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6 Mar 2010

Top 50 European Directors Currently Working: The Top Ten!


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.


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.

Read the rest of the list here: 50-41, 40-31, 30-21, 20-11

Or just read the below list:

50 Mia Hansen-Love
49 Chris Kraus
48 Guillame Canet
47 Andrea Arnold
46 Christophe Honore
45 Tomas Alfredson
44 Arnauld Desplechin
43 Pedro Costa
42 Oliver Hirschbiegel
41 Francois Ozon
40 Terence Davies
39 Luc Besson
38 Christian Mungiu
37 Lukas Moodysson
36 Paolo Sorrentino
35 Christian Carion
34 Phillipe Garrel
33 Nikita Mikhalakov
32 Andrei Zvyaginstev
31 Agnes Varda
30 Shane Meadows
29 Kira Muratova
28 Julio Medem
27 Tom Tykwer
26 Giuseppe Tornatore
25 Claire Denis
24 Michel Gondry
23 Bernardo Bertolucci
22 Fatih Akin
21 Danny Boyle
20 Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne
19 Nanni Moretti
18 Mike Leigh
17 Nuri Bilge Ceylan
16 Jacques Audiard
15 Claude Chabrol
14 Ridley Scott
13 Christopher Nolan
12 Bela Tarr
11 Jean-Pierre Jeunet


10. Emir Kusturica (Serbia, 1954)

IMDB Profile: A Serbian film director. Born in 1954 in Sarajevo. Graduated film directing at the prestigious Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU) in Prague in 1978. During the studies, awarded several times for his short movies including Guernica (1978) which took first prize at Student's Film Festival in Karlovy Vary. After graduation, he directs several TV movies in hometown, Sarajevo. In collaboration with the screenwriter Abdulah Sidran in 1981. he made the successful feature debut _Sjecas li se, Dolly Bell (1981)_ which won best first film Golden Lion in Venice Film Festival. Their subsequent work, human political drama Otac na sluzbenom putu (1985) unanimously won top prize at 1985. Cannes Film Festival as well as FIPRESCI prize and was nominated for Best Foreign Language Oscar. In 1989. he won Best Director award at Cannes for Dom za vesanje (1988), movie about the life of gypsy family in Yugoslavia scripted by Gordan Mihic. Was professor of film directing in USA. His first English language movie, Arizona Dream (1993) starring Johnny Depp, Jerry Lewis and Faye Dunaway and scripted by his USA student, David Atkins was awarded Silver Bear at 1993 Berlin Film Festival. Underground (1995), bitter surrealistic comedy about Balkan, scripted by Dusan Kovacevic, took him second Golden Palm at Cannes Film Festival in 1995.
In 1993, he challenged Vojislav Seselj, leader of Serbia's ultranationalist movement, to a duel. He suggested that it should be in the heart of Belgrade, at high noon (!), with any weapon Mr. Seselj chooses. Vojislav Seselj refused this offer saying that he "didn't want to be accused of a murder of an artist".
During the 1995 Belgrade International Film Festival Kusturica knocked down Nebojsa Pajkic, the leader of the New Serbian Right movement. Symbolically enough, Mrs. Pajkic tried to protect her husband by hitting Kusturica with a small bag, a present from Radovan Karadzic, the leader of Bosnian Serbs.
According to Swedish paper Dagens Nyheter 28 January, 2001, Emir Kusturica and Zabranjeno Pusenje recently had a gig in Moscow.
Since 1986 he has played bass guitar in "Zabranjeno Pusenje" (meaning Smoking Forbidden, or no smoking) a rock band from his hometown Sarajevo. In 1992 the lead singer of the band, Nele Karajlic, moved to Belgrade. In 1997 Kusturica and Karajlic started a new "faction" of the band called "The No Smoking Orchestra". The rest of the original band members stayed in Sarajevo and continued their own faction of the band. Super 8 Stories (2001) is a documentary about "No Smoking".
One of only five directors whose two movies won Golden Palm at the Cannes Film Festival, other four being Francis Ford Coppola (The Conversation (1974) and Apocalypse Now (1979) ), Shohei Imamura (Narayama-bushi kô (1983) and Unagi (1997) ), Bille August (Pelle erobreren (1987) and Den goda viljan (1992) ) and Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne (Rosetta (1999) and L'enfant (2005) ).

Filmography (By IMDB Votes):

(8.09) - Dom za vesanje (1988)
(8.00) - Underground (1995)
(8.00) - Crna macka, beli macor (1998)
(7.69) - Zivot je cudo (2004)
(7.68) - Otac na sluzbenom putu (1985)
(7.67) - Sjecas li se Dolly Bell (1981)
(7.44) - "Zivot je cudo" (2006)
(7.30) - Arizona Dream (1993)
(6.80) - Zavet (2007)
(6.79) - Super 8 Stories (2001)
(6.46) - Nevjeste dolaze (1978) (TV)
(6.44) - Guernica (1978)
(6.39) - Bife 'Titanik' (1979) (TV)
(6.32) - Maradona by Kusturica (2008)
Trade Mark: Uses comedy to convey important political issues
Last Site Favorite Film: Underground
Upcoming: Cool Water (2011)

Average IMDB Rating: 7.24
Awards: 11
Nominations: 7
Style (LastSite Rating out of 20) 16
Originality (LastSite Rating out of 20) 16
Filmography (LastSite Rating out of 20): 16
Total: 73.24

