my favourite screenwriters and directors

by rainbowflat | created - 20 Dec 2016 | updated - 9 months ago | Public

1. Eliseo Subiela

Director | El lado oscuro del corazón

Eliseo Subiela was born on December 27, 1944 in Buenos Aires, Federal District, Argentina as Eliseo Subiela de la Fuente. He was a director and writer, known for The Dark Side of the Heart (1992), Man Facing Southeast (1986) and Last Images of the Shipwreck (1989). He was married to Mora Moglia. He...

Man Facing South-East, Dark Side of the Heart, Last Images of the Shipwreck, Don't Die Without Telling Me Where You're Going

Subiela is one of my very favourite directors. His movies have a lot of heart, and soul, and warmth. They exist somehow on a spiritual plane, even when 'about' love or art.

2. Charlie Kaufman

Writer | Anomalisa

Avid reader Charlie Kaufman wrote plays and made short films as a young student. He moved from Massapequa, New York to West Hartford, Connecticut in 1972 where he attended high school. As a comedic actor, he performed in school plays and, after graduation, he enrolled at Boston University but soon ...

Adaptation., Synecdoche New York

3. 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...

Dersu Uzala, Ikiru

4. David Cronenberg

Director | The Fly

David Cronenberg, also known as the King of Venereal Horror or the Baron of Blood, was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in 1943. His father, Milton Cronenberg, was a journalist and editor, and his mother, Esther (Sumberg), was a piano player. After showing an inclination for literature at an early...

A unique, intelligent and very interesting director. I liked The Brood, his first really successful movie, I thought - Shivers and Rabid are fun but amateurish. Videodrome, The Fly and Dead Ringers are great, his strongest and most creepy movies. Dead Ringers, based on a true story, is really nutso and disturbing. Ah, humans hehe. eXistenZ I loved too. Crash - I don't know, interesting, but maybe it just shows how silly/futile/fetishistic his 'new flesh' theme was all along; it's certainly showcased here in one pure form. Not a bad movie, except morally, spiritually - not much of value to be gotten from it. That's half the 'horror' of his movies, I guess maybe in Crash it's just more refined, serious and visible. M. Butterfly, A History of Violence and Eastern Promises are all better than ok, but I wouldn't have recognized them as Cronenberg movies. Almost all his others feature some variation of the 'new flesh', as natural horror/anxiety or insane creation of inventors or error of scientists, creepy dreams turning to nightmares of machines/technology merging with bodies.

5. Terrence Malick

Writer | Days of Heaven

Terrence Malick was born in Ottawa, Illinois. His family subsequently lived in Oklahoma and he went to school in Austin, Texas. He did his undergraduate work at Harvard, graduating summa cum laude with a degree in philosophy in 1965.

A member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society, he attended Magdalen ...

Has a reputation of being one of the greatest directors in the world today. Well, yep it's true. Tree of Life seems to me by far his best. Maybe work up to it with his first 3 movies, otherwise it might seem very weird. It didn't seem weird at all to me, not at all boring or pretentious (as the 1-star reviews said) although different to anything you've seen, probably. It made all other movies seem weird, limited and dead. In many ways the most realistic, true-to-life movie I've seen. Thin Red Line is also very good, like a cross between Tree of Life and a war movie. The New World is the Pocahontas story, Malick-style.

Update: Has started making lots of movies recently (after 1 per 10 years for decades), apparently increasingly boring and, well, "pretentious" seems a ridiculous thing to call a movie (except Tarantino or someone), but it seems even his fans can't get into them, mostly. But I guess they're what he wants to make, so good luck to him.

6. 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...

