5 Mar 2010

Top 50 European Directors Currently Working: 40-31

So after much careful deliberation, we here at LastSite have compiled a list of the greatest European directors currently working within the field. Each has been rated and the results are a comprehensive top 50. Directors are scored by their average IMDB score (all their film scores divided by total films), the amount of awards they have won and been nominated for and finally three categories judged by LastSite (Style, Originality, and Filmography, that being the strengh of their entire body of work) Obviously they'll be some disagreement so feel free to comment. Hopefully similar lists will be compiled for the rest of the world.

50 - 41 can be seen here

All profiles taken from either IMDB, The Auteurs or Wikipedia.
*Awards and nominations compiled from the following awarding bodies: Cannes, Sundance, Berlin Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Academy Awards, BAFTAs, Golden Globes and European film institute awards.

40. Terence Davies (UK, 1955)

Wiki Profile:

Terence Davies (born 10 November 1945) is an English screenwriter - film director, sometime novelist and actor. As a filmmaker, Davies is noted for his recurring themes of emotional (and sometimes physical) endurance, the influence of memory on everyday life and the potentially crippling effects of dogmatic religiosity on the emotional life of individuals and societies. Stylistically, Davies' works are notable for their symmetrical compositions, "symphonic" structure and measured pace. He is also the sole screenwriter of all his films. Contrary to the credits accorded him on IMDB.com, Terence Davies has never acted professionally.
Davies was born in Liverpool to working-class Catholic parents, the youngest child in a family of ten children (seven surviving). After leaving school at sixteen, he worked for ten years as a shipping-office clerk and as an unqualified accountant, before leaving Liverpool to attend Coventry Drama School. While there, he wrote the screenplay for what became his first autobiographical short, Children (1976), filmed under the auspices of the BFI Production Board. After this introduction to filmmaking, Davies went to the National Film School, completing Madonna and Child (1980), a continuation of the story of Davies' alter ego, Robert Tucker, covering his years as a clerk in Liverpool. Three years later, he completed the trilogy with Death and Transfiguration (1983), in which he hypothesizes the circumstances of his death. These works went on to be screened together at film festivals throughout Europe and the U.S. as The Terence Davies Trilogy, winning numerous awards. Davies, who is gay,[1] frequently explores gay themes in his films.[2]
Due to funding difficulties and his refusal to compromise, Davies' output has been comparatively sporadic, with only four feature films released to date. The first two, Distant Voices, Still Lives and The Long Day Closes, are very autobiographical films set in forties and fifties Liverpool; his two most recent films, The Neon Bible and The House of Mirth, are adaptations of novels by John Kennedy Toole and Edith Wharton, respectively.
His intended fifth feature, Sunset Song, an adaptation of the novel by Lewis Grassic Gibbon, fell through. Scottish and international backers left the project after the BBC, Channel 4, and the UK Film Council each rejected proposals for final funds. Davies supposedly was considering Kirsten Dunst for the lead role before the project was postponed.
He produced two works for radio, A Walk To The Paradise Gardens, an original radio play broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in 2001, and a two-part radio adaptation of Virginia Woolf's The Waves, broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in September 2007.
His most recent released work is his first documentary Of Time and the City, which was premiered out of competition at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival. The work uses vintage newsreel footage, contemporary popular music and a narration by Davies himself as a bittersweet paean to his hometown of Liverpool. It has received rave reviews on its premiere.

Filmography (By IMDB Votes):
(7.29) - Of Time and the City (2008)
(7.19) - The Long Day Closes (1992)
(7.10) - Children (1976)
(7.10) - Madonna and Child (1980)
(6.80) - The House of Mirth (2000)
(5.88) - The Neon Bible (1995)

Trade Mark: Documentary style, strong connections to British culture
Last Site Favorite Film: Of Time and the City
Upcoming: None known as yet

Average IMDB Rating: 7.08
Awards: 2
Nominations: 6
Style (LastSite Rating out of 20) 14
Originality (LastSite Rating out of 20) 13
Filmography (LastSite Rating out of 20): 14
Total: 56.08

39. Luc Besson (France, 1959)

Auteurs Profile:

Luc Besson was born in Paris on March 18, 1959, and spent most of his childhood living in the idyllic settings of various Mediterranean hideaways where his parents worked as diving instructors.With Besson’s surroundings and family influences, it seemed assured that he would embark on a similar maritime career. From the age of 10, after an encounter with a friendly dolphin, Besson was determined to become a marine biologist, specializing in the study of the species.
Besson studied for this life plan throughout his teens until, at 17, a diving accident prevented him from ever diving again. His long-held dream cut short, Besson redirected his sights, deciding that he would become a filmmaker. Besson dropped out of school to seek work in the French film industry, and started making his own experimental films in super-8. At the age of 19, he moved to Los Angeles.
In 1983, after three years of experience as an Assistant Director, Besson made his first feature, Le Dernier Combat. Selected for competition in the Avoriaz Science Fiction Film Festival, the film won two major awards from the festival jury, which included Alan J. Pakula and Jean-Jacques Annaud among its members. It was nominated for a Cesar Award and went on to win 12 awards around the world.
Besson’s second film, Subway, starred Christopher Lambert in a Cesar-winning performance (one of 13 Cesar nominations garnered by the film), as a thief on the run who becomes involved with a fantastic subculture of Parisians living in the city’s underground. The film gained Besson an international reputation, and today it is regarded worldwide as a cult classic.
Besson’s 1988 film The Big Blue his first film made in English expressed the dreams of his Mediterranean youth by casting Jean Reno as an Italian diver with an unquenchable love for the sea. The version distributed in the U.S. suffered various unauthorized alterations, including a changes to the ending and to Eric Serra’s score. The original version of Besson’s film, nominated for seven Cesars, was a huge success throughout most of the world and is one of the top five films in French history. The original director’s cut was released on DVD last year.
Besson’s La Femme Nikita was the director’s first global sensation, a film that inspired remakes in both the U.S. and Hong Kong. The story of a feral, drug-addicted girl forced to train as a government hit-woman made international stars of leads Anne Parrilaud and Jean Reno and spawned a new form of thriller: the neo-noir action film. This influence still reverberates throughout world cinema.

Filmography (By IMDB Votes):

     (8.60) - Léon (1994)

    (7.50) - Nikita (1990)
    (7.40) - Le grand bleu (1988)
    (7.40) - The Fifth Element (1997)
    (7.00) - Angel-A (2005)
    (6.89) - Le dernier combat (1983)
    (6.69) - Atlantis (1991)
    (6.20) - Subway (1985)
    (5.91) - L'avant dernier (1981)
    (5.90) - Arthur et les Minimoys (2006)
    (5.15) - Arthur et la vengeance de Maltazard (2009)

Trade Mark: Often casts Jean Reno. Music always by Eric Serra. Typically, during the opening-titles, the camera moves towards something important for the movie, but looks down until the important part of credits was shown, then swings up, now looking at a place or character. Often features fully enclosed sets with no natural lighting. Frequently has a shot of someone being slapped, focusing on the slapper's hand momentarily beforehand (Fifth Element, The Messenger, The Professional, La Femme Nikita)
Films usually feature a scene that is edited into real-time. In The Fifth Element (1997), Vito Cornelius is given 20 seconds to speak, does so for exactly 20 seconds. As seen in Taxi and The Transporter, very distinctive car chase scenes focusing on very low camera shots very close to the front bumper of a fast moving (and often rather mundane) car (transporters Renault 5) with a lot of sideways swerving movment (though traffic or other). Nearly always to a French hiphop soundtrack.