9. Aleksandr Sokurov (Russia, 1951)

Auteurs Profile:

Alexander Nikolayevich Sokurov (Russian: Алекса́ндр Никола́евич Соку́ров) (b. June 14, 1951, Podorwikha, Irkutsk Oblast) is a Russian filmmaker from St Petersburg who has been hailed as successor to renowned director Andrei Tarkovsky.
Sokurov was born in Siberia in the officer’s family on June 14, 1951. He graduated from the History Department of the Nizhny Novgorod University in 1974 and entered one of the VGIK studios the following year. There he made friends with Tarkovsky and was deeply influenced by his Mirror.
Most of Sokurov’s early features were banned by Soviet authorities. During his early period, he produced numerous documentaries, including an interview with Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and a reportage about Grigori Kozintsev’s flat in St Petersburg.
Mother and Son (1996) was his first internationally acclaimed feature film. It was mirrored by Father and Son (2003) which baffled the critics with its implicit homoeroticism (though Sokurov himself has criticized this particular interpretation. In the Wellspring DVD release, critic Armond White cited Sokurov’s defense of the film against charges that it is “homoerotic.” White explicated Sokurov’s artistic and spiritual style, noting “To accept Sokurov’s images without fear or limitation—to think love not smut—points lust in the direction of progress.”[citation needed]. Sokurov has also filmed the first three installments of a planned tetralogy on prominent 20th-century rulers: Moloch (1999) about Hitler, Taurus (2000) about Lenin, and The Sun (2004) about Emperor Hirohito.
Sokurov is a Cannes Film Festival regular, four of his movies having debuted there one by one. Although he has been somewhat reluctant to cast accomplished actors in his features,[citation needed] the Russian Film Academy awarded several Nika Awards to him. His most commercially and critically successful effort to date has been a semi-documentary Russian Ark (2002), acclaimed primarily for its visually hypnotic images and single, unedited, shot.

Filmography (By IMDB Votes):






(7.60) - Dni zatmeniya (1988)
(7.46) - Mariya (1988)
(7.46) - Moskovskaya elegiya (1987)
(7.39) - Mat i syn (1997)
(7.38) - Odinokiy golos cheloveka (1987)
(7.38) - Solntse (2005)
(7.37) - Elegiya dorogi (2001)
(7.20) - Russkiy kovcheg (2002)
(7.18) - Krug vtoroy (1990)
(7.15) - Vostochnaya elegiya (1996)
(6.98) - Spasi i sokhrani (1989)
(6.94) - Telets (2001)
(6.91) - Aleksandra (2007)
(6.90) - Tikhiye stranitsy (1994)
(6.77) - Sonata dlya Gitlera (1989)
(6.75) - Skorbnoye beschuvstviye (1987)
(6.72) - Molokh (1999)
(6.52) - Otets i syn (2003)
(6.48) - Uzel (1999)
(6.44) - Dolce... (2000)

Trade Mark: Since the fall of the Soviet regimes that refrained him from making the films he wanted he has expanded into the digital world to show life under communist rule

Last Site Favorite Film: Russian Ark
Upcoming: Faust (2010)

Average IMDB Rating: 7.09
Awards: 4
Nominations: 11
Style (LastSite Rating out of 20) 16
Originality (LastSite Rating out of 20) 17
Filmography (LastSite Rating out of 20): 19
Total: 74.09

8. Ken Loach (UK, 1936)

Auteurs Profile:

Unlike virtually all his contemporaries, Ken Loach has never succumbed to the siren call of Hollywood, and it’s virtually impossible to imagine his particular brand of British socialist realism translating well to that context. After studying law at St. Peter’s College, Oxford, he branched out into the theater, performing with a touring repertory company. This led to television, where in alliance with producer ‘Tony Garnett’ he produced a series of docudramas, most notably the devastating “Cathy Come Home” episode of “The Wednesday Play” (1964), whose impact was so massive that it led directly to a change in the homeless laws. He made his feature debut Poor Cow (1967) the following year, and with “Kes”, he produced what is now acclaimed as one of the finest films ever made in Britain. However, the following two decades saw his career in the doldrums with his films poorly distributed (despite the obvious quality of work such as The Gamekeeper (1968) (TV) and Looks and Smiles (1981)) and his TV work in some cases never broadcast (most notoriously, his documentaries on the 1984 miners’ strike). But he made a spectacular comeback in the 1990s, with a series of award-winning films firmly establishing him in the pantheon of great European directors – his films have always been more popular in mainland Europe than in his native country or the US (where Riff-Raff (1991) was shown with subtitles because of the wide range of dialects) Hidden Agenda (1990) won the Special Jury Prize at the 1990 Cannes Film Festival; Riff-Raff (1991) won the Felix award for Best European Film of 1992; Raining Stones (1993) won the Cannes Special Jury Prize for 1993, and ‘Land and Freedom’ won the FIPRESCI International Critics Prize and the Ecumenical Jury Prize at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival -and was a substantial box-office hit in Spain where it sparked intense debate about its subject matter. This needless to say, was one of the reasons that Loach made the film!

