Filmmakers to explore

by jean-la-fosse | created - 23 Dec 2015 | updated - 26 Apr 2017 | Public

I've been meaning to look more into these directors and/or writers' works...

1. Jacques Tati

Writer | Les vacances de Monsieur Hulot

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 ...

2. 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,...

3. Jean Cocteau

Writer | La belle et la bête

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...

4. Andrzej Zulawski

Writer | Possession

Born in Lvov, Ukraine; then he moved with his father Miroslaw Zulawski to Czechoslovakia and later to Poland. In the late 1950s, he studied cinema in France. In the 1960s, he was an assistant of the famous Polish film director Andrzej Wajda. His feature debut Trzecia czesc nocy (1971) was an ...

5. Claude Chabrol

Director | Le beau Serge

Claude Chabrol was born on June 24, 1930 in Paris, France. He was a director and writer, known for Le Beau Serge (1958), Story of Women (1988) and The Swindle (1997). He was married to Aurore Chabrol, Stéphane Audran and Agnès Goute. He died on September 12, 2010 in Paris.

6. 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 Husbands (1970). He was married to Gena Rowlands. He died on February 3, 1989 in Los Angeles, California,...

7. Elia Kazan

Director | On the Waterfront

Known for his creative stage direction, Elia Kazan was born Elias Kazantzoglou on September 7, 1909 in Constantinople, Ottoman Empire (now Istanbul, Turkey). Noted for drawing out the best dramatic performances from his actors, he directed 21 actors to Oscar nominations, resulting in nine wins. He ...

8. François Truffaut

Writer | La nuit américaine

French director François Truffaut began to assiduously go to the movies at age seven. 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 became his protector. Bazin helped the ...

9. 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. ...

10. 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...

11. 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. ...

12. Vittorio De Sica

Director | Ladri di biciclette

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 ...

13. Sidney Lumet

Director | 12 Angry Men

Sidney Lumet was a master of cinema, best known for his technical knowledge and his skill at getting first-rate performances from his actors -- and for shooting most of his films in his beloved New York. He made over 40 movies, often complex and emotional, but seldom overly sentimental. Although ...

14. 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 ...

15. Pier Paolo Pasolini

Writer | Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma

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 (1961) was based on his own novel and its violent depiction of the life ...

16. 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 ...

18. Pavel Klushantsev

Director | Luna

Pavel Klushantsev was born on February 25, 1910 in St. Petersburg, Russian Empire as Pavel Vladimirovich Klushantsev. He was a director and writer, known for Luna (1965), Planeta bur (1962) and Doroga k zvezdam (1957). He died on April 27, 1999 in St. Petersburg, Russia.

19. Dimitri Kirsanoff

Director | Ménilmontant

In France from 1923. Kirsanoff was at the forefront of Parisian avant-garde filmmaking thanks to works such as Ménilmontant (1926), which combined soviet style montage with hand-held camerawork and lyrically composed static shots. Kirsanoff's early silent films, many starring his first wife Nadia ...

21. Georges Méliès

Director | Le royaume des fées

Georges Méliès was a French illusionist and film director famous for leading many technical and narrative developments in the earliest days of cinema.

Méliès was an especially prolific innovator in the use of special effects, popularizing such techniques as substitution splices, multiple exposures, ...

22. Kenneth Anger

Director | Fireworks

Kenneth Anger grew up in Hollywood and started out as a child actor, but his interest in filmmaking was evident at an early age: he made his first film, "Who's Been Rocking My Dreamboat?", at age 9. Anger developed into one of the pioneers of the American underground film movement. His gritty, ...

23. Gábor Bódy

Director | Amerikai anzix

Gábor Bódy was born on August 30, 1946 in Budapest, Hungary. He was a director and writer, known for Amerikai anzix (1975), Nárcisz és Psyché (1980) and Kutya éji dala (1983). He was married to Veronika Baksa-Soos (Veruschka Body). He died on October 25, 1985 in Budapest.

24. Sergei M. Eisenstein

Director | Aleksandr Nevskiy

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 ...

25. Max Ophüls

Director | La ronde

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, ...

26. 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, ...