Last Site Favorite Film: Leon
Upcoming: Les Aventures Extrodinaries D'adele Blanc-Sec

Average IMDB Rating: 6.67
Awards: 1
Nominations: 1
Style (LastSite Rating out of 20) 17
Originality (LastSite Rating out of 20) 16
Filmography (LastSite Rating out of 20): 15
Total: 56.67

38. Christian Mungiu (Romania, 1968)

Wiki Profile:

Cristian Mungiu (b. 1968, Iaşi) is a Romanian filmmaker, winner of the Palme d'Or in 2007.
After studying English literature at the University of Iaşi, he worked for a few years as a teacher and as a journalist. After that, he enrolled at the University of Film in Bucharest to study film directing. After graduating in 1998, Mungiu made several short films. In 2002, he debuted with his first feature film, Occident. Occident enjoyed critical success, winning prizes in several film festivals and being featured in Director’s Fortnight at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival.
In 2007 Mungiu wrote and directed his second feature, 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days. The film was received enthusiastically, attracting critical praise and being selected in the official competition at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, where it eventually won the coveted Palme d'Or for feature film,[1] marking the first time that prize was awarded to a Romanian filmmaker.
Mungiu has said that early Miloš Forman and Robert Altman are important filmmakers who influenced him. He also respects the realism of Bicycle Thieves, among other famous realistic films. Mungiu is the brother of political analyst Alina Mungiu-Pippidi.

Filmography (By IMDB Votes):

(8.06) - Amintiri din epoca de aur (2009) 
(7.87) - Occident (2002)
(7.11) - Zapping (2000)
(7.02) - Lost and Found (2005/I)

Trade Mark: Realism in films
Last Site Favorite Film: 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days
Upcoming: None known as yet

Average IMDB Rating: 7.59
Awards: 5
Nominations: 1
Style (LastSite Rating out of 20) 16
Originality (LastSite Rating out of 20) 15
Filmography (LastSite Rating out of 20): 13
Total: 57.59

37. Lukas Moodysson (Sweden, 1969)

Auteurs Profile:

With his first two feature efforts, Fucking Åmål (1998) and Together (2000), Swedish filmmaker Lukas Moodysson earned a strong following for his acute, gentle sense of social satire and his remarkably well-drawn and sympathetic characters. Though his third feature, the soul-shredding Lilja 4-Ever, marked a notably dark turn in terms of content for Moodysson, his sense of characterization was perhaps stronger than ever, and the stark tale of a young Russian girl forced into prostitution gained him international acclaim. A native of the South Sweden burg of Lund, Moodysson was the son of hardworking farmers who hailed from the small community of Smaland. When the opportunity arose for Moodysson’s father to study engineering in the 1960s, he relocated to the university town of Lund, funding his education with work at a local hardware store; it was there that Karl Frederik Lukas Moodysson was born in January of 1969. The future director was exposed to an early film influence at age 12 when he watched the film Fanny and Alexander; he strongly relating to the character of Alexander due to his parents’ recent divorce. A misfit in school who turned to poetry to express himself, Moodysson penned five poetry collections and a novel by the age of 23. He later turned to film in order to explore the world around him, and in the process he claims he became less “self-centered.”
Moodysson’s film studies began at Stockholm’s Dramatiska Institutet, and following his graduation, he helmed a trio of short films that found his abilities as a filmmaker growing considerably. By the mid-‘90s Moodysson was ready to make the leap to features, and it was the burgeoning director’s boredom that ultimately lead to his debut feature, Fucking Åmål. The tale of a teenage girl coming of age in a small town where nothing ever happens, the film won Moodysson international attention for both his smart characters and the tenderness with which he portrayed them. His follow-up feature, Together, triumphantly avoided the dreaded sophomore slump to tell the softly satirical tale of an idealistic commune. With characters equally as well-drawn and multi-dimensional as those in Fucking Åmål, it was this film that showed a filmmaker truly coming into his own and subtly shifting into a notably more political style. Christened Sweden’s Angry Young Man and reviled by many for his defiant speech upon winning the awards for Best Screenplay and Best Directon at the Guldbagge Awards (Sweden’s main film awards) for Fucking Åmål, Moodysson takes the reputation in stride with the belief that his films will ultimately be his legacy.
If Together hinted at a more politicized direction for the filmmaker, his third feature, Lilja 4-Ever, unquestionably solidified his growing concern with international politics and their effects on the downtrodden. After witnessing Gothenburg’s anti-capitalist riots in 2001, Moodysson’s political passion was re-ignited, and he was inspired to write the unrelentingly bleak tale of a young girl left alone when her mother abandons her to seek out a better life in the United States. Determined to expose the dark side of capitalistic society, he crafted a horrifically affecting film that truly made the audience experience the hopeless plight of its protagonist. Swearing to avoid the lure of Miramax and the career path of fellow Swedish director Lasse Halleström, Moodysson eschewed the acceptance of the West in order to retain creative control of his films and to avoid moving to Los Angeles. In 2002, it was announced that the remake rights to Together had been acquired by Focus Features and that the film was to be directed by filmmaker Miguel Arteta.

