena Bach 03 Der Tod des Empedokles

47. Jean-Claude Rousseau

Director | Keep in Touch

Jean-Claude Rousseau is a director and cinematographer, known for Keep in Touch (1987), De son appartement (2007) and Saudade (2012).

01 La vallée close (1995) 02 Jeune femme à sa fenêtre lisant (1983) 03 Deux fois le tour du monde (2006) 04 Saudade (2012) 05 Faux départ (2006)

48. Frederick Wiseman

Director | Titicut Follies

Born in 1930, Wiseman is a Cambridge, Massachusetts resident and member of the Massachusetts Bar Association who turned to filmmaking in 1967, after years as an instructor and/or researcher at Boston University, Brandeis University, and Harvard. In 1970 he founded Zipporah Films, Inc., which ...

01 Belfast, Maine (1999) 02 High School (1966) 03 Titicut Follies (1967) 04 Essene (1972) 05 At Berkeley (2013)

49. Arnold Fanck

Director | Die weiße Hölle vom Piz Palü

Arnold Fanck was born March 6, 1889, in Frankenthal, Germany. A trained geologist, he began making documentary and action films after the end of World War I, and his love of geology inspired him to shoot his films in remote mountain locations. These pictures became immensely popular with the German...

01 Das Wolkenphänomen von Maloja (1924) 02 The White Hell of Piz Palu (1929) 03 In Kampf mit dem Berge (1921)

50. Fritz Lang

Actor | Le mépris

Fritz Lang was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1890. His father managed a construction company. His mother, Pauline Schlesinger, was Jewish but converted to Catholicism when Lang was ten. After high school, he enrolled briefly at the Technische Hochschule Wien and then started to train as a painter. ...

01 Metropolis (1927) 02 Dr. Mabuse - The Gambler (1922) 03 The Testament of Dr Mabuse (1933) 04 Woman in the Moon (1929) 05 You Only Live Once (1939)

51. King Hu

Director | Xia nü

He was educated in art school in Beijing, left China for Hong Kong in 1949 and entered the film industry in 1951 in the art department. In the 1950s he began acting and in 1958 joined Shaw Brothers as an actor and writer, and later a director. In 1967 he left to start his own studio in Taiwan, ...

01 Raining in the Mountain (1979) 02 Legend of the Mountain (1979) 03 Touch of Zen (1971) 04 Dragon Inn (1967) 05 The Fate of Lee Khan (1973)

52. Margaret Tait

Director | Where I Am Is Here

Margaret Tait was born on November 11, 1918 in Kirkwall, Orkney, Scotland. She was a director and writer, known for Where I Am Is Here (1964), Blue Black Permanent (1992) and Rose Street (1956). She was married to Alex Pine. She died on April 16, 1999 in Firth, Orkney.

A Portrait of Ga is my favorite, rest are hard to rank

53. Jean-Pierre Melville

Actor | À bout de souffle

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 ...

01 Le samoraï 02 Les enfants terrible 03 Le cercle rouge 04 Bob le flambeur

54. Ernst Lubitsch

Director | To Be or Not to Be

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 ...

01 Lady Windermere's Fan 02 The Shop Around the Corner 03 Trouble in Paradise

55. Abbas Kiarostami

Director | Bad ma ra khahad bord

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 ...

01 Through the Olive Trees 02 Taste of Cherry 03 Close-up 04 Life, and Nothing More... 05 The Wind Will Carry Us

56. Aleksandr Sokurov

Director | Russkiy kovcheg

He was born with a disability because of an anatomic defect of his leg, in 1951 in Podorvikha village in Siberian Russia. His father was a Red Army veteran of WW2. One of most important contemporary filmmakers, Sokurov worked extensively in television and later graduated from the prestigious film ...