27. Kidlat Tahimik

Director | Mababangong Bangungot

Kidlat Tahimik was born on October 3, 1942 in Baguio City, Benguet, Philippines as Eric De Guia. He is a director and actor, known for Perfumed Nightmare (1977), Balikbayan #1: Memories of Overdevelopment Redux III (2015) and Turumba (1981).

28. Catherine Breillat

Writer | À ma soeur!

Catherine Breillat is a Paris based filmmaker and writer who became famous for her distinctively personal films on sexuality, gender trouble and sibling rivalry. Accused of being a "porno auteuriste", Breillat allowed for an unbiased view of sexuality and extended the language of mainstream movies....

29. 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 ...

30. 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...

31. 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, ...

32. Youssef Chahine

Director | Iskanderija... lih?

Youssef Chahine (born in Alexandria, Egypt, 1926) started studying in a friars' school, and then turned to English College until the High School Certificate. After one year in the University of Alexandria, he moved to the U.S. and spent two years at the Pasadena Play House, taking courses on film ...

33. Marcel Carné

Director | Le quai des brumes

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 (1936). Colaborating with the writer Jacques Prévert, the decorator Alexandre Trauner, the musician and composer Maurice Jaubert and the actor Jean ...

34. 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 ...

35. Jean Vigo

Writer | Zéro de conduite: Jeunes diables au collège

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 ...

36. 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 ...

37. Howard Hawks

Director | Rio Bravo

What do the classic films Scarface (1932), Twentieth Century (1934), Bringing Up Baby (1938), Only Angels Have Wings (1939), His Girl Friday (1940), Sergeant York (1941), To Have and Have Not (1944), The Big Sleep (1946), Red River (1948) Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) and Rio Bravo (1959) have in...

38. Robert Wiene

Director | Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari

Robert Wiene was born on April 24, 1873 in Breslau, Silesia, Germany. He was a writer and director, known for The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920), The Hands of Orlac (1924) and L'autre (1930). He died on July 17, 1938 in Paris, France.

39. D.W. Griffith

Director | Orphans of the Storm

David Wark Griffith was born in rural Kentucky to Jacob "Roaring Jake" Griffith, a former Confederate Army colonel and Civil War veteran. Young Griffith grew up with his father's romantic war stories and melodramatic nineteenth-century literature that were to eventually shape his movies. In 1897 ...

40. 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 ...

41. 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 ...

42. Benjamin Christensen

Director | Hævnens Nat

Benjamin Christensen was born on September 28, 1879 in Viborg, Denmark. He was a director and writer, known for Blind Justice (1916), Seven Footprints to Satan (1929) and The Devil's Circus (1926). He was married to Karen Winther, Sigrid Stahl and Ellen Arctander. He died on April 2, 1959 in ...

43. 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 ...

44. 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 ...

45. Cecil B. DeMille

Producer | The Ten Commandments

His parents Henry C. DeMille and Beatrice DeMille were playwrights. His father died when he was 12, and his mother supported the family by opening a school for girls and a theatrical company. Too young to enlist in the Spanish-American War, Cecil followed his brother William C. de Mille to the New ...

46. Matthew Barney

Director | Cremaster 2

Matthew Barney was born on March 25, 1967 in San Francisco, California, USA. He is a director and writer, known for Cremaster 2 (1999), De Lama Lamina (2007) and Destricted (2006).

47. Ryû Murakami

Writer | Topâzu

Born in Sasebo where U.S. Navy's harbour is located. Raised there till his high school days. After graduation, he came up to Tokyo and lived in Fussa, near the base of U.S. Army. He wrote the novel, "Kagirinaku Tomei ni chikai Blue", from a decadent life there. It won the Akutagawa Prize, the most ...

48. Wim Wenders

Director | Der Himmel über Berlin

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 ...

49. Keisuke Kinoshita

Writer | Nijûshi no hitomi

Keisuke Kinoshita was born on December 5, 1912 in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, Japan. He was a writer and director, known for Twenty-Four Eyes (1954), The Ballad of Narayama (1958) and The Garden of Women (1954). He died on December 30, 1998 in Tokyo, Japan.

