Diretores francesesby mcottoni-2 | created - 23 Mar 2015 | updated - 06 May 2015 | Public
1. 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 ...
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...
3. Man Ray
Director | Home Movies
American painter and artist in various media who participated in a few films. He helped found the Dada movement and was the prime American participant in the Surrealist movement. An American expatriate to Paris in the 1920s, he was a member of the so-called "Lost Generation" of creative minds ...
Nascido nos Estados Unidos
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 ...
Nascido na Estônia
5. 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.
Nascido na Polônia
6. 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 ...
7. René Clair
Writer | Le silence est d'or
René Clair was born on November 11, 1898 in Paris, France as René-Lucien Chomette. He was a writer and director, known for Le silence est d'or (1947), The Grand Maneuver (1955) and Beauties of the Night (1952). He was married to Bronia Clair. He died on March 15, 1981 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, ...
8. Jean Vigo
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 ...
9. 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 ...
10. 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 ...
11. 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...
12. René Clément
Director | Jeux interdits
René Clément was one of the leading French directors of the post-World War II era. He directed what are regarded as some of the greatest films of the time, such as The Battle of the Rails (1946), Forbidden Games (1952) and The Day and the Hour (1963). He was later almost forgotten as a director. He...
Writer | Le salaire de la peur
Beginning his film career as a screenwriter, Henri-Georges Clouzot switched over to directing and in 1943 had the distinction of having his film Le Corbeau (1943) banned by both the German forces occupying France and the Free French forces fighting them, but for different reasons. He shot to ...
14. 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 ...
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 ...
16. 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. ...
18. Roger Vadim
Writer | Barbarella
Roger Vadim was born on January 26, 1928 in Paris, France as Roger Vladimir Plemiannikov. He was a writer and director, known for Barbarella (1968), The Game Is Over (1966) and No Sun in Venice (1957). He was married to Marie-Christine Barrault, Catherine Schneider, Jane Fonda, Annette Stroyberg ...
19. 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 ...
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 ...
21. 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 ...
22. 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.
23. Georges Franju
Director | Thomas l'imposteur
Georges Franju is a figure of immense importance in the history of French cinema, not primarily for his films (exceptional though many of these are) but for being the co-founder, with Henri Langlois, of the Cinematheque Française in 1937--France's most famous and important film archive.
He worked ...
24. 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.
Nascida na Bélgica
25. Jacques Demy
Director | Les parapluies de Cherbourg
Jacques Demy was born on June 5, 1931 in Pontchâteau, Loire-Atlantique, France. He was a director and writer, known for The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964), Une Chambre en Ville (1982) and The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967). He was married to Agnès Varda. He died on October 27, 1990 in Paris, France.
26. Pierre Étaix
Actor | Yoyo
Pierre Étaix was born on November 23, 1928 in Roanne, Loire, France as Pierre Léon Étaix. He was an actor and writer, known for Yoyo (1965), Tant qu'on a la santé (1966) and The Suitor (1962). He was married to Odile Crepin and Annie Fratellini. He died on October 14, 2016 in Paris, France.
27. 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.
28. Yves Robert
Producer | Le grand blond avec une chaussure noire
Yves Robert was born on June 21, 1920 in Saumur, Maine-et-Loire, France. He was an actor and producer, known for The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe (1972), War of the Buttons (1962) and Nous irons tous au paradis (1977). He was married to Danièle Delorme. He died on May 10, 2002 in Paris, ...
29. René Allio
Director | La vieille dame indigne
René Allio was born on March 8, 1924 in Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhône, France. He was a director and writer, known for La vieille dame indigne (1965), Les camisards (1972) and Moi, Pierre Rivière, ayant égorgé ma mère, ma soeur et mon frère... (1976). He died on ...
30. Claude Lelouch
Director | Un homme et une femme
Claude Lelouch was born on October 30, 1937 in Paris, France. He is a writer and director, known for A Man and a Woman (1966), Itinéraire d'un enfant gâté (1988) and Les misérables (1995). He is married to Valérie Perrin. He was previously married to Alessandra Martines, ...
32. Henri Verneuil
Director | I... comme Icare
Henri Verneuil was born on October 15, 1920 in Rodosto, Ottoman Empire as Achod Malakian. He was a director and writer, known for I... comme Icare (1979), The Sheep Has Five Legs (1954) and Mother (1991). He was married to Véronique Sedro and Françoise Bonnot. He died on January 11, 2002 in ...