Filmography (By IMDB Votes):

(7.90) - Lilja 4-ever (2002)
(7.80) - Fucking Åmål (1998)
(7.40) - Tillsammans (2000)
(6.99) - Mammoth (2009)
(6.86) - Bara prata lite (1997)
(5.44) - Container (2006)
(4.64) - Ett hål i mitt hjärta (2004)

Trade Mark: Soft Focus Shots, Political subject matter
Last Site Favorite Film: Lilja 4-ever
Upcoming: None as yet

Average IMDB Rating: 6.70
Awards: 2
Nominations: 2
Style (LastSite Rating out of 20) 16
Originality (LastSite Rating out of 20) 15
Filmography (LastSite Rating out of 20): 16
Total: 57.70

36. Paolo Sorrentino (Italy, 1970)

Wiki Profile:

Paolo Sorrentino (born May 31, 1970) is an Italian film director and screenwriter. He was born in Naples.
Sorrentino's first film as screenwriter, Polvere di Napoli, was released in 1998. He began directing several short movies, like L'amore non ha confini, in 1998, and La notte lunga, in 2001. His debut with a long feature is One Man Up (L'uomo in più), awarded with the Nastro D'Argento for the best young director.
He achieved international recognition in 2004 for his stylish thriller, The Consequences of Love (Le conseguenze dell'amore). The film, which explores the mindset of a lonely businessman being used as a pawn by the Mafia, won many awards and was nominated for the Palme D'Or at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.[1]
Sorrentino's next feature, The Family Friend (L'amico di famiglia), was shown at the Cannes Film Festival in May[1] and the London Film Festival in October 2006. It tells the story of a malicious septuagenarian loan-shark who develops a fixation with the beautiful daughter of one of his customers. Sorrentino made his acting debut with a cameo appearance in Nanni Moretti's film The Caiman (Il caimano), which was also shown at the 2006 London Film Festival.
Sorrentino's latest film, Il Divo, is a dramatised biopic of Giulio Andreotti, the controversial Italian politician. The feature, which won the Prix du Jury at Cannes Film Festival, sees Sorrentino reunited with The Consequences of Love star, Toni Servillo, who plays the part of Andreotti.
As of January 2009, Sorrentino is working on the screenplay for a film version of Niccolò Ammaniti's Ti prendo e ti porto via (Steal You Away). [2]
Variety reported in May 2009 that his new film, This Must Be The Place, will mark the English-language feature debut of Italian filmmaker. The plot of his latest work will centre around a middle-aged wealthy rock star, played by two time academy award winner Sean Penn, who becomes bored in his retirement and takes on the quest of finding his father’s executioner, an ex-Nazi war criminal who is a refugee in the U.S. The film is based on a script co-written by Sorrentino and Umberto Contarello and This Must Be The Place is scheduled to be released in 2010.

Filmography (By IMDB Votes):

(7.69) - Le conseguenze dell'amore (2004) 
(7.63) - L'uomo in più (2001)
(7.61) - Sabato, domenica e lunedì (2005) (TV)
(7.39) - Il divo (2008)
(6.96) - La partita lenta (2009)
(6.90) - L'amico di famiglia (2006)

Trade Mark: Long wide angle shots, makes stories seem epic
Last Site Favorite Film: Consequences Of Love
Upcoming: This Must be the Place (2010/2011)

Average IMDB Rating: 7.36
Awards: 1
Nominations: 5
Style (LastSite Rating out of 20) 16
Originality (LastSite Rating out of 20) 16
Filmography (LastSite Rating out of 20): 13
Total: 58.36

35. Christian Carion (France, 1963)


Carion, having studied to be an engineer, joined the ministry of Agriculture, while continuing to cultivate a passion for cinema which had begun in his teens.His meeting with producer Christophe Rossignon would be decisive. He directed his first feature in 2001, Une Hirondelle A Fait Le Printemps, starring Michel Serrault and Mathilde Seigner, which on its French release attracted some 2.4 million viewers.
In 2005, his second feature Merry Christmas, a historical piece devoted to the fraternization between enemy troops which took place in the trenched in 1914 during the first great war. It topped the 2 million viewer mark on its French release and was highly acclaimed durring its presentation in official selection at the 2005 Cannes Festival. The film continued its career in Hollywood with nominations for Best Foreign Language Film for both the Academy Awards and the Golden Globes.

