My favourite film-makers (2020 list)by RogerTheMovieManiac88 | created - 12 Dec 2018 | updated - 6 months ago | Public
A selection of my favourite film directors, put together for the iCM Forum's 2020 poll of directors.
Writer | The Others
Is the son of a Spanish mother and a Chilean father. His family moved back to Spain when he was 1 year old, and he grew up and studied in Madrid. He wrote, produced and directed his first short film La cabeza at the age of 19, and he was 23 when he directed his feature debut Thesis (1996). His film ...
Born in 1939 in Warsaw, Poland. Documentary and feature film director. Studied physics at Warsaw University and philosophy at Jagiellonian University in Cracow. Graduated from Lodz Film Academy in 1966. Amateur film maker. His school diploma film 'Death of a Provincial' (The Death of a Provincial (...
Director | La Nature
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 (...
Writer | Un carnet de bal
Revered by such legendary fellow directors as Ingmar Bergman and Jean Renoir, Julien Duvivier is one of the greatest figures in the history of French cinema and of world cinema in general. He is perhaps the most neglected of the "Big Five" of classic French cinema (the other four being Jean Renoir,...
Director | Kuroi ame
Shohei Imamura's films dig beneath the surface of Japanese society to reveal a wellspring of sensual, often irrational, energy that lies beneath. Along with his colleagues Nagisa Ôshima and Masahiro Shinoda, Imamura began his serious directorial career as a member of the New Wave movement in Japan....
10. Raj Kapoor
Actor | Mera Naam Joker
Raj Kapoor was the son of well-known Indian actor Prithviraj Kapoor, who acted both in film and on stage. After apprenticing in the Bollywood production studios of the 1940's, at 24 years of age Raj Kapoor produced, directed and acted in Aag (1948), with his new company, RK Films. His next ...
Director | As Seen Through a Telescope
Along with his better-known French counterpart Georges Méliès George Albert Smith was one of the first filmmakers to explore fictional and fantastic themes, often using surprisingly sophisticated special effects. His background was ideal--an established portrait photographer, he also had a ...
12. Shirley Clarke
Director | The Cool World
Shirley Clarke was born on October 2, 1919 in New York City, New York, USA as Shirley Brimberg. She was a director and editor, known for The Cool World (1963), Skyscraper (1960) and The Connection (1961). She was married to Bert Clarke. She died on September 23, 1997.
13. Mikio Naruse
Director | Ukigumo
Came from a poor background and worked his way up from prop man at the Shochiko company in 1920, to full director ten years later. Had his best period in the 1950', becoming known for his depiction of contemporary social problems, particularly the role of women in Japanese society.
14. Ingmar Bergman
Writer | Persona
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 ...
Director | Przypadek Pekosinskiego
Polish film director, born in 1939. Married, three children. He has been getting experience by making documentary films and TV theater of fact, before he made in 1972 his first feature film ''Right through''. By that time he perpetually takes advantages of his talent in many topics and technics. ...
16. 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...
17. Helmut Käutner
Director | Der Hauptmann von Köpenick
Helmut Käutner was born on March 25, 1908 in Düsseldorf, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany as Paul Günther Helmut Käutner. He was a director and writer, known for The Captain from Köpenick (1956), The Last Bridge (1954) and The Rest Is Silence (1959). He was married to Erica Balqué. He died on ...
18. Lotte Reiniger
Director | Silhouetten
Lotte Reiniger was born on June 2, 1899 in Berlin, Germany as Charlotte Reiniger. She is known for her work on Silhouetten (1936), Der Graf von Carabas (1935) and Girl of the Golden West (1942). She was married to Carl Koch. She died on June 19, 1981 in Dettenhausen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.
19. Orson Welles
Actor | Citizen Kane
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 six) he traveled the world with his father. He was orphaned at 15 after his father's death and became the ward of Dr. ...
20. 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), La Cérémonie (1995) and Story of Women (1988). He was married to Aurore Chabrol, Stéphane Audran and Agnès Goute. He died on September 12, 2010 in Paris.
23. Marcel Carné
Director | Thérèse Raquin
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 ...
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...
25. Aleksandr Petrov
Director | Rusalka
He studied art at VGIK (state institute of cinema and TV). He was a disciple of Yuri Norstein at the Advanced School for screenwriters and directors (Moscow).