Nascido na Turquia
Director | Missing
Costa-Gavras was born on February 12, 1933 in Loutra-Iraias, Greece as Konstantinos Gavras. He is a director and writer, known for Missing (1982), Z (1969) and Amen. (2002). He has been married to Michèle Ray-Gavras since 1968. They have two children.
Nascido na Grécia
34. 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, ...
Writer | Un bruit qui rend fou
Born in Brest, France, in 1922, Alain Robbe-Grillet initially studied mathematics and biology. He graduated from the Paris-based Institut National Agronomique (National Institute of Agronomy) in 1945 and embarked on a career of scientific research in the tropics and in France. Then at age 30 he ...
36. 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.
37. Jean Eustache
Editor | La maman et la putain
Jean Eustache was born on November 30, 1938 in Pessac, Gironde, France. He was an editor and director, known for The Mother and the Whore (1973), Mes Petites Amoureuses (1974) and Les photos d'Alix (1980). He died on November 3, 1981 in Paris, France.
38. Jean Rollin
Director | La nuit des traquées
Jean Rollin was born on November 3, 1938 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Hauts-de-Seine, France as Jean Michel Rollin Le Gentil. He was a director and writer, known for The Night of the Hunted (1980). He was married to Simone Rollin. He died on December 15, 2010 in Paris, France.
39. 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...
40. 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...
Nascida no Vietnã
Director | Der Name der Rose
Jean-Jacques Annaud is a French film director, screenwriter and producer, best known for directing Quest for Fire (1981), The Name of the Rose (1986), The Lover (1992), Seven Years in Tibet (1997) and Le dernier loup (2015). Annaud has received numerous awards for his work, including four César ...
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....
44. Claude Sautet
Writer | Nelly & Monsieur Arnaud
Claude Sautet was born on February 23, 1924 in Montrouge, Seine [now Hauts-de-Seine], France as Claude Marie Sautet. He was a writer and director, known for Nelly & Monsieur Arnaud (1995), Un Coeur en Hiver (1992) and The Things of Life (1970). He was married to Graziella Sautet. He died on ...
47. Luc Besson
Writer | Le cinquième élément
Luc Besson spent the first years of his life following his parents, scuba diving instructors, around the world. His early life was entirely aquatic. He already showed amazing creativity as a youth, writing early drafts of The Big Blue (1988) and The Fifth Element (1997), as an adolescent bored in ...
49. Gaspar Noé
Director | Irréversible
Nascido na Argentina
50. Claude Berri
Writer | Jean de Florette
Claude Berri was born on July 1, 1934 in Paris, France as Claude Berel Langmann. He was a producer and actor, known for Jean de Florette (1986), Germinal (1993) and The Two of Us (1967). He was married to Anne-Marie Rassam and Sylvie Gautrelet. He died on January 12, 2009 in Paris.
Director | Un long dimanche de fiançailles
Jean-Pierre Jeunet is a self-taught director who was very quickly interested by cinema, with a predilection for a fantastic cinema where form is as important as the subject. Thus he started directing TV commercials and video clips (such as Julien Clerc in 1984). At the same time he met designer/...
52. Leos Carax
Director | Holy Motors
Leos Carax made several short films and also wrote film criticism, then at the age of 24 years made a very strong first feature Boy Meets Girl (1984). The film played at the 1984 Cannes film festival and was a critical triumph. It paved the way for Carax's second feature Mauvais Sang (1986) (Bad ...
56. Christophe Gans
Director | Le pacte des loups
Born in 1960 in Antibes (in the South of France), Christophe Gans became crazy about movies at an early stage. As a teenager, he made a lot of samurai and kung fu super-8 films with his friends. At the end of the seventies, he founded the fanzine "Rhesus Zero" about B-movies. In 1980, he studied at...
66. Barbet Schroeder
Director | La virgen de los sicarios
Barbet Schroeder was born on August 26, 1941 in Tehran, Iran. He is a director and producer, known for La virgen de los sicarios (2000), Murder by Numbers (2002) and Single White Female (1992). He is married to Bulle Ogier.
Nascido no Irã
67. Michel Gondry
Director | Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
He grew up in Versailles with a family who was very influenced by pop music. When he was young, Gondry wanted to be a painter or an inventor. In the 80s he entered in an art school in Paris where he could develop his graphic skills and where he also met friends with whom he created a pop-rock band ...
68. Cédric Klapisch
Director | L'auberge espagnole
Cédric Klapisch was born on September 4, 1961 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Hauts-de-Seine, France. He is a director and writer, known for L'auberge espagnole (2002), Family Resemblances (1996) and When the Cat's Away (1996). He has been married to Lola Doillon since 2002. They have one child.