Filmography (By IMDB Votes):



(7.81) - Family Life (1971)
(7.68) - Ladybird Ladybird (1994)
(7.59) - Kes (1970)
(7.58) - McLibel (2005)
(7.50) - Sweet Sixteen (2002/I)
(7.50) - McLibel (1998)
(7.49) - Raining Stones (1993)
(7.49) - Land and Freedom (1995)
(7.40) - My Name Is Joe (1998)
(7.30) - Looking for Eric (2009)
(7.20) - Ae Fond Kiss... (2004)
(7.20) - Riff-Raff (1991)
(7.10) - Bread and Roses (2000)
(7.10) - It's a Free World... (2007)
(7.04) - Looks and Smiles (1981)
(7.00) - Hidden Agenda (1990)
(7.00) - 11'09''01 - September 11 (2002)
(6.91) - The Navigators (2001)
(6.91) - Tickets (2005)
(6.89) - Fatherland (1986)
(6.84) - Poor Cow (1967)
(6.81) - Carla's Song (1996)
(6.81) - Chacun son cinéma ou Ce petit coup au coeur quand la lumière s'éteint et que le film commence (2007)(6.63) - Black Jack (1979)

Trade Mark: Gritty and British
Last Site Favorite Film: Looking for Eric
Upcoming: Route Irish

Average IMDB Rating: 7.24
Awards: 14
Nominations: 17
Style (LastSite Rating out of 20) 12
Originality (LastSite Rating out of 20) 13
Filmography (LastSite Rating out of 20): 12
Total: 75.24

7. Roman Polanski (France, 1933)

Auteurs Profile:

The son of a Polish Jew and a Russian immigrant, Polanski was born in Paris on August 18, 1933. When he was three, his family moved to the Polish town of Krakow, an unfortunate decision given that the Germans invaded the city in 1940. Things went from bad to worse with the formation of Krakow’s Jewish ghetto, and Polanski’s family was the target of further persecution when his parents were deported to a concentration camp. Just before he was to be taken away, however, Polanski’s father helped his son escape, and the boy managed to survive with help from kindly Catholic families, although he was at times forced to fend for himself. (At one point, the Germans decided to use Polanski for idle target practice.) It was during this period that Polanski became a devoted cinephile, seeking refuge in movie houses whenever possible. Shortly after sustaining serious injuries in an explosion, Polanski learned of his mother’s death at Auschwitz. His father survived the camps, and moved back to Krakow with his son. Following his father’s remarriage, the adolescent Polanski left home. Following a near-fatal incident at the age of 16, which involved Polanski nearly becoming the next victim of a man who had just killed three people, his father enrolled him in a technical school. He left in 1950 to attend film school, concurrently becoming an actor with the Krakow Theater and made his onscreen acting debut in Andrzej Wajda’s 1954 Pokolenie/A Generation.
That same year, Polanski was one of six applicants accepted into the rigorous director’s course at Lodz’s prestigious State Film School. Polanski’s second student film, Dwaj Ludzie z Szafa/Two Men and a Wardrobe, proved to be one of his most famous, winning him five international awards. This and subsequent shorts such as Le Gros et le Maigre/The Fat and the Lean (made in 1961 after his graduation) all featured the black humor that would characterize his later features. Polanski made his feature film debut in 1962 with Noz w Wodzie/Knife in the Water; as with most of his subsequent features, he also worked on the screenplay, in this case collaborating with Jerzy Skolimowski and Jakub Goldberg. A suspenseful, symbolic psychological drama set aboard a sailboat, the film told the story of a husband’s misbegotten attempts to impress his wife and a potential rival, a young hitchhiker they bring aboard on a whim. It is considered the first Polish film not to deal with World War II, and was applauded for its visual precision.It was also the only full-length feature the director made in Poland.
Polanski moved to England to make his next two films, the first of which, Repulsion, became a cornerstone of contemporary psychological thrillers and, despite poor box-office returns, is said to be the director’s favorite film. Polanski made his Hollywood debut in 1968 with the horror classic Rosemary’s Baby. As with his earlier works, the film was more concerned with psychological terror than cheap shocks, creating a sense of foreboding terror that many directors have since tried to emulate with limited success. Polanski’s next film, Macbeth, was a faithful but controversial adaptation of Shakespeare. Made shortly after his wife Sharon Tate was brutally murdered by the Manson Family, its graphic violence was said to reflect the director’s grief and outrage. Polanski then shifted gears, making a sex comedy (What?)in Italy before returning to Hollywood to direct one of his finest efforts, Chinatown (1974), a film that revitalized the nearly dead film noir movement and earned Polanski an Oscar nomination and a British Academy Award. He followed up this success in 1976 with the suspenseful and surrealistic Le Locataire/The Tenant; a sinister, paranoid tale of madness, manipulation, and vengeance.
The next year, the director made the news for a disastrous reason: While in Hollywood working on a project, he was charged of having sex with a 13-year-old girl. Barred from working in Hollywood, Polanski fled the country and resettled in Paris and did not make another film until 1979. An adaptation of a Thomas Hardy novel, the three-hour long Tess, starring 17-year-old Nastassja Kinski, was the most expensive film made in France at the time. But despite its cost, it proved to be a success, netting Polanski an Oscar nomination and a César award for Best Direction. Polanski’s next film, Pirates (1986), was an all-out spoof, which was not a success. Frantic, his 1988 thriller with Harrison Ford, failed to garner either critical or commercial favor, and his next effort, the perversely erotic thriller Bitter Moon (1992) received notice mainly because it starred a then-unknown Hugh Grant. Polanski found greater critical success in 1994 with Death and the Maiden, his adaptation of Ariel Dorfman’s play, starring Ben Kingsley and Sigourney Weaver. Two years later, he branched out with the experimental Gli Angeli, and, in 1999, returned to mystery-thriller territory with The Ninth Gate, starring his third wife Emmanuelle Seigner. His next film, based upon the memoirs of Wladyslaw Szpilman and admittedly inspired by his own shattering childhood experiences, Polanski’s The Pianist told the heart-wrenching tale of a brilliant pianist who eludes his Nazi captors by hiding out in the ruins of Warzaw. The film began collecting accolades from its premiere at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival, where it received the top prize, the Palme d’Or, to the Academy Awards, where it snagged seven nominations including Best Picture and Best Director. Although the latter prize went unclaimed, as Polanski was still a fugitive from Los Angeles County and therefore unable to enter the country. Over the years, Polanski also continued to nurture an interest in the theater. In 1981, he directed and starred in the Warsaw production of Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus, which he re-staged successfully in Paris in 1982. In 1988, he played the leading role in Stephen Berkoff’s adaptation of Kafka’s Metamorphosis (again on the Paris stage). He’s also contributed some occasional film acting, playing opposite Gerard Depardieu in Giuseppe Tornatore’s Una Pura Formalità/A Pure Formality in 1994, as well as appearing in his own films.