Filmography (By IMDB Votes):
(7.80) - Joyeux Noël (2005)
(7.22) - L'affaire Farewell (2009)
(6.92) - Une hirondelle a fait le printemps

Trade Mark: Casts fellow directors Emir Kusturica and G Canet, Films tend to focus on European history.
Last Site Favorite Film: L'affaire Farewell
Upcoming: None known as yet

Average IMDB Rating: 7.31
Awards: 0
Nominations: 4
Style (LastSite Rating out of 20) 17
Originality (LastSite Rating out of 20) 14
Filmography (LastSite Rating out of 20): 17
Total: 59.31

34. Philippe Garrel (France, 1948)

Auteurs Profile:

Philippe Garrel is a French director, cinematographer, screenwriter, editor and producer. His movies have won him awards at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival and Venice Film Festival. He was born in Paris in 1948, the son of actor Maurice Garrel. He started his film career early directing and writing his first film Lés Enfants Désaccordés in 1964. Garrel met Nico in 1969 when she performed the song “The Falconer” for his film Le Lit de la Vierge and the couple were soon living together. Nico first appeared in the 1972 film La Cicatrice Intériure (aka the Inner Scar). Songs included in the film appear on Nico’s album Desertshore, which features stills from the film on the front and back covers. Nico appeared in a number of Garrel’s films after this. Their ten year relationship ended in 1979.
Prix Jean Vigo for the film L’Enfant Secret. He won Perspectives du Cinéma Award at the Cannes Film Festival in 1984 for his 1983 film la Nuit Liberté. Over a ten year period, Garrel enjoyed a good run of critical recognition at the Venice Film Festival. In 1991, he won a Silver Lion for his film J’entends Plus la Guitare which was nominated for a Golden Lion. La Vent de la Nuit was nominated for a Golden Lion in 1999. Two years later, Sauvage Innocence was nominated fo r a Golden Lion and won the FIPRESCI Prize. His 2005 film Les Amants Réguliers won him the Silver Lion, for Best Director. He is also the father of famous French actor Louis Garrel, who is the main actor of Les Amants Réguliers.

Filmography (By IMDB Votes):

(8.09) - Le révélateur (1968) 
(8.08) - L'enfant secret (1979)
(8.02) - Les hautes solitudes (1974)
(7.83) - Les baisers de secours (1989)
(7.71) - La cicatrice intérieure (1972)
(7.59) - Le coeur fantôme (1996)
(7.41) - La naissance de l'amour (1993)
(7.39) - Sauvage innocence (2001)
(7.28) - Le lit de la vierge (1969)
(7.22) - Les amants réguliers (2005)
(6.65) - La frontière de l'aube (2008)
(6.48) - Le vent de la nuit (1999)

Trade Mark: Often casts his son, Louis Garrel
Last Site Favorite Film: Regular Lovers
Upcoming: None known as yet

Average IMDB Rating: 7.49
Awards: 5
Nominations: 5
Style (LastSite Rating out of 20) 16
Originality (LastSite Rating out of 20) 12
Filmography (LastSite Rating out of 20): 14
Total: 59.49

33. Nikita Mikhalkov (Russia, 1945)

IMDB Profile:

Russian "Spielberg" - Nikita Mikhalkov, also an Oscar winner, is the son of the communist poet Sergei Vladimirovich Mikhalkov who wrote the lyrics of the Soviet national anthem and had strong connections to the Communist Party. Nikita Mikhalkov's mother, Natalya Petrovna Konchalovskaya, was also a poet and daughter of famous painter Pyotr Petrovich Konchalovsky by his wife Olga Vasilievna Surikova, and by her the great granddaughter of another great painter Vasily Surikov. And then last, but not least, Nikita Mikhalkov is the brother of Andrei Konchalovsky, also a film director who, unlike Nikita, has worked in the US.