01 Russian Ark (2002) 02 The Second Circle (1990) 03 The Stone (1992) 04 Days of the Eclipse (1988) 05 Mournful Unconcern (1987)

57. Paul Sharits

Director | Figment I: Fluxglam Voyage in Search of the Real Maciunas

Paul Sharits was born on February 7, 1943 in Denver, Colorado, USA. He was a director and producer, known for Figment I: Fluxglam Voyage in Search of the Real Maciunas (1986), N:O:T:H:I:N:G (1968) and Shutter Interface (1975). He was married to Frances Niekerk. He died on July 15, 1993 in Buffalo, ...

01 S:TREAM:S:S:ECTION:S:ECTION:S:S:SECTIONED 02 Epileptic Seizure Comparison 03 T,O,U,C,H,I,N,G 04 3rd Degree 05 Razor Blades

58. Vsevolod Pudovkin

Director | Admiral Nakhimov

Vsevolod Pudovkin was born on February 28, 1893 in Penza, Russian Empire as Vsevolod Illarionovich Pudovkin. He was a director and actor, known for Admiral Nakhimov (1947), Zhukovsky (1950) and Minin i Pozharskiy (1939). He was married to Anna Zemtsova. He died on June 30, 1953 in Jurmala, Latvian ...

01 A Simple Case (1933) 02 Mother (1926) 03 The End of St Petersburg (1927) 04 Storm Over Asia (1928)

59. Agnès Varda

Director | Sans toit ni loi

Agnès Varda was born on May 30, 1928 in Brussels, Belgium as Arlette Varda. She is a director and writer, known for Vagabond (1985), Le Bonheur (1965) and Les plages d'Agnès (2008). She was previously married to Jacques Demy.

01 Happiness (1965) 02 Kung-Fu Master (1987) 03 La Pointe Courte (1956) 04 Cleo from 5 to 7 (1962) 05 The Gleaners and I (2000)

60. 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 ...

01 I Walked with a Zombie 02 Cat People 03 Out of the Past 04 Canyon Passage 05 Night of the Demon

61. Boris Barnet

Director | Miss Mend

Boris Barnet was born on June 18, 1902 in Moscow, Russian Empire as Boris Vasilyevich Barnet. He was a director and actor, known for Miss Mend (1926), Secret Agent (1947) and The Patriots (1933). He was married to Alla Kazanskaya, Yelena Kuzmina, Natalia Glan and Valentina Barnet. He died on ...

Favs: Alenka, By the Bluest of Seas, Those of Novgorod

62. Yoshishige Yoshida

Director | Ningen no yakusoku

Yoshishige Yoshida was born on February 16, 1933 in Fukui, Japan. He is a director and writer, known for A Promise (1986), Arashi ga oka (1988) and Farewell to the Summer Light (1968). He has been married to Okada, Mariko since 1964.

01 Woman of the Lake (1966) 02 Impasse (1967) 03 Eros Plus Massacre (1970) 04 Heroic Purgatory (1970) 05 The Affair (1967)

63. Larry Gottheim

Director | Four Shadows

Larry Gottheim is a director and cinematographer, known for Four Shadows (1978), Mouches Volantes (1976) and Your Television Traveler (1991).

01 Barn Rushes 02 Thought 03 Four Shadows

64. Joseph Cornell

Director | The Children's Jury

Joseph Cornell was born on December 24, 1903 in Nyack, New York, USA. He was a director and writer, known for The Children's Jury (1938), The Midnight Party (1969) and Children's Party (1938). He died on December 29, 1972 in Queens, New York City, New York.

01 By Night with Torch and Spear (1942) 02 Rose Hobart (1936) 03 Fable for Fountains (1957)

65. Béla Tarr

Producer | Werckmeister harmóniák

Béla Tarr was born on July 21, 1955 in Pécs, Hungary. He is a producer and director, known for Werckmeister harmóniák (2000), A torinói ló (2011) and Kárhozat (1988). He is married to Ágnes Hranitzky.

01 Sátántangó (1995) 02 Damnation (1988) 03 The Turin Horse (2011) 04 Werckmeister Harmonies (2000) 05 The Man From London (2007)

66. Douglas Sirk

Director | Schlußakkord

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, ...