Filmography (By IMDB Votes):
(8.50) - Chinatown (1974)
(8.50) - The Pianist (2002)
(8.15) - The Ghost Writer (2010)
(8.10) - Rosemary's Baby (1968)
(7.90) - Repulsion (1965)
(7.80) - Le locataire (1976)
(7.59) - Nóz w wodzie (1962)
(7.49) - The Tragedy of Macbeth (1971)
(7.20) - Death and the Maiden (1994)
(7.20) - Tess (1979)
(7.20) - Cul-de-sac (1966)
(7.18) - Gdy spadaja anioly (1959)
(7.10) - Dance of the Vampires (1967)
(7.09) - Rower (1955)
(7.00) - Oliver Twist (2005)
(7.00) - Dwaj ludzie z szafa (1958)
(6.90) - Bitter Moon (1992)
(6.70) - Frantic (1988)
(6.64) - Le gros et le maigre (1961)
(6.60) - The Ninth Gate (1999)
(6.20) - Ssaki (1962)
(6.19) - Usmiech zebiczny (1957)
(6.01) - Morderstwo (1957)
(5.92) - Pirates (1986)
(5.85) - Che? (1972)
(5.84) - Rozbijemy zabawe (1957)
(5.80) - Les plus belles escroqueries du monde (1964)

Trade Mark: Likes to arrange shots from the protagonist's perspective and slowly pan around the room to points of interest as the character notices them.
Last Site Favorite Film: Chinatown
Upcoming: None known as yet

Average IMDB Rating: 7.01
Awards: 12
Nominations: 13
Style (LastSite Rating out of 20) 14
Originality (LastSite Rating out of 20) 14
Filmography (LastSite Rating out of 20): 16
Total: 76.01

6. Lars Von Trier (Denmark, 1956)

Auteurs Profile:

With a back-story (almost) as singular as his films, Danish director Lars von Trier was one of the most exceptional filmmakers to burst onto the international film scene in the 1990s. Unapologetically confident in his artistry and an unabashed provocateur, von Trier could kick up a fuss about his behavior, but his stylistic brio, extreme narratives, and ability with actors prevented such films as Zentropa (1991), The Kingdom (1994), Breaking the Waves (1996), and Dancer in the Dark (2000) from being eclipsed by their creator. Even as he openly sought a larger audience by making films in English, von Trier’s success helped resurrect Scandinavian cinema’s international prominence; his intense fear of flying ensured he’d never “go Hollywood.”
Raised by his radical, nudist Communist parents in an unconventional environment where, as von Trier once put it, everything was permitted except “feelings, religion and enjoyment,” von Trier blossomed into a neurotic, left-wing, movie-loving youth. Given a Super-8 camera at age 11, von Trier spent his teens making movies and entered Copenhagen’s film school in the early ‘80s. After winning prizes at the Munich Film Festival in 1981 and 1982 for his student films, and adding the aristocratic “von” to his name, the 1983 graduate managed to put together his low-budget debut feature, The Element of Crime (1984). A highly stylized neo-noir cop thriller set in a sepia-toned, water-logged future, The Element of Crime attracted favorable notice at the Cannes Film Festival, winning a prize for technical achievement. Von Trier continued his feature trilogy about Europe with the reflexive thriller Epidemic (1987). Starring the director as a director trying to raise money to make the movie-within-a-movie about a horrific virus unleashed on contemporary Germany, Epidemic was a controlled stab at postmodernism that underlined von Trier’s restless creativity even though it was not as well regarded.
After a version of Medea (1988) for Danish television – presaging his 1990s focus on borderline women – von Trier completed his European trio with Europa (1991). A darkly comic drama set in post-WWII Germany, Europa dazzled viewers with its ambitious use of superimposition, rear projection, and dramatic shifts between black-and-white and color, definitively establishing von Trier’s mastery of ominous atmospherics. Retitled Zentropa for its American release, Europa earned von Trier his first substantial international recognition as well as film festival notoriety. Disappointed by Europa’s third place Special Jury Prize at Cannes, von Trier accepted his award with thanks to “the midget,” jury chair Roman Polanski.
Despite an array of publicized psychological problems, including crippling bouts of agoraphobia, von Trier continued to experiment and stretch his cinematic vision, announcing plans to make a film called Dimension, to be shot in three-minute increments over 30 years. While the results of that project remain to be seen, what von Trier made in the ensuing eight years vaulted him from cult status to bona fide directorial stardom.
Turning his terror of hospitals into superb entertainment, von Trier mounted the chilling miniseries The Kingdom (1994) for Danish TV. Shot on location in a Copenhagen hospital in 16 mm with available light, The Kingdom was an inspired blend of Twin Peaks freakiness with ER procedural kineticism in its story of a haunted hospital. A TV and film festival hit, The Kingdom also became a precursor to the new aesthetic and spiritual concerns of von Trier’s subsequent 1990s feature films. Embroiled in personal turmoil mid-decade, including his mother’s 1995 deathbed revelation of his actual biological father (who wanted nothing to do with von Trier after an initial meeting), von Trier definitively rebelled against his past. Along with converting to Catholicism, von Trier broke from the perfectionist style of his Europe trilogy, aiming to achieve the “honesty” he admired in Danish iconoclast Carl Theodore Dreyer’s work with his own self-imposed artistic “chastity.” Co-authoring the Dogme 95 manifesto with fellow Dane Thomas Vinterberg, von Trier declared that Dogme-ites should reject artifice by only telling contemporary stories and only shooting films on location, in natural light, with a handheld camera, and with location sound.
Though von Trier’s next movie wasn’t pure Dogme, it did reveal his altered perspective. Drawing on the tradition of florid melodrama that von Trier adored and his family had despised, as well as his newfound spirituality, Breaking the Waves (1996) became an international sensation. Broken up by vividly colored chapter “headings” created in collaboration with painter Pers Kirkeby, Breaking the Waves’ disturbing story of female sacrifice and sexual martyrdom was lent dizzying immediacy by cinematographer Robby Müller’s bravura, desaturated handheld camera work and film newcomer Emily Watson’s intense performance as the simple-minded, devoted Bess. Praised for its fearless visuals, naked spirituality, and audacious emotionalism, and damned by some for its exploitative view of women, Breaking the Waves became an art house hit and earned von Trier another dissatisfying Cannes prize (the second place Grand Jury citation) and Watson an Oscar nomination for Best Actress.
Before his own entry in the Dogme canon, von Trier returned to his terrifying hospital for the miniseries sequel to The Kingdom. As popular as its predecessor, The Kingdom II (1997) was more outrageously (and comically) horrifying, reaching a grotesque peak with Udo Keir’s performance as an enormous mutant spawn. Though von Trier intended to complete the yarn with The Kingdom III, lead actor Ernst-Hugo Jaregard’s death in 1998 put the project in limbo. ABC, though, announced an American TV remake of The Kingdom to be written by Stephen King.
Following Dogme 95’s first international recognition with Vinterberg’s The Celebration (1997), von Trier’s own Dogme work The Idiots (1998) caused yet another stir. Though the roughly shot digital video depiction of a commune who “spaz” to disrupt bourgeois complacency and their effect on one female member raised eyebrows over its treatment of the mentally challenged, The Idiots also drew attention when von Trier refused to cut the orgy sequence’s hardcore nudity, superimposing black bars over the offending body parts instead. Von Trier became really angry, however, when the producers artificially corrected the lighting for the video release in 1999. Whatever its weaknesses, The Idiots helped to strengthen the Dogme 95 movement, which continued to expand with such films as Mifune (1999), Julien Donkey-Boy (1999), and Italian for Beginners (2001).
After executive-producing the popular Danish TV romance Morten Korch (1999), von Trier completed his “Golden Hearts” film trilogy about disturbed near-saintly women with perhaps his most divisive work to date, Dancer in the Dark (2000). Combining melodrama with the musical, another of his favorite genres, and shot in washed-out handheld video, save for the deliriously colorful, kaleidoscopic musical interludes, Dancer in the Dark upended musical conventions while inflicting an almost unbearable amount of suffering on doomed heroine Selma. Debuting at Cannes on the heels of well-publicized on-set strife between von Trier and star Bjork, Dancer in the Dark provoked as many boos as cheers on the way to winning the Best Actress prize and von Trier’s longed-for Palme D’Or. While some critics slammed Dancer for its depiction of America (where plane-phobe von Trier has never been), its aesthetic ugliness, and emotional battery, others praised its daring style and visceral impact. Bjork’s appearance at the Oscars in a swan dress to perform Dancer’s nominated song “I’ve Seen It All” occasioned a similar love-it-or-hate-it response.
Taking the uproar in stride as always, von Trier began shooting his next film, Dogville, in 2002. Eschewing digital video for HDTV and casting Nicole Kidman in the lead, von Trier all but guaranteed that Dogville would be another noteworthy endeavor.