After making his first films in Russia, in Canada he adapted the novel The Old Man and the Sea (1999), resulting in a 20-minute animated ...
28. Laurence Olivier
Actor | Sleuth
Laurence Olivier could speak William Shakespeare's lines as naturally as if he were "actually thinking them", said English playwright Charles Bennett, who met Olivier in 1927. Laurence Kerr Olivier was born in Dorking, Surrey, England, to Agnes Louise (Crookenden) and Gerard Kerr Olivier, a High ...
Writer | Zemlya
Aleksandr Dovzhenko was born on September 10, 1894 in Vyunishche, Sosnitsa Ueyzd, Chernigov Governorate, Russian Empire as Aleksandr Petrovich Dovzhenko. He was a writer and director, known for Earth (1930), Shors (1939) and Life in Bloom (1949). He was married to Yuliya Solntseva. He died on ...
30. Oskar Fischinger
Cinematographer | Frau im Mond
German painter and pioneer animator. In films, he was noted for his abstract shapes synchronised to music. He worked on the special effects of Fritz Lang's sci-fi classic Woman in the Moon (1929), moving to Hollywood in February 1936. He designed the Johann Sebastian Bachs 'Toccata and Fugue in D ...
31. Joe May
Director | Asphalt
A businessman and operetta director, Joe May, one of the founders of the German cinema, started directing films in 1911 and started his own production company a few years later. He gave famous German director Fritz Lang his start in films, employing him as a screenwriter in his early films. After ...
32. Norman McLaren
Director | 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 ...
33. Vittorio De Seta
Director | Banditi a Orgosolo
Vittorio De Seta was born on October 15, 1923 in Palermo, Sicily, Italy. He was a director and writer, known for Bandits of Orgosolo (1961), Un uomo a metà (1966) and Isole di fuoco (1955). He died on November 28, 2011 in Sellia Marina, Calabria, Italy.
34. 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 ...
36. 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 ...
37. 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 ...
38. Károly Makk
Director | Egymásra nézve
Károly Makk was born on December 22, 1925 in Berettyóújfalu, Hungary. He was a director and writer, known for Another Way (1982), Love (1971) and The Gambler (1997). He was married to Marianne Krencsey, Hanna Dömötör and Virág Dõry. He died on August 30, 2017 in Budapest, Hungary.
40. Henry Hathaway
Director | True Grit
Henry Hathaway, son of a stage actress and manager, started his career as a child actor in westerns directed by Allan Dwan. His movie career was interrupted by World War I. After his discharge he briefly tried a career in finance but returned to Hollywood to work as an assistant director under such...
41. Todd Field
Director | Little Children
William Todd Field was born in Pomona, California, and began acting after graduating from high school in Portland, Oregon, where he was raised. A budding jazz musician as well, he skipped college in favor of a move east to New York to study acting. Once there, he began performing with the Ark ...
43. Anthony Asquith
Director | Underground
British film director Anthony Asquith was born on November 9, 1902, to H.H. Asquith, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and his second wife. A former home secretary and the future leader of the Liberal Party, H.H. Asquith served as prime minister of the United Kingdom from 1908-1916 and was ...
44. Pál Fejös
Director | Man och kvinna
Budapest-born director Paul Fejos first called attention to himself in Kecskemét, Hungary, as a student actor. During World War I he was a soldier in the army of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and after the war he became a student of chemistry. His artistic inclination, however, drew him to the ...
45. Bimal Roy
Director | Bandini
Bimal Roy (July 12, 1909 - January 8, 1966) was an Indian film director. He is particularly noted for his realistic and socialistic films such as Do Bigha Zamin (1953), Bandini (1963), Biraj Bahu (1954), Madhumati (1958) which he employed to portray realism. He won a number of awards throughout his...
48. Alanis Obomsawin
Director | Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance
Alanis Obomsawin was born on August 31, 1932 in Lebanon, New Hampshire, USA. She is a director and producer, known for Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance (1993), Waban-aki: People from Where the Sun Rises (2006) and Is the Crown at War with Us? (2002).
49. William Dieterle
Actor | Faust: Eine deutsche Volkssage
Born in Ludwigshafen, Germany, Wilhelm Dieterle was the youngest of nine children of parents Jacob and Berthe Dieterle. They lived in poverty, and when he was old enough to work, young Wilhelm earned money as a carpenter and a scrap dealer. He dreamed of better things, though, and theater caught ...