Favorite: Written in the Wind

67. Claire Denis

Director | High Life

Claire Denis was born on April 21, 1946 in Paris, France. She is a director and writer, known for High Life (2018), 35 Shots of Rum (2008) and Beau travail (1999).

01 The Intruder (2004) 02 Beau travail (1999) 03 Trouble Every Day (2001) 04 Friday Night (2002) 05 Les salauds (2013)

68. Zhangke Jia

Director | Tian zhu ding

Zhangke Jia was born on May 24, 1970 in Fenyang, Shanxi, China. He is a director and producer, known for A Touch of Sin (2013), Mountains May Depart (2015) and Still Life (2006). He has been married to Tao Zhao since January 7, 2012.

01 Platform (2000) 02 Still Life (2006) 03 Pickpocket (1997) 04 Unknown Pleasures (2002) 05 The World (2004)

69. Josef von Sternberg

Director | The Devil Is a Woman

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 ...

01 Scarlet Empress (1934) 02 Underworld (1929) 03 Dishonored (1931)

70. Maya Deren

Director | Meshes of the Afternoon

Maya Deren came to the USA in 1922 as Eleanora Derenkowsky. Together with her father, a psychiatrist, and her mother, an artist, she fled the pogroms against Russian Jews. She studied journalism and political science in at Syracuse University in New York, finishing her BA at NYU in June 1936 and ...

01 Meshes of the Afternoon (1943) 02 Ritual in Transfigured Time (1946) 03 At Land (1944) 04 The Very Eye of Night (1958) 05 A Study in Choreography for Camera (1945)

71. Dziga Vertov

Director | Chelovek s kino-apparatom

Born in Bialystok, Poland, studied music and enrolled in St. Petersburg Neurological Institute in 1916. Worked on first Soviet newsreel, Kinonedelia (1918-1919), then on subsequent newsreel series (inc. Kinopravda, 1922-1925).

01 Man with Movie Camera (1929) 02 Entuziasm (1931) 03 The Eleventh Year (1928)

72. Werner Nekes

Director | Hynningen

Werner Nekes was born on April 29, 1944 in Erfurt, Germany. He was a director and writer, known for Hynningen (1984), Beuys (1981) and Uliisses (1982). He was married to Dore O.. He died on January 22, 2017 in Mülheim an der Ruhr, Northrhine-Westphalia, Germany.

01 Makimono 02 Amalgam films 03 Hynningen

73. Martin Arnold

Director | Alone. Life Wastes Andy Hardy

Born 1959 in Vienna. Studied Psychology and History of Art at Vienna University. Free-lance film maker since 1987. Founding member of Sixpack Film. Organisor of several avant-garde film festivals in Vienna. Presentation of a selection of Austrian avant-garde films at American cinematheques in 1990....

01 Passage à l'acte 02 Deanimated 03 Pièce touchée 04 Alone. Life Wastes Andy Hardy

74. Raoul Ruiz

Director | Mistérios de Lisboa

Chilean director Raúl, or Raoul, Ruiz (1941-2011) was one of the most exciting and innovative filmmakers to emerge from 1960s World Cinema, providing more intellectual fun and artistic experimentation, shot for shot, than any filmmaker since Jean-Luc Godard. A guerrilla who uncompromisingly ...

01 La ville des pirates 02 Manoel's Destinies 03 Les trois couronnes du matelot

75. Erich von Stroheim

Actor | Sunset Blvd.

Erich von Stroheim was born Erich Oswald Stroheim in 1885, in Vienna, Austria, to Johanna (Bondy), from Prague, and Benno Stroheim, a hatter from Gleiwitz, Germany (now Gliwice, Poland). His family was Jewish.

After spending some time working in his father's hat factory, he emigrated to America ...