Filmography (By IMDB Votes):

(8.27) - "Riget II" (1997)
(7.90) - Dogville (2003)
(7.80) - Breaking the Waves (1996)
(7.80) - Dancer in the Dark (2000)
(7.59) - Europa (1991)
(7.49) - Manderlay (2005)
(7.38) - De fem benspænd (2003)
(7.14) - Medea (1988)
(6.80) - Antichrist (2009)
(6.69) - Direktøren for det hele (2006)
(6.69) - Forbrydelsens element (1984)
(6.00) - Epidemic (1987)
(5.44) - Dogville: The Pilot (2003) (V)
(5.29) - Nocturne (1980/I)
(5.06) - Befrielsesbilleder (1982)
(4.76) - D-dag (2000) (TV)
(4.43) - D-dag - Den færdige film (2001) (TV)
(4.41) - Menthe - la bienheureuse (1979)
(4.18) - Orchidégartneren (1977)
(4.15) - D-dag - Lise (2000) (TV)
(4.12) - Den sidste detalje (1981)

Trade Mark: Likes to cause controversy. Hypnosis figures significantly in many of his films. Fequently casts Udo Kier. Fequently casts Jean-Marc Barr,

Last Site Favorite Film: Dancer In The Dark
Upcoming: Melancholia (2010), The Erotic Man (Unknown), Washington (Unknown)

Average IMDB Rating: 6.21
Awards: 10
Nominations: 14
Style (LastSite Rating out of 20) 18
Originality (LastSite Rating out of 20) 17
Filmography (LastSite Rating out of 20): 12
Total: 77.21

5. Wim Wenders (Germany, 1945)

Auteurs Profile:

Born in Dusseldorf just after the end of World War II, German film director Wim Wenders grew up with an insatiable appetite for American movies. Not all that interested in big-budget products, he, instead, developed a fascination with B-movies, notably melodramas and Westerns. After studying Medicine and Philosophy in his native country, Wenders took up art in Paris (a mecca for viewing American films), and then returned to his homeland to attend Munich’s Academy of Film and Television. Like many of his French movie-fan brethren, Wenders began his career writing film criticism before directing a few short subjects of his own, and, in 1970, he and several other young filmmakers formed a production-distribution firm, Filmverlag Der Autoren. Summer in the City (1970) was Wenders’ first feature film, but it was his 1973 adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter that first brought him attention outside of Germany. The film included many accomplishments, most notably coaxing a superb performance from Senta Berger as Hester Prynne, and managing to make the landscapes of Spain resemble 17th century New England.
At this point, Wenders began his road movie cycle, inspired by such American pictures as Easy Rider (1970) and Two-Lane Blacktop (1971). Three films in this genre followed in quick succession: Alice in the Cities (1974), The Wrong Move (1975), and Kings of the Road (1976). For his first English-language picture, The American Friend (1977), Wenders cast three of his American movie idols: actor Dennis Hopper (director/star of Easy Rider) and “cult” directors Nicholas Ray (Rebel Without a Cause) and Samuel Fuller (The Steel Helmet). Wenders would later co-direct Lightning Over Water (1980) with Ray.
Wenders’ American-financed films Hammett (1980) and Paris, Texas (1983) were remarkable in their evocation of time and place, and the director could certainly have continued quite satisfactorily in Hollywood. However, he seemed to prefer activity in Europe, even though he was always one step ahead of his creditors — especially when running his own studio, Gray City. Wenders’ return to German filmmaking was rewarded in 1987 with the release of Der Himmel Über Berlin, or Wings of Desire. The story of an angel who wants to become human after finding earthly love met with an enthusiastic international response, culminating in a slew of honors for Wenders (including a 1987 Cannes Best Director award, a 1988 European Film Academy award for Best Director, and a host of awards from the New York Film Critics Circle) and an eventual 1998 American remake, City of Angels.
In the 1990s, Wenders’ love of on-the-road location filming was again manifested in such films as Until the End of the World (1991) (filmed on four continents and designed to be “the ultimate road movie”), and Faraway, So Close (1993), a marathon experience (which originally ran 164 minutes) wherein an angel wanders about to observe the changing scene in a newly unified Germany. In 1995, Wenders made a road movie of a different sort with Par-Dela les Nuages/Beyond the Clouds, which he co-directed with legendary Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni. Set in various European countries, the film explored the vagaries of love and lust through the experiences of several principle characters. Receiving decidedly mixed reviews, it differed strongly from Wenders’ next effort, Die Gebrüder Sklandanowsky/A Trick of the Light, a 1996 historical tribute to some of the more neglected developers of moving picture technology. Wenders returned to the States the following year with The End of Violence, a film that explored the effects of violence on the intertwining of people’s lives. Featuring Bill Pullman, Andie McDowell, and Gabriel Byrne, it was not a great commercial or critical success, but Wenders did win acclaim the following year for The Buena Vista Social Club. A documentary about Cuban music, the film was the result of a successful collaboration between Wenders and musician Ry Cooder, who had previously supplied the score for the director’s Paris, Texas.

Filmography (By IMDB Votes):

(8.00) - Der Himmel über Berlin (1987)
(7.95) - Im Lauf der Zeit (1976)
(7.90) - Paris, Texas (1984)
(7.77) - Alice in den Städten (1974)
(7.23) - The Soul of a Man (2003)
(7.20) - Buena Vista Social Club (1999)
(7.19) - Der amerikanische Freund (1977)
(7.17) - Der Stand der Dinge (1982)
(7.16) - Tokyo-Ga (1985)
(7.07) - Falsche Bewegung (1975)
(7.04) - Red Hot and Blue (1990) (TV)
(6.99) - Lisbon Story (1994)
(6.99) - Lumière et compagnie (1995)
(6.92) - Invisibles (2007)
(6.90) - In weiter Ferne, so nah! (1993)
(6.70) - Lightning Over Water (1980)
(6.70) - Die Angst des Tormanns beim Elfmeter (1972)
(6.70) - Don't Come Knocking (2005)
(6.60) - Bis ans Ende der Welt (1991)
(6.50) - Land of Plenty (2004)
(6.41) - Hammett (1982)
(6.40) - Al di là delle nuvole (1995)
(6.40) - 8 (2008)
(6.24) - Summer in the City (1970)
(6.10) - Chambre 666 (1982) (TV)
(5.85) - Palermo Shooting (2008)
(5.52) - The End of Violence (1997)
(5.52) - Viel passiert - Der BAP-Film (2002)
(5.50) - The Million Dollar Hotel (2000)