Best documentaries: Grizzly Man is tragic, funny, strange. The story of a guy who lived with bears because he preferred that to life with humans, and filmed himself doing it. And also a story of people and/vs nature, cities, modern life, self-delusion, passion, frustration etc. Also good: Gesualdo - made for TV story of amazing Italian composer and his crazy life, (Half of it is his music being performed - I really loved it, a revelation. Late 19th C harmony, hundreds of years before the late 19th C.) and those places in Italy now. Some of it is staged, all of it is bizarre. Fata Morgana (the Sahara) and Lessons of Darkness (Kuwait oilfields burning) are kind of similar - mostly landscapes, a few animals and humans - not documentaries exactly but image-and-music poems. The nightmarish Lessons of Darkness is peculiarly bleak, tragic and affecting, and somehow much more strange even than the super-bizarre Fata Morgana. Wings of Hope is about Juliana Koepcke, the sole survivor of a crash in the south american jungle, revisiting the site decades later. All Herzog's documentaries are very good and worth seeing; seem to me better than his fictional movies. Many of them combine amazing images with such at-first utterly inappropriate music that it ends up seeming a stroke of genius to think of combining them. His introduction of minor fictional elements is much more dubious. Update: His latest (2016) documentary about the internet is maybe his best.

Errol Morris' documentary Burden of Dreams, about the making of Herzog's Fitzcarraldo, is much better than that movie. Well, the making of that really was the true movie - or the two weren't that dissimilar (this is Fitzcarraldo with some Aguirre mixed in, i.e. Kinski insanity and jungle madness) - Herzog's ideal project is a crazy impossible plan for a film about a madman who has set himself an impossible task. Most of his films fall in that category; most of his documentaries are about such crazy men/odd visionaries.

7. Mike Leigh

Director | Secrets & Lies

Mike Leigh was born on February 20, 1943 in Salford, Greater Manchester, England. He is a director and writer, known for Secrets & Lies (1996), Another Year (2010) and Naked (1993). He was previously married to Alison Steadman.

Secrets and Lies, Topsy Turvy

8. Anders Thomas Jensen

Writer | Adams æbler

Anders Thomas Jensen was born on 6th April 1972 in Frederiksværk on Sjælland in Denmark to Carl Benny Jensen and Kirsten Jensen (born Sørensen). He attended the high school in Frederiksværk from 1988 to 1991. In 1990 while still in high school, he wrote and directed 10 år på bagen - 3 år i skyggen ...

Men and Hens. Seemingly he's written the majority of good Danish movies made in the last 20 years.

9. Yuriy Norshteyn

Animation_department | Skazka skazok

Born to Jewish parents and raised in a Moscow suburb, Yuriy Norshteyn painted as a hobby and trained as a carpenter before studying animation. He directed his first film in 1968 and made a series of short films notable for their attention to atmosphere and fine detail, using a multiplane camera to ...

10. Satoshi Kon

Writer | Papurika

Satoshi Kon was born in 1963. He studied at the Musashino College of the Arts. He began his career as a Manga artist. He then moved to animation and worked as a background artist on many films (including Roujin Z (1991) by 'Katsuhiro Otomo'). Then, in 1995, he wrote an episode of the anthology film ...

11. Preston Sturges

Writer | The Great McGinty

Preston Sturges' own life is as unlikely as some of the plots of his best work. He was born into a wealthy family. As a boy he helped out on stage productions for his mother's friend, Isadora Duncan (the scarf that strangled her was made by his mother's company, Maison Desti). He served in the U.S....

The Lady Eve

12. Frank Capra

Director | It's a Wonderful Life

One of seven children, Frank Capra was born on May 18, 1897, in Bisacquino, Sicily. On May 10, 1903, his family left for America aboard the ship Germania, arriving in New York on May 23rd. "There's no ventilation, and it stinks like hell. They're all miserable. It's the most degrading place you ...

13. Billy Wilder

Writer | The Apartment

Originally planning to become a lawyer, Billy Wilder abandoned that career in favor of working as a reporter for a Viennese newspaper, using this experience to move to Berlin, where he worked for the city's largest tabloid. He broke into films as a screenwriter in 1929, and wrote scripts for many ...

14. 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 ...

15. Sydney Pollack

Director | Tootsie

Sydney Pollack was an Academy Award-winning director, producer, actor, writer and public figure, who directed and produced over 40 films.

Sydney Irwin Pollack was born July 1, 1934 in Lafayette, Indiana, USA, to Rebecca (Miller), a homemaker, and David Pollack, a professional boxer turned pharmacist...