01 Greed (1924) 02 The Merry Widow (1925) 03 Foolish Wives (1922) 04 The Weeding March (1928) 05 Queen Kelly (1929)

76. Abel Gance

Writer | La dame aux camélias

Born an illegitimate son of a wealthy physician, Abel Flamant, and a working class mother, Francoise Perethon. He was raised by his mother and her boyfriend, who later became her husband, Adolphe Gance. Pressured by his parents, he began his working career as a lawyer's clerk in hopes of achieving ...

Favorite: La Roue

77. Mike Leigh

Director | Happy-Go-Lucky

Mike Leigh was born on February 20, 1943 in Salford, Greater Manchester, England. He is a director and writer, known for Happy-Go-Lucky (2008), Secrets & Lies (1996) and Another Year (2010). He was previously married to Alison Steadman.

01 Bleak Moments (1971) 02 Naked (1993) 03 Nuts in May (1976) 04 Career Girls (1997) 05 Grown-ups (1980)

78. Jim Jarmusch

Director | Broken Flowers

Moved to New York City at the age of seventeen from Akron, Ohio. Graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in English, class of '75. Without any prior film experience, he was accepted into the Tisch School of the Arts, New York.

01 Dead Man (1995) 02 Stranger Than Paradise (1984) 03 Permanent Vacation (1980) 04 The Limits of Control (2009) 05 Down By Law (1986)

79. Michelangelo Antonioni

Writer | Blowup

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"...

01 Red Desert (1964) 02 The Passenger (1975) 03 Blow Up (1966) 04 The Night (1961) 05 The Eclipse (1962)

80. Mani Kaul

Director | Duvidha

Mani Kaul was born on December 25, 1944 in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India. He was a director and writer, known for Duvidha (1973), Naukar Ki Kameez (1999) and Uski Roti (1970). He died on July 6, 2011 in New Delhi, India.

Uski Roti, Siddeshwari and Dhrupad

81. Otar Iosseliani

Director | Chant d'hiver

Otar Iosseliani was born on February 2, 1934 in Tiflis, Transcaucasian SFSR, USSR as Otare Davidovich Ioseliani. He is a director and writer, known for Chant d'hiver (2015), La chasse aux papillons (1992) and Et la lumière fut (1989).

01 Lived Once a Song-Thrust (1972) 02 Pastoral (1975) 03 Aprili (1961) 04 Tudzhi (1964)

82. Buster Keaton

Actor | The General

Joseph Frank Keaton was born on October 4, 1895 in Piqua, Kansas, to Joe Keaton and Myra Keaton. Joe and Myra were Vaudevillian comedians with a popular, ever-changing variety act, giving Keaton an eclectic and interesting upbringing. In the earliest days on stage, they traveled with a medicine ...

01 Sherlock Jr 02 The Cameraman 03 One Week

83. 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. ...

01 Yi yi 02 The Terroriser 03 Taipei Story

84. Rose Lowder

Director | Bouquets 11-20

Rose Lowder is a director and editor, known for Bouquets 11-20 (2011), Bouquets 1-10 (1995) and Couleurs mécaniques (1979).

Favs: Bouquets 1-10 and Rue des Teinturiers

85. Bing Wang

Director | Jiabiangou

Bing Wang was born in 1967 in Xi'an, Shaanxi, China. He is a director and cinematographer, known for Jiabiangou (2010), San zimei (2012) and Mrs. Fang (2017).

West of the Tracks

86. Albert Lamorisse

Director | Le ballon rouge

A former photographer, he turned to directing short subjects in the late 40s, soon acquiring an international reputation for the poetic quality of his short and medium-length films involving the fantasy world of children. Both his White Mane (1953) and The Red Balloon (1956) received a grand prize ...

01 Red Balloon (1956) 02 The Lovers' Wind (1978) 03 Stowaway in the Sky (1960) 04 Crin-Blanc (1953)

88. Sadao Yamanaka

Writer | Kuchibue o fuku bushi

He got into movie-making when a schoolmate, the son of early film mogul Shozo Makino, helped him get a job in the script department of Makino Film Productions.

