My 25 Favorite Directorsby bowissey | created - 05 Mar 2015 | updated - 06 Mar 2015 | Public
and my favorite of their films.
Writer | Solyaris
The most famous Soviet film-maker since Sergei M. Eisenstein, Andrei Tarkovsky (the son of noted poet Arseniy Tarkovsky) studied music and Arabic in Moscow before enrolling in the Soviet film school V.G.I.K. He shot to international attention with his first feature, Ivan's Childhood (1962), which ...
Mirror (1975) Ivan's Childhood (1962) Stalker (1979) Nostalgia (1983) The Sacrifice (1987)
Director | Pierrot le fou
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 ...
Bande a Part (1964) Breathless (1960) Tout va Bien (1972) Goodbye to Language (2014) A Woman is a Woman (1961)
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 ...
Theorem (1968) Mamma Roma (1962) Accattone (1961) Oedipus Rex (1967) Salo (1972)
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 ...
Persona (1966) The Seventh Seal (1957) Wild Strawberries (1957) Winter Light (1962)
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...
Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1972) The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (1972) The Marriage of Maria Braun (1979) Fear of Fear (1975)
6. 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 ...
Late Spring (1949) Tokyo Story (1953) I Was Born But... (1932) Floating Weeds (1959)
7. 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).
Man with a Movie Camera (1929) One Sixth of the World (1926) Soviet Toys (1924)
8. Nicholas Ray
Director | Rebel Without a Cause
Nicholas Ray was born Raymond Nicholas Kienzle in 1911, in small-town Galesville, Wisconsin, to Lena (Toppen) and Raymond Joseph Kienzle, a contractor and builder. He was of German and Norwegian descent. Ray's early experience with film came with some radio broadcasting in high school. He left the ...
Rebel Without a Cause (1955) Bitter Victory (1957) Bigger Than Life (1956) Johnny Guitar (1954)
9. Luis Buñuel
Writer | Le charme discret de la bourgeoisie
The father of cinematic Surrealism and one of the most original directors in the history of the film medium, Luis Buñuel was given a strict Jesuit education (which sowed the seeds of his obsession with both religion and subversive behavior), and subsequently moved to Madrid to study at the ...
Belle de Jour (1967) The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972) L'Age D'or (1930) Un Chien Andalou (1929) Viridiana (1961)
10. Michael Powell
Director | A Matter of Life and Death
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 ...
The Red Shoes (1948) Black Narcissus (1947) The Tales of Hoffman (1951) 49th Parallel (1941) A Matter of Life and Death (1946)
11. Stanley Kubrick
Director | 2001: A Space Odyssey
Stanley Kubrick was born in Manhattan, New York City, to Sadie Gertrude (Perveler) and Jacob Leonard Kubrick, a physician. His family were Jewish immigrants (from Austria, Romania, and Russia). Stanley was considered intelligent, despite poor grades at school. Hoping that a change of scenery would ...
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) Dr. Strangelove (1964) Paths of Glory (1957) The Shining (1980) Full Metal Jacket (1987)
12. 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 ...
Alice in the Cities (1974) Paris, Texas (1984) Wings of Desire (1987) Lightning Over Water (1980)
13. 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...
High and Low (1963) Rashomon (1950) Ikiru (1952) Red Beard (1990)
14. Woody Allen
Writer | Manhattan
Woody Allen was born Allan Stewart Konigsberg on December 1, 1935 in Brooklyn, New York, to Nettie (Cherrie), a bookkeeper, and Martin Konigsberg, a waiter and jewellery engraver. His father was of Russian Jewish descent, and his maternal grandparents were Austrian Jewish immigrants. As a young boy...
Manhattan (1979) Annie Hall (1977) Midnight in Paris (2012)
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 ...
Jules and Jim (1962) Shoot the Piano Player (1960) The 400 Blows (1959)
Director | Ordet
The illegitimate son of a Danish farmer and his Swedish housekeeper, Carl Theodor Dreyer was born in Copenhagen on the 3th of February, 1889. He spent his early years in various foster homes before being adopted by the Dreyers at the age of two. Contrary to popular belief (perhaps nourished by the ...
Ordet (1955) The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) Day of the Wrath (1943)
17. 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 ...
Bicycle Thieves (1948) Umberto D (1952) Shoeshine (1946)
18. Charles Chaplin
Writer | The Great Dictator
Considered to be one of the most pivotal stars of the early days of Hollywood, Charlie Chaplin lived an interesting life both in his films and behind the camera. He is most recognized as an icon of the silent film era, often associated with his popular character, the Little Tramp; the man with the ...
City Lights (1931) The Gold Rush (1925) The Kid (1921) Modern Times (1936)
19. Vera Chytilová
Director | Dedictví aneb Kurvahosigutntag
Vera Chytilová was born on February 2, 1929, in Ostrava, Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic). She studied philosophy and architecture in Brno for two years, then worked as a technical draftsman, a designer, a fashion model, a photo re-toucher, then worked as a clapper girl for Barrandov Film ...
Daisies (1966) Something Different (1963) Fruit of Paradise (1970)
20. 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 ...
Sunset Blvd. (1950) Double Indemnity (1944) Some Like It Hot (1959) Sabrina (1954) The Apartment (1960)
21. David Lean
Director | Lawrence of Arabia
An important British filmmaker, David Lean was born in Croydon on March 25, 1908 and brought up in a strict Quaker family (ironically, as a child he wasn't allowed to go to the movies). During the 1920s, he briefly considered the possibility of becoming an accountant like his father before finding ...
Hobson's Choice (1954) Great Expectations (1946) Brief Encounter (1945) Doctor Zhivago (1965) The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
22. 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 ...
Taxi Driver (1976) Goodfellas (1990) Mean Streets (1973) The Aviator (2004)
Writer | Blowup
Michelangelo Antonioni was born in 1912 into a middle-class family and grew up in bourgeois surroundings of the Italian province. In Bologna he studied economics and commerce while he painted and also wrote criticism for a local newspaper. In 1939 he went to Rome and worked for the journal "Cinema"...
Blow Up (1966) L'Avventura (1960) La Notte (1961) L'Eclisse (1962) Red Desert (1964)
24. Joel Coen
Producer | The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Joel Coen was born on November 29, 1954 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA as Joel Daniel Coen. He is a producer and writer, known for The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018), A Serious Man (2009) and Fargo (1996). He has been married to Frances McDormand since April 1, 1984. They have one child.
(and Ethan Coen)
Raising Arizona (1987) O Brother Where Art Thou? (2000) Fargo (1996) Miller's Crossing (1990)
25. 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 ...
The Black Girl... (1969) Xala (1975) Moolade (2004)