16. Martin Scorsese

Director | Taxi Driver

Martin Charles Scorsese was born on November 17, 1942 in Queens, New York City, to Catherine Scorsese (née Cappa) and Charles Scorsese, who both worked in Manhattan's garment district, and whose families both came from Palermo, Sicily. He was raised in the neighborhood of Little Italy, which later ...

17. Peter Weir

Director | Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

Peter Weir was born on August 21, 1944 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia as Peter Lindsay Weir. He is a director and writer, known for Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003), Witness (1985) and The Truman Show (1998). He has been married to Wendy Stites since 1966. They have two...

Dead Poets Society

18. Hal Ashby

Director | Harold and Maude

Hal Ashby was born the fourth and youngest child in a Mormon household in Ogden, Utah, on September 2, 1929. His father was a dairy farmer. After a rough childhood that included the divorce of his parents, his father's suicide, his dropping out of high school, getting married and divorced all ...

Being There, Harold & Maude

19. Albert Brooks

Actor | Drive

Albert Brooks was born on July 22, 1947 in Beverly Hills, California, USA as Albert Lawrence Einstein. He is an actor and writer, known for Drive (2011), Defending Your Life (1991) and Lost in America (1985). He has been married to Kimberly Shlain since March 15, 1997. They have two children.

20. Lawrence Kasdan

Writer | The Big Chill

Lawrence Kasdan was born on January 14, 1949 in Miami, Florida, USA. He is a writer and producer, known for The Big Chill (1983), Silverado (1985) and Wyatt Earp (1994). He has been married to Meg Kasdan since November 28, 1971. They have two children.

21. James L. Brooks

Writer | Terms of Endearment

James L. Brooks was born on May 9, 1940 in Brooklyn, New York, USA as James Lawrence Brooks. He is a writer and producer, known for Terms of Endearment (1983), As Good as It Gets (1997) and Broadcast News (1987). He was previously married to Holly Holmberg Brooks and Marianne Catherine Morrissey.

As Good As It Gets

22. Hal Hartley

Director | Trust

Hal Hartley is an American filmmaker, writer, director, producer, and composer who has made twelve feature films since 1988. Popularly associated with the American independent filmmaking scene of the early nineties, he went on to write and direct such films as No Such Thing (2001) for United ...

His movies started off amazing, and.. the last few seem truly awful. I think he was great when he didn't know what he was doing, was just experimenting. I don't know. He lost his style and became way too normal. I can't watch the later ones. But his first 4 or 5 are absolute inspirational classics of early 90s independent cinema.

23. Wes Anderson

Writer | Fantastic Mr. Fox

Wesley Wales Anderson was born in Houston, Texas. His mother, Texas Ann (Burroughs), is an archaeologist turned real estate agent, and his father, Melver Leonard Anderson, worked in advertising and PR. He has two brothers, Eric and Mel. Anderson's parents divorced when he was a young child, an ...

24. David Fincher

Director | Se7en

David Fincher was born in 1962 in Denver, Colorado, and was raised in Marin County, California. When he was 18 years old he went to work for John Korty at Korty Films in Mill Valley. He subsequently worked at ILM (Industrial Light and Magic) from 1981-1983. Fincher left ILM to direct TV commercials...

The Game, Gone Girl

25. Tom McCarthy

Producer | Win Win

Tom McCarthy is an American film director, screenwriter, and actor. He is best known for direct and write The Station Agent (2003), The Visitor (2007), Win Win (2011), and Spotlight (2015), for which he won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, and was nominated for Best Director.


I think every movie he's made (4?) is outstanding.

26. Vadim Perelman

Director | House of Sand and Fog

Vadim Perelman was born in 1963 in Kiev, Ukrainian SSR, USSR. He is a director and producer, known for House of Sand and Fog (2003), The Life Before Her Eyes (2007) and Izmeny (2015).

House of Sand and Fog

27. Adam McKay

Producer | The Other Guys

Adam McKay (born April 17, 1968) is an American screenwriter, director, comedian, and actor. McKay has a comedy partnership with Will Ferrell, with whom he co-wrote the films Anchorman, Talladega Nights, and The Other Guys. Ferrell and McKay also founded their comedy website Funny or Die through ...