Well, all three of them

89. Alain Resnais

Director | Hiroshima mon amour

Alain Resnais was born on June 3, 1922 in Vannes, Morbihan, France as Alain Pierre Marie Jean Georges Resnais. He was a director and editor, known for Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959), Same Old Song (1997) and Mon oncle d'Amérique (1980). He was married to Sabine Azéma and Florence Malraux. He ...

01 Muriel (1963) 02 Providence (1977) 03 My American Uncle (1980) 04 Last Year in Marienbad (1961)

90. Jon Jost

Director | They Had It Coming

Born in Chicago in 1943, of a military family, Jost grew up in Georgia, Kansas, Japan, Italy, Germany, and, Virginia. Expelled from college in 1963, He began making 16mm films. He is self-taught. He has made some 20 shorts and 16 feature films, all of which he has conceived, written, photographed, ...

The Bed You Sleep In (1993) and Slow Moves (1983)

91. Jonas Mekas

Director | The Brig

Jonas Mekas, born December 24, 1922, Semeniskiai, Birzai, Lithuania, is a director, cinematographer, editor, writer, actor, poet, artist and publicist. More than 60 years of tireless work in film, arts and media has earned him the epithet "The Godfather of American Avant-Garde Cinema". In 1944 ...

Favorite: Lost, Lost, Lost

92. Ritwik Ghatak

Writer | Madhumati

Ritwik Ghatak was born on November 4, 1925 in Dacca, Bengal Presidency, British India as Ritwik Kumar Ghatak. He was a director and writer, known for Madhumati (1958), The Cloud-Capped Star (1960) and Jukti, Takko Aar Gappo (1974). He was married to Surama Ghatak. He died on February 6, 1976 in ...

01 Golden River (1965) 02 The Cloud-Capped Star (1960) 03 Reason, Debate and a Story (1974) 04 A River Called Titas (1973)

93. 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 ...

01 Le trou (1960) 02 Touchez pas au Grisbi (1954) 03 Rue de l'Estrapade (1953) 04 Casque d'or (1952)

94. Joris Ivens

Director | La Seine a rencontré Paris

Joris Ivens was born on November 18, 1898 in Nijmegen, Gelderland, Netherlands as George Henri Anton Ivens. He was a director and writer, known for La Seine a rencontré Paris (1957), Pour le Mistral (1966) and A Tale of the Wind (1988). He was married to Marceline Loridan Ivens and Germaine ...

Favorite: The 17th Parallell

95. Ousmane Sembene

Director | Moolaadé

The first film director from an African country to achieve international recognition, Ousmane Sembene remains the major figure in the rise of an independent post-colonial African cinema. Sembene's roots were not, as might be expected, in the educated élite. After working as a mechanic and ...

Favorite: Black Girl

96. Marcel Hanoun

Director | L'hiver

Marcel Hanoun was born on October 26, 1929 in Tunis, Tunisia. He was a director and writer, known for L'hiver (1969), L'été (1969) and Une simple histoire (1959). He died on September 29, 2012 in Créteil, Val-de-Marne, France.

Favorite: Un simple historie

97. Michael Powell

Director | A Matter of Life and Death

The son of Thomas William Powell and 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 a hotel). Educated at Kings School, Canterbury and Dulwich ...

Favorite: Black Narcissus

98. Pedro Costa

Director | Cavalo Dinheiro

Pedro Costa was born on December 30, 1958 in Lisbon, Portugal. He is a director and writer, known for Cavalo Dinheiro (2014), Juventude Em Marcha (2006) and Down to Earth (1994).

Favs: Blood, Bones, Horse Money

99. Stanley Kubrick

Director | 2001: A Space Odyssey

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 ...

100. Sergei Parajanov

Director | Tini zabutykh predkiv

One of the 20th century's greatest masters of cinema Sergei Parajanov was born in Georgia to Armenian parents and it was always unlikely that his work would conform to the strict socialist realism that Soviet authorities preferred. After studying film and music, Parajanov became an assistant ...

The Color of Pomegranates



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