50. Mitchell Leisen
Director | Death Takes a Holiday
Mitchell Leisen was born on October 6, 1898 in Menominee, Michigan, USA as James Mitchell Leisen. He was a director and art director, known for Death Takes a Holiday (1934), The Mating Season (1951) and Hold Back the Dawn (1941). He was married to Stella Yeager. He died on October 28, 1972 in ...
51. Roman Polanski
Director | Chinatown
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 ...
52. 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 ...
53. Bruce Conner
Bruce Conner was born in McPherson, Kansas, in 1933 and studied art at Wichita University, the University of Nebraska, the Brooklyn Art School, and the University of Colorado. Moving to San Francisco in 1957, Conner became involved with the Beatniks. He continued to live and work in San Francisco, ...
58. 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, ...
59. Michael Powell
Director | The Red Shoes
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 ...
and Emeric Pressburger
Director | Theodora Goes Wild
Inventing a stage name "Boleslawski" (later spelled also "Boleslavsky"), young Pole Boleslaw Ryszard Srzednicki left his second home (Odessa, Russian Empire) to study theatre and train as an actor at the world-famous Moscow Art Theatre before and during WW I. He also acted in a few early Russian ...
62. Maya Deren
Director | Meshes of the Afternoon
Maya Deren came to the USA in 1922 as Eleanora Derenkowsky. Together with her father Solomon Derenkowsky, a psychiatrist, and her mother Maria Fidler, an artist, she fled the pogroms organized by the Bolsheviks against the Jews. She studied journalism and political science at the Syracuse ...
63. Frédéric Back
Art_department | L'homme qui plantait des arbres
Frédéric Back was born on April 8, 1924 in Saarbrücken, Germany. He is known for his work on The Man Who Planted Trees (1987), Crac (1980) and The Mighty River (1993). He was married to Ghylaine Paquin. He died on December 24, 2013 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
64. Slavko Vorkapich
Director | Hanka
Slavko Vorkapich was born on March 17, 1894 as Slavoljub Vorkapic. He is known for his work on Hanka (1955), Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) and The Life and Death of 9413, a Hollywood Extra (1928). He died on October 20, 1976 in Mijas, Málaga, Andalucía, Spain.
67. John Sayles
Writer | Lone Star
A bright child, John Sayles began reading novels before age 9. A Williams grad in 1972, he shunned a corporate career to work various blue-collar jobs, moving to east Boston to take a factory job. He wrote stories and submitted them to various magazines, and the Atlantic Monthly gave him the idea ...
Director | Jigokumon
Former female impersonator who entered films in 1917 as an actor, turned to directing in 1922 and made some of the most formally brilliant Japanese films of the following decades. The few of Kinugasa's early works to have reached the West betray a highly mature, sophisticated talent. His best-known...
69. Michael Curtiz
Director | Casablanca
Curtiz began acting in and then directing films in his native Hungary in 1912. After WWI, he continued his filmmaking career in Austria and Germany and into the early 1920s when he directed films in other countries in Europe. Moving to the US in 1926, he started making films in Hollywood for Warner...
70. 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 The Seine Meets Paris (1957), Pour le Mistral (1966) and A Tale of the Wind (1988). He was married to Marceline Loridan Ivens, Helen van Dongen and ...
Director | Le diable au corps
Claude Autant-Lara was born on August 5, 1901 in Luzarches, Val-d'Oise, France as Claude Autant Larapide de Lisle. He was a director and writer, known for Devil in the Flesh (1947), The Red and the Black (1954) and Four Bags Full (1956). He was married to Ghislaine Autant-Lara. He died on February ...
Director | Tabiate bijan
Sohrab Shaheed Salles was born in Tehran in 1944 to a middle-class family and lived in Tehran. Shahid Saless was a storyteller as a child, with a passion for visualizing his narrations. During his teenage years, he showed an imaginative talent, writing and acting in plays with friends. In 1963, ...
74. Sidney Gilliat
Writer | State Secret
Sidney Gilliat, the English director, screenwriter, and producer, was born on February 15, 1908 in Edgely, Cheshire, England. He began his screen-writing career in the silent movie era, writing inter-titles, going uncredited for his contributions to Honeymoon Abroad (1928), Champagne (1928), and ...