Mikhalkov won the Academy Award for the Best Foreign Film "Burnt by the Sun" Utomlyonnye solntsem (1994), but is also well known as an actor, appearing in over 40 films including _Sibirskij tsiryulnik (1998)_ where he played the Russian Tsar Alexander III opposite Julia Ormond.

Mikhailkov has impressive long list of wins at Cannes, Venice, Moscow, Karlovy Vary, European Film Awards etc.

Following his Oscar win, Nikita Mikhalkov, has won a parliamentary seat in Viktor Chernomyrdin's party. He is always in the spotlight, especially in Moscow, where he lives.

Filmography (By IMDB Votes):

(7.89) - Utomlyonnye solntsem (1994) 
(7.79) - 12 (2007)
(7.78) - Urga (1991)
(7.58) - Oci ciornie (1987)
(7.50) - Sibirskiy tsiryulnik (1998)
(7.45) - Rodnya (1981)
(7.20) - Raba lyubvi (1976)
(7.20) - Pyat vecherov (1979)
(7.05) - Bez svideteley (1983)

Trade Mark: Follows a Hollywood approach to film making since the fall of the soviet empire
Last Site Favorite Film: Burnt by the Sun
Upcoming: Burnt by the Sun 2

Average IMDB Rating: 7.54
Awards: 5
Nominations: 5
Style (LastSite Rating out of 20) 13
Originality (LastSite Rating out of 20) 16
Filmography (LastSite Rating out of 20): 12
Total: 59.54

32. Andrei Zvyaginstev (Russia, 1964)

IMDB Profile:

Andrei Zvyagintsev - Russian actor and film-maker noted for his exceptionally successful debut in directing with award-winning drama The Return (2003). Born on February, 6, 1964 in a northern city of Novisibirsk, he graduated from the Novosibirsk Actors School in 1984 and started to play on stage in provincial theatres. In the early 1990s he came to Moscow - the centre of film industry - with ambition to star in movies. Moscow was tough for a newcomer. As Znyagintsev put it later in one of his interviews: "I was hungry, in need of work, I auditioned for everything. I even did not have money to buy a bus ticket." From 1992 to 2000 he appeared as "extra" on numerous TV series and feature films but with no positive results. Suddenly his friend offered him a job as director at REN TV, an independent production company that makes cop shows and day-time soaps. When he got his chance to direct, Zvyagintsev did his best, he directed several episodes for popular TV series and impressing producers with his skills, he got the offer to direct a feature length. The Return - a low budget, artful family drama- turned out to be a great success for Zvyagintsev and an international triumph for Russian cinema. The film won the Venice Festival's Golden Lion in 2003-the first Russian film to be awarded such an honor for a number of years.

When Zvyagintsev returned in Moscow from Venice, he was given a hero's welcome. He unexpectedly found himself in the centre of a media storm and after a series of interviews and appearances on TV he became a recluse. It is rumored that he is preparing (of has already started) the shooting of his second film every detail of which is a top secret. Although no official information is available to verify or dispel these rumors, the actor-turned-director is likely to face a dilemma whether to remain a single masterpiece creator in the film history or to make his next film, which can maintain his reputation of a genius. There is a risk, however, should his second film be a failure, the critics will regard the success of The Return as a fluke.