70. Sylvain Chomet
Director | Les triplettes de Belleville
Sylvain Chomet was born on November 10, 1963 in Maisons-Laffitte, Seine-et-Oise [now Yvelines, Île-de-France], France. He is a director and writer, known for The Triplets of Belleville (2003), L'illusionniste (2010) and The Old Lady and the Pigeons (1997).
72. Anne Fontaine
Writer | Coco avant Chanel
Anne Fontaine was born on July 15, 1959 in Luxembourg as Anne Sibertin-Blanc. She is an actress and writer, known for Coco Before Chanel (2009), The Innocents (2016) and Marvin ou la belle éducation (2017). She is married to Philippe Carcassonne. They have one child.
Nascida em Luxemburgo
73. Tony Gatlif
Director | Vengo
Nascido na Argélia
74. Olivier Assayas
Writer | Personal Shopper
Olivier Assayas is a French film director, screenwriter and film critic. He is best know for his films Demonlover (2002), Something in the Air (2012), Clouds of Sils Maria (2014) and Personal Shopper (2016).
Assayas is the son of French director/screenwriter Raymond Assayas, alias Jacques Rémy.
76. Jan Kounen
Director | Vibroboy
Nascido na Holanda
77. Christian Carion
Director | Joyeux Noël
Christian Carion was born in a family of farmers in the North of France. Despite nursing a passion for films since he was 13, he travels a scientific path. After passing his baccalauréat, he joins an engineering school affiliated to the french ministry of agriculture, thus answering his family's ...
79. Jacques Audiard
Writer | De rouille et d'os
Born in Paris, France, in 1952. Jacques Audiard's family has always been involved in movie business. His father, Michel, was a popular screenwriter and director and his uncle a producer. But in his teens he refused that world and wanted to be a teacher. He studied literature and philosophy at the ...
82. Julie Delpy
Actress | Trois couleurs: Blanc
Julie Delpy was born in Paris, France, in 1969 to Albert Delpy and Marie Pillet, both actors.
She was first featured in Jean-Luc Godard's Détective (1985) at the age of fourteen. She has starred in many American and European productions since then, including Disney's The Three Musketeers (...
Director | Sicilia!
Jean-Marie Straub was born on January 8, 1933 in Metz, Moselle, Lorraine, France. He is a director and editor, known for Sicilia! (1999), The Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach (1968) and Klassenverhältnisse (1984). He was previously married to Danièle Huillet.
89. 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, ...
90. 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,...
91. Fernand Léger
Director | Ballet mécanique
Fernand Léger was born on February 4, 1881 in Argentan, Orne, France as Joseph Fernand Henri Léger. He was a director and actor, known for Ballet mécanique (1924), L'inhumaine (1924) and Dreams That Money Can Buy (1947). He was married to Nadia Khodasevich and Jeanne-Augustine Lohy. He died ...
92. Marcel Duchamp
Director | Anémic cinéma
Famous Dada artist who shocked the world when he submitted a urinal signed "R.Mutt" to the 1917 first exhibition of the American Society of Independent Artists at the Armory Show in New York. It was reported in a press account that (Duchamp under pseudonym) J.C. Mutt of Philadelphia, little known ...
93. Sacha Guitry
Writer | Les perles de la couronne
French actor, dramatist and director, Sacha Guitry was born in 1885 in Saint-Petersburg where his father, actor Lucien Guitry, was under contract with the city's French theater. Early on, Sacha knew he was going to be an artist. Therefore, his studies were mediocre.
His acting debuts were not too ...
Nascido na Rússia
94. Julien Duvivier
Writer | Pépé le Moko
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,...
97. Jean Delannoy
Director | Dieu a besoin des hommes
Jean Delannoy began his film career in the 1920s as an actor. By the 1930s he had switched careers and become an editor, then a short-subjects director. By the mid-'30s he was a full-fledged director, and soon garnered a reputation as a sensitive, understated craftsman with a thorough command of ...
98. 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 ...
99. Jean Genet
Writer | Poison
Jean-Paul Sartre likens Jean Genet to a saint for a very particular reason, a reason that is apparent in the title of the biography, but which does not translate in the English title--"Saint Genet: Actor and Martyr"--because meaning and referentiality are lost. The French title is "Saint Genet: ...
100. René Vautier
Director | Avoir 20 ans dans les Aurès
René Vautier was born on January 15, 1928 in Camaret-sur-Mer, Finistère, France as René André Georges Vautier. He was a director and actor, known for Avoir 20 ans dans les Aurès (1972), Anneaux d'or (1959) and La folle de Toujane (1974). He was married to Soazig Chappedelaine. He died on ...