28. Patricio Guzmán

Director | Nostalgia de la luz

Patricio Guzmán was born on August 11, 1941 in Santiago, Chile as Patricio Guzmán Lozanes. He is a director and writer, known for Nostalgia de la luz (2010), La cruz del Sur (1991) and The Battle of Chile: Part I (1975).

Maker of amazing documentaries.

29. Chris Marker

Writer | Twelve Monkeys

Chris Marker was born on July 29, 1921 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Hauts-de-Seine, France as Christian François Bouche-Villeneuve. He was a director and writer, known for Twelve Monkeys (1995), Sans Soleil (1983) and Description d'un combat (1960). He died on July 29, 2012 in Paris, France.

No IMDb, he didn't write 12 Monkeys, that's ridiculous, gee. That just borrowed heavily from La Jetée (1962).

Sans Soleil, La Jetee

30. José Padilha

Producer | Tropa de Elite

He is best known for directing the Brazilian critical and financial successes Elite Squad and Elite Squad: The Enemy Within and the 2014 remake of RoboCop. He has won the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival for Elite Squad in 2008. He is also the producer and director of the ...

Elite Squad, Elite Squad: The Enemy Within, Bus 174, Secrets of the Tribe

31. Adam Curtis

Director | The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear

Adam Curtis was born on May 26, 1955 in Dartford, Kent, England as Kevin Adam Curtis. He is a director and producer, known for The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear (2004), Pandora's Box (1992) and HyperNormalisation (2016).

The Century of the Self, and many other important documentary series.

32. Scott Noble

Director | Psywar

Maker of the most important recent documentaries and documentary series.

Plutocracy, Counter-Intelligence, The Power Principle, Rise Like Lions, Lifting The Veil, Psywar, Human Resources

All available free for viewing on his site: Almost none of his films are on IMDb, maybe because not commercially distributed etc.

33. Derren Brown

Producer | Derren Brown: The Experiments

Derren Brown was born on February 27, 1971 in Croydon, Surrey, England as Derren Victor Brown. He is a producer and writer, known for Derren Brown: The Experiments (2011), Crooked House (2008) and Derren Brown: The Heist (2006).

34. Robert Hughes

Producer | Out of Control

Robert Hughes was born on July 28, 1938 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia as Robert Studley Forrest Hughes. He was a writer and producer, known for Out of Control (1984), Crumb (1994) and Bunnicula (2016). He was married to Doris Downes, Victoria Whistler and Danne Patricia Emerson. He died on ...

35. Louis Malle

Director | Au revoir les enfants

Louis Malle, the descendant of a French nobleman who made a fortune in beet sugar during the Napoleonic Wars, created films that explored life and its meaning. Malle's family discouraged his early interest in film but, in 1950, allowed him to enter the Institute of Advanced Cinematographic Studies ...

36. 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.

37. Víctor Erice

Director | El sur

Víctor Erice was born on June 30, 1940 in Karrantza, Vizcaya, País Vasco, Spain as Víctor Erice Aras. He is a director and writer, known for El Sur (1983), The Spirit of the Beehive (1973) and El sol del membrillo (1992).

38. Alejandro Amenábar

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 Tesis (1996). His film ...

39. Juan José Campanella

Writer | El secreto de sus ojos

Juan José Campanella was born on July 19, 1959 in Capital Federal, Argentina. He is a writer and actor, known for The Secret in Their Eyes (2009), El hombre de tu vida (2011) and El mismo amor, la misma lluvia (1999).

40. Emir Kusturica

Director | Underground

A Serbian film director. Born in 1954 in Sarajevo. Graduated in film directing at the prestigious Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU) in Prague in 1978. During his studies, he was awarded several times for his short movies including Guernica (1978), which took first prize at the Student's Film ...

41. Majid Majidi

Director | Bacheha-Ye aseman

Majid Majidi was born on April 17, 1959 in Tehran, Iran to a middle class family. He started acting in amateur theater groups at the age of fourteen. After receiving his high school diploma, he started studying art at the Institute of Dramatic Art in Tehran. After the Islamic Revolution of 1979, ...