Filmography (By IMDB Votes):
(8.09) - Vozvrashchenie (2003)
(7.57) - Izgnanie (2007)

Trade Mark: Deals with family issues, strong technical connection with soviet new wave films such as 'Cranes are flying'

Last Site Favorite Film: The Return
Upcoming: None as Yet

Average IMDB Rating: 7.83
Awards: 7
Nominations: 1
Style (LastSite Rating out of 20) 16
Originality (LastSite Rating out of 20) 15
Filmography (LastSite Rating out of 20): 13
Total: 59.83

31. Agnes Varda (Belgium, 1928)

Auteurs Profile:

Agnès Varda has been called the “Grandmother of the New Wave,” a well-meaning if curious tribute for a woman who directed her first feature film at the age of 26. Born in Brussels, Varda studied literature and psychology at the Sorbonne, and art history at the École du Louvre. She’d originally wanted to be a museum curator, but a night-school course in photography changed her mind. Rapidly establishing herself as a top-rank still photographer, Varda became the official cameraperson for the Theatre Festival of Avignon and the Theatre National Populaire, and then pursued a career as a photojournalist.
Encouraged by filmmaker Alain Resnais, Varda made her movie directorial bow in 1955 with La Pointe Courte. She based the film on a William Faulkner short story, to which she was attracted because of its parallel plotlines (a recurring device in her later films). That same year, she accompanied another future New Wave director, Chris Marker, to China as visual advisor for his Dimanche a Pekin. Varda’s international reputation was secured with her 1961 feature Cleo de 5 a 7, which related in “real time” the anguish of a pop singer awaiting the results of her cancer tests. Her next film, and her first in color, was Le Bonheur (1965), a pioneering feminist manifesto wherein a misguided protagonist convinces himself that he can live copacetically with both his wife and his mistress.
Many of Varda’s subsequent productions were heavily influenced by her political views. While visiting America with her director-husband Jacques Demy in 1968, she directed two tractlike short subjects, one of which, Black Panthers (1969), was a paean to activist Huey Newton. Her 1970 production Nausicaa, a TV documentary about Greeks living in France, was so politically volatile that (according to Varda) it was banned outright by Greece’s military government. Varda continued experimenting with new forms into the ‘70s; her German documentary Daguerreotypes (1974) was comprised of 4000 still photos (an extension of Varda’s fondness for “personifying” inanimate objects), while Response de Femmes (1975) was lensed in 8-millimeter. In 1977, she formed her own production company, Cine-Tamaris. Its first effort was One Sings, the Other Doesn’t, a celebration of “the happiness of being a woman” that proved to be a worldwide success. Varda would not make another theatrical film until the highly acclaimed 1985 docudrama Vagabond, a bleak, powerful portrait of an ill-fated young drifter (played by Sandrine Bonnaire, who won a César for her performance).
In addition to her own films, Varda has written dialogue for the works of others, most notably for Bernardo Bertolucci’s Last Tango in Paris. She also served as producer for her husband’s Lady Oscar. As Demy lay dying in 1990, Varda expressed her love and appreciation for her husband in the eloquent Jacquot de Nantes (1991); though many believed that this would be her farewell film, she was back in 1995 with Les Cent et Une Nuits. Among the many awards bestowed upon Varda have been the Prix Melies for Cleo de 5 a 7 and the Prix Louis Delluc and Berlin Film Festival Special Award for Le Bonheur.

Filmography (By IMDB Votes):

(7.96) - Les plages d'Agnès (2008)
(7.88) - Cléo de 5 à 7 (1962)
(7.67) - Sans toit ni loi (1985)
(7.63) - Le bonheur (1965)
(7.53) - Cinévardaphoto (2004)
(7.40) - Ulysse (1982)
(7.30) - Jacquot de Nantes (1991)
(7.13) - La Pointe-Courte (1955)
(7.02) - Daguerréotypes (1976)
des lunettes noires) (1961)
(6.94) - Loin du Vietnam (1967)
(6.92) - Du côté de la côte (1958)
(6.80) - L'opéra-mouffe (1958)
(6.64) - Kung-fu master! (1988)
(6.61) - Jane B. par Agnès V. (1988)
(6.53) - Black Panthers (1968)
(6.47) - Les créatures (1966)
(6.17) - Les cent et une nuits de Simon Cinéma (1995)

Trade Mark: Her bowl-shaped bobbed haircut.
Last Site Favorite Film: Gleaners and I
Upcoming: None known as yet

Average IMDB Rating: 7.10
Awards: 6
Nominations: 5
Style (LastSite Rating out of 20) 13
Originality (LastSite Rating out of 20) 15
Filmography (LastSite Rating out of 20): 14
Total: 60.10


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