Director | An American in Paris
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 ...
76. Matjaz Klopcic
Director | Vdovstvo Karoline Zasler
Matjaz Klopcic was born on December 4, 1934 in Ljubljana, Slovenia, Yugoslavia. He was a director and writer, known for The Widowhood of Karolina Zasler (1976), On Paper Wings (1967) and Fear (1974). He died on December 15, 2007 in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
77. 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. ...
78. Dave Fleischer
Director | In the Good Old Summer Time
Dave Fleischer was born on July 14, 1894 in New York City, New York, USA as David Fleischer. He is known for his work on In the Good Old Summer Time (1926), Mr. Bug Goes to Town (1941) and Imagination (1943). He was married to Mae Schwartz and Ida Mae Sharnow. He died on June 25, 1979 in Woodland ...
Director | En un barrio viejo
Most of his documentaries were censured, apparently because he was not considered of the quality required to represent the Cuban Film Industry. Nephew of the poet Nicolas Guillen, he was also a painter and writer. Most of his films are still unknown in Cuba and even less in the world. He was sent ...
82. Budd Boetticher
Director | Bullfighter and the Lady
Brilliant, distinguished American director, particularly of Westerns, whose simple, bleak style disguises a complex artistic temperament. The son of a wealthy hardware retailer, Boetticher attended Culver Military Academy and Ohio State University, where he excelled in football and boxing.
85. Stewart Main
Director | 50 Ways of Saying Fabulous
and Peter Wells
86. Memduh Ün
Director | Zikkimin Kökü
Memduh Ün was born on March 14, 1920 in Constantinople, Ottoman Empire. He was a producer and director, known for Bullshit (1993), Namusum için (1965) and The Great Oath (1969). He was married to Cahide Sen. He died on October 16, 2015 in Bodrum, Mugla, Turkey.
87. John Carpenter
Writer | The Fog
John Howard Carpenter was born in Carthage, New York, to mother Milton Jean (Carter) and father Howard Ralph Carpenter. His family moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky, where his father, a professor, was head of the music department at Western Kentucky University. He attended Western Kentucky ...
88. Jorge Honik
Director | Passacaglia y Fuga
Pioneer of avant-garde experimental movies in Argentina, from a young age Honik was dedicated to narrative and play writing and have been recognized for this on several occasions through the years. After finishing his studies in pharmacy, he traveled the world for ten years. This experience ...
and Laura Honik
89. Mervyn LeRoy
Director | Gypsy
The great San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906 was a tragedy for Mervyn LeRoy. While he and his father managed to survive, they lost everything they had. To make money, LeRoy sold newspapers and entered talent contests as a singer. When he entered vaudeville, his act was "LeRoy and Cooper--Two...
91. George Sidney
Director | Scaramouche
The son of Louis K. Sidney the vice president of M.G.M. and Hazel Mooney of The Mooney Sisters. In his teens he worked as studio messenger going through every department learning the techniques and secrets of the trade. In 1933 he was assigned to direct screen tests of Judy Garland, Robert Taylor ...
Director | Un portero modelo
Segundo de Chomón became involved in film through his wife, who was an actress in Pathé films. In 1902 he became a concessionary for Pathé in Barcelona, distributing its product in Spanish-speaking countries and managing a factory for the coloring of Pathé films. He began shooting footage of ...
96. Fred Zinnemann
Director | A Man for All Seasons
Initially grew up wanting to be a violinist, but while at the University of Vienna decided to study law. While doing so, he became increasingly interested in American film and decided that was what he wanted to do. He became involved in European filmaking for a short time before going to America to...
Writer | Küzdök
Often called "the Walt Disney of Hungary". Jankovics actually has an ambivalent opinion on Disney's line of work. He has praised Disney's devotion to animation, the artistic expression and grotesque humor of his short films and some of his theatrical features. But he has also slammed Disney's ...
99. Agnès Varda
Director | Sans toit ni loi
Agnès Varda was born on May 30, 1928 in Brussels, Belgium as Arlette Varda. She was a director and writer, known for Vagabond (1985), Faces Places (2017) and Cleo from 5 to 7 (1962). She was married to Jacques Demy. She died on March 29, 2019 in Paris, France.
100. Howard Hawks
Director | Red River
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...