Trade Mark: He worked with all of his wives on at least one movie:
Last Site Favorite Film: Wings of Desire
Upcoming: Pina (2010), Miso Soup (2010)

Average IMDB Rating: 6.79
Awards: 12
Nominations: 14
Style (LastSite Rating out of 20) 15
Originality (LastSite Rating out of 20) 16
Filmography (LastSite Rating out of 20): 17
Total: 80.79

4. Werner Herzog (Germany, 1942)

Auteurs Profile:

One of the most influential filmmakers in New German Cinema and one of the most extreme personalities in film, Werner Herzog quickly gained recognition not only for creating some of the most fantastic narratives in the Film history, but for pushing himself and his crew to absurd and unprecedented lengths, again and again, in order to achieve the effects he demanded. Born Werner Stipetic in Munich on September 5, 1942, Herzog came of age in Sachrang, Bavaria, amid extreme poverty and destitution. After Herzog turned seventeen, a German film producer optioned one of his screenplays, then promptly destroyed the contract when he discovered the author’s age. Circa 1962, 20-year-old Herzog enrolled in the University of Munich as a history and literature student, and produced his first motion picture, the twelve minute Herakles, his second short Game in the Sand, and his third, the pacifist tract The Unprecedented Defense of Fortress Deutschkreuz.In 1963, he established his own production banner, Werner Herzog Filmproduktion, to give him complete autonomy over all of his projects.
He won a scholarship to the University of Pittsburgh in 1965 or ’66, and immigrated to the States, where he held down a job at a television station, purportedly shot films for NASA. He returned to Deutschland in 1967, where he won the top prize at the Oberhausen Film Festival for his short Last Words, then migrated to the Greek islands to shoot his premier feature, Signs of Life (1968), a story about a stricken German infantryman (Peter Brogle) who lapses into unbridled insanity. The film drew well-rounded critical praise, won the German National Film award for a debut feature and ran at the New York Film Festival.The director followed Signs of Life with two shorts in 1969, Precautions Against Fanatics and The Flying Doctors of East Africa, and a 1970 documentary about the disabled,Handicapped Future. His second feature film, the 1970 Even Dwarfs Started Small, depicts the daily activities of a bunch of dwarfs and midgets in a German penal community. Horrified, the German authorities banned it, but critics everywhere raved over its disturbing allegorical portrait of life.Herzog issued his third feature, the critical darling and arthouse mainstay Fata Morgana, in 1971. After completing the documentary Land of Silence and Darkness that same year, Herzog embarked on the first of a series of collaborations with the maniacally intense actor Klaus Kinski, Aguirre the Wrath of God (1972). This story of insane Spanish conquistador Don Lope de Aguirre, (Kinski) and his ill-fated quest to locate El Dorado, the Incan city of gold, forced Herzog and the crew to venture deep into the heart of the Peruvian jungles, where they battled now-legendary conditions to obtain the images. Critics and the public instantly heralded the film as a masterwork. Later, Herzog emerged with The Mystery of Kaspar Hauser (1975) and the uber-cerebral drama Heart of Glass.
After a 1975 documentary, the 47-minute The Great Ecstasy of the Sculptor Steiner, Herzog produced his 1977 Stroszek, a tale of three German social outcasts who immigrate to Wisconsin. In the late seventies, Herzog masterfully re-filmed F.W. Murnau’s 1922 Nosferatu (1978) with Kinski as his vampiric lead; he followed it up with yet another Kinski collaboration, a big screen adaptation of Georg Buchner’s stage work Woyzeck,which drew additional critical praise. He followed it up with another a TV drama work God’s Angry Man (1980). Between 1980 and 1982, Herzog managed to top the insanity of that film shoot with the most difficult production in movie history. With Fitzcarraldo, he sought to tell the story of Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald, a 19th century eccentric opera lover, determined to bring the music of Enrico Caruso to the Peruvian indians by actually pulling a steamship over the top of a mountain. During the production, a plane crashed and killed several locals, lead Jason Robards acquired amoebic dysentery and had to be replaced with Kinski, the central steamers became mired in the mud and could not be moved until rainy season, a tribal war nearly erupted, and the steamer that the film crew attempted to drag over the top of the mountain became stuck midway. Famed documentarists Maureen Gosling and Les Blank foresaw the calamities prior to the shoot, and filmed the ordeal in their haunting documentary Burden of Dreams (1982), a work that was itself lauded as a masterpiece.
In 1984, Herzog filmed two acclaimed shorts: The Green Glow of the Mountains and The Ballad of the Little Soldier. Herzog shot his feature Where the Green Ants Dream (1985) in Australia; it concerns a mining corporation’s ill-advised attempts to extract much-needed materials from sacred Aboriginal ground. Later on, Herzog embarked on his final collaboration with Kinski, the adventure drama Cobra Verde. In the 1990s and 2000s, Herzog largely drifted into hardcore documentary work. His documentaries from this period include: Lessons of Darkness (1992), Bells from the Deep: Faith and Superstition in Russia (1993), The Transformation of the World into Music (1994), Little Dieter Needs to Fly (1997), Wings of Hope (2000), Wheel of Time (2003), Incident at Loch Ness (2004), The White Diamond (2004) and Grizzly Man (2005) – comprised of footage shot by ill-fated “Grizzly Bear expert” Timothy Treadwell just before his death in a bear attack – elicited particularly strong acclaim. 2001’s Invincible dramatizes the story of a Jewish man who rose to power with the Nazis, only to renounce his party affiliations and swear allegiance to his people as Hitler crested the height of fame and authority. The director’s 2006 Rescue Dawn culled inspiration from his 1997 Dieter Needs to Fly, with a fictional recreation of the true events captured in that documentary. In addition to his directing and screenwriting work, Herzog has acted in a number of films, most memorably in Les Blank’s documentary Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe and in Paul Cox’s 1983 picture Man of Flowers, Herzog plays the central character’s stern, disciplinarian father during a wordless flashback.