50. Stephen Sayadian

Director | Café Flesh

Stephen Sayadian was born on October 18, 1953 in Chicago, Illinois, USA. He is a production designer and director.

51. Richard Elfman

Actor | George of the Jungle

Richard grew up in the Crenshaw district of Los Angeles (Boyz n the Hood), was a semi-professional boxer, food and wine critic and successful stage director. He is also a noted Afro-Latin percussionist and with his brother, Danny Elfman, founded the band Oingo-Boingo.

Richard's theatrical career ...

52. Michel Franco

Producer | Chronic

Michel Franco was born in 1979 in Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico. He is a producer and writer, known for Chronic (2015), Después de Lucía (2012) and Las hijas de Abril (2017).

53. José Mojica Marins

Actor | Encarnação do Demônio

José Mojica Marins was born on March 13, 1936 in San Paulo, Brazil, to a family of simple means. José's love of movies began at an early age. He spent a great deal of his time with his family at the local movie house, which his father helped manage. By the time he was eighteen, he had completed ...

54. Costas Ferris

Director | Rembetiko

Costas was raised in Egypt, and had a Greek education in Ambeteios School of Cairo. He speaks five languages, Greek, French, English, Italian and Arabic, and writes and creates in three (Greek, English and French). Interested in poetry and literature since a very early age, he was involved in ...

55. Nikos Nikolaidis

Writer | Proini peripolos

Nikos Nikolaidis was born on October 25, 1939 in Athens, Greece. He was a writer and director, known for Morning Patrol (1987), Singapore sling: O anthropos pou agapise ena ptoma (1990) and Ta kourelia tragoudane akoma... (1979). He died on September 5, 2007 in Athens.

56. Guy Maddin

Director | The Saddest Music in the World

Guy Maddin was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, to Herdis Maddin (a hair-dresser) and Charles "Chas" Maddin (grain clerk and general manager of the Maroons, a Winnipeg hockey team). Maddin studied economics at the University of Winnipeg, working as a bank manager, house painter, and photographic...

57. Ken Russell

Director | The Devils

Ken Russell tried several professions, before choosing to become a film director. He was a still photographer, a dancer and even served in the army, but it was film that was to be Mr. Russell's destiny. He began by making several short films, and those paved the way for his brilliant television ...

58. Jan Svankmajer

Director | Otesánek

After studying at the Institute of Industrial Arts and the Marionette Faculty of the Prague Academy of Fine Arts in the 1950s, Jan Svankmajer started working as a theatre director, chiefly in association with the Theatre of Masks and the Black Theatre. He first experimented with film-making after ...

59. Jirí Barta

Director | Diskzokej

Jirí Barta was born on November 26, 1948 in Prague, Czechoslovakia. He is a director and writer, known for Diskzokej (1980), Poslední lup (1987) and Toys in the Attic (2009).

60. 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...

61. Susan Seidelman

Director | Desperately Seeking Susan

Susan Seidelman was born on December 11, 1952 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. She is a director and producer, known for Desperately Seeking Susan (1985), Sex and the City (1998) and Smithereens (1982).

62. Robert Downey Sr.

Actor | Boogie Nights

Robert Downey Sr. served in the army, played minor-league baseball, was a Golden Gloves champion and off-off Broadway playwright, all before he was 22 years old.

Downey was born in New York City, New York, the son of Elizabeth (McLoughlin), a model, and Robert Elias, who worked in hotel/restaurant ...

63. Theodoros Angelopoulos

Director | Topio stin omihli

Theo Angelopoulos began to study law in Athens but broke up his studies to go to the Sorbonne in Paris in order to study literature. When he had finished his studies, he wanted to attend the School of Cinema at Paris but decided instead to go back to Greece. There he worked as a journalist and ...

64. Wojciech Has

Director | Pozegnania

Born in Kraków, Poland, in 1925. Feature film director. Graduated in 1946 from Cracow Film Institute, also studied painting. From 1947 to 1957 made a number of documentary shorts and educational films. Feature film debut: _The Noose_ (Petla, 1958, co-scr.). Other films: _Farewells_ (Pozegnania, ...



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