Influential directors

by eduardojlc96 | created - 21 Apr 2016 | updated - 21 Apr 2016 | Public

According to cinefix

1. James Cameron

Writer | Avatar

James Francis Cameron was born on August 16, 1954 in Kapuskasing, Ontario, Canada. He moved to the United States in 1971. The son of an engineer, he majored in physics at California State University before switching to English, and eventually dropping out. He then drove a truck to support his ...

Technological Innovation. More an engineer than a film-maker. Technological innovation and advances in 3D, CGI, underwater film-making (and scuba diving).

2. 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, ...

Technological Innovation. Father of special effects.

3. Auguste Lumière

Producer | Belfast, alerte de pompiers: film Lumière n° 723

Although it is his brother Louis Lumière who is generally acclaimed as the "father of the cinema", Auguste Lumiere also made a major contribution towards the development of the medium, first by helping with the invention and construction of the cinematographe (the world's first camera and ...

10. Technological Innovation. It doesn't get much more innovative then 2 of the guys who invented filmmaking. They invented the camera, the projector, and popularised them in Europe. Rudimentary forms of documentary and comedy.

4. Louis Lumière

Producer | La Mi-Carême, Char et batailles de confettis

Although no one will ever come up with a definitive answer as to who invented the cinema (probably because no one single person was responsible), Louis Lumière has one of the strongest claims to the title - for it was he (with his brother Auguste) who invented the cinematographe : a machine that ...

10. Technological Innovation. It doesn't get much more innovative then 2 of the guys who invented filmmaking. They invented the camera, the projector, and popularised them in Europe. Rudimentary forms of documentary and comedy.

5. Melvin Van Peebles

Actor | The Shining

Melvin Van Peebles was born on August 21, 1932 in Chicago, Illinois, USA. He is an actor and writer, known for The Shining (1997), Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (1971) and Le conte du ventre plein (2000).

Minority Filmmaking. Picked up the camera against extreme prejudice.

6. Gordon Parks

Director | The Learning Tree

The pre-eminent American photojournalist of sub-Saharan descent. An acclaimed photographer for Life magazine from the late 40s through late 60s, he turned to directing films, his second of which, the blaxploitation movie Shaft (1971), achieved success at the box office. In 1989 his first film ...

Minority Filmmaking. Picked up the camera against extreme prejudice.

7. Tyler Perry

Writer | Diary of a Mad Black Woman

Perry was born and raised in New Orleans, to Willie Maxine (Campbell) and Emmitt Perry, Sr. His mother was a church-goer and took Perry along with her once a week. His father was a carpenter and they had a very strained and abusive relationship, which led Perry to suffer from depression as a ...

Minority Filmmaking. Commercially viable movies with minorities.

8. Oscar Micheaux

Writer | Within Our Gates

Oscar Micheaux, the first African-American to produce a feature-length film (The Homesteader (1919)) and a sound feature-length film (The Exile (1931)), is not only a major figure in American film for these milestones, but because his oeuvre is a window into the American history and psyche ...

Minority Filmmaking. First black filmmaker.

9. Spike Lee

Director | Do the Right Thing

Spike Lee was born Shelton Jackson Lee on March 20, 1957, in Atlanta, Georgia. At a very young age, he moved from pre-civil rights Georgia, to Brooklyn, New York. Lee came from artistic, education-grounded background; his father was a jazz musician, and his mother, a schoolteacher. He attended ...

9. Minority Filmmaking. He tackles race issues without fear. Shows the humanity and the hypocrisy in racial conflict, since Do the right thing. You can cast black people as more than pimps, drug dealers and prostitutes.

10. Steven Spielberg

Producer | Schindler's List

One of the most influential personalities in the history of cinema, Steven Spielberg is Hollywood's best known director and one of the wealthiest filmmakers in the world. He has an extraordinary number of commercially successful and critically acclaimed credits to his name, either as a director, ...

8. Creating the Epic. Summers have never been quite the same since Spielberg made going to the movies feel like an event. Jaws created the modern event film. He also saves summer. Balance of thrill, pathos, humour, humanity (and Tom Hanks).

11. George Lucas

Writer | Star Wars

George Walton Lucas, Jr. was raised on a walnut ranch in Modesto, California. His father was a stationery store owner and he had three siblings. During his late teen years, he went to Thomas Downey High School and was very much interested in drag racing. He planned to become a professional racecar ...

Creating the Epic.

12. Francis Ford Coppola

Producer | Apocalypse Now

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 ...

Creating the Epic.

13. Federico Fellini

Writer | Amarcord

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 ...

Bringing Foreign Film to the World.

14. Ingmar Bergman

Writer | Smultronstället

Ernst Ingmar Bergman was born July 14, 1918, the son of a priest. The film and T.V. series, The Best Intentions (1992) 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 (1996) is the ...

Bringing Foreign Film to the World.

15. 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. ...

Bringing Foreign Film to the World.

16. 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 ...

Bringing Foreign Film to the World.

17. Akira Kurosawa

Writer | Ran

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 (1943). Within a few years, Kurosawa had achieved sufficient stature to allow him greater...

7. Bringing Foreign Film to the World. Using film to successfully blend traditional Samurai stories and Japanese film with the American Western. Influenced Scorsese, George Lucas....

18. 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 ...

Innovations in Film Theorie & Technique.

19. Lev Kuleshov

Director | Po zakonu

Lev Kuleshov was a Russian director who used the editing technique known as the "Kuleshov effect." Although some of the editing innovations, such as crosscutting were used by other directors before him, Kuleshov was the first to use it in the Soviet Russia. he was driving a Ford sports car amidst ...

Innovations in Film Theorie & Technique. Soviet montage theorist.

20. 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 ...

Innovations in Film Theorie & Technique. Soviet montage theorist.

21. 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).

Innovations in Film Theorie & Technique. Soviet montage theorist.

22. 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 ...

6. Innovations in Film Theorie & Technique. The man who really defined montage in film. Influenced Peter Greenaway. The creative juxtaposition of two shots create a meaning that's greater than the sum of its parts. His work is seen in Strike, October and Battleship Potemkin. Changed cinema from the restrictions of continuity and reality. He allowed directors to fracture time, space and narrative in unheard ways.



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