Filmography (By IMDB Votes):

(8.17) - Lektionen in Finsternis (1992)
(8.09) - Stroszek (1977)
(8.00) - Fitzcarraldo (1982)
(8.00) - Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes (1972)
(7.90) - Grizzly Man (2005)
(7.52) - Julianes Sturz in den Dschungel (2000) (TV)
(7.51) - Wodaabe - Die Hirten der Sonne. Nomaden am Südrand der Sahara (1989) (TV)
(7.50) - Rescue Dawn (2006)
(7.49) - The White Diamond (2004)
(7.38) - Lebenszeichen (1968)
(7.35) - Ballade vom kleinen Soldaten (1984) (TV)
(7.20) - Wheel of Time (2003)
(7.20) - Woyzeck (1979)
(7.14) - Huie's Predigt (1980) (TV)
(7.10) - Cobra Verde (1987)
(7.09) - Behinderte Zukunft? (1971) (TV)
(7.01) - Fata Morgana (1971)
(7.01) - Herz aus Glas (1976)
(6.96) - Tod für fünf Stimmen (1995) (TV)
(6.67) - Portrait Werner Herzog (1986)
(6.61) - Invincible (2001)
(6.58) - Pilgrimage (2001)
(6.50) - Letzte Worte (1968)
(6.34) - The Wild Blue Yonder (2005)
(6.10) - Massnahmen gegen Fanatiker (1969)
(5.83) - Herakles (1962)

Trade Mark:
His films contain animals doing unusual things. His films contain long, extended landscape shots. Frequently worked with Klaus Kinski. Screeching cellos and violins in musical scores
Last Site Favorite Film: Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes
Upcoming: Piano Tuner

Average IMDB Rating: 7.23
Awards: 9
Nominations: 13
Style (LastSite Rating out of 20) 15
Originality (LastSite Rating out of 20) 19
Filmography (LastSite Rating out of 20): 18
Total: 81.23

3. Pedro Almodovar (Spain, 1949)

Auteurs Profile:

Splashing his colorful films across the dour post-Franco Spanish landscape with the irreverent glee of a prostitute arriving late to church after a long night, Pedro Almodóvar has been called the most influential Spanish filmmaker since Luis Buñuel. Beginning in the 1980s, Almodóvar started serving up provocative, candy-colored visions fraught with postmodernist insight into everything from sex and violence to religion and the dangers of good gazpacho. Sometimes shocking, sometimes controversial, Almodóvar’s films have always managed to present a new and intriguing view of his native country, shaping the attitudes of both his compatriots and a larger international audience.
Born September 25, 1951, in Calzada de Calatrava, an impoverished hamlet of La Mancha, Almodóvar was raised in a traditional Spanish household. He studied with Salesian monks, sang in the choir, and generally felt like a misfit; he was later to remark that, for him, growing up in such an environment was tantamount to being an astronaut in King Arthur’s court. At the age of 12, on seeing Richard Brooks’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Almodóvar decided to give purpose to his alienation, marking himself down for “a life of sin and degeneracy.” As a teenager, Almodóvar was influenced by the films of such directors as Billy Wilder, Douglas Sirk, Alfred Hitchcock, Luis Buñuel, Blake Edwards, and neorealists Marco Ferreri and Fernando Fernán-Gómez; deciding to pursue a career as a filmmaker, he got out of La Mancha and headed to Madrid in 1969. Working at a phone company by day, he wrote short stories, mock newsreels, and spoof commercials at night, as he also made Super-8 shorts and one Super-8 feature.
One of Almodóvar’s stories, a dirty photo-novel he was commissioned to write for a fanzine in 1978, became his first feature film, the 1980 Pepi, Luci, Bom…. An outrageous sexual satire, the film delivered a happy slap to the face of Spanish society, which at the time still wallowed in Franco-style social intolerance. The film’s campy, pop-art-colored hedonism and sexual vulgarity were mirrored two years later in Almodóvar’s second effort, Labyrinth of Passion. Many Spanish critics, who had a bias toward the more “quality” films of the Spanish cinema establishment, reacted negatively to Almodóvar’s work, labeling him too modern and superficial.
The director reacted to such criticisms with Dark Habits (1983) and What Have I Done to Deserve This?! (1984). Although both films were comedies, they delved into more serious, complex subjects. Dark Habits presented a criticism of the Catholic Church through the story of a woman forced to hide out with a group of outrageous nuns, while What Have I Done to Deserve This?! was the tale of a housewife struggling to cope with the travails of everyday life. This latter theme of the downtrodden housewife would arise repeatedly in the director’s work, as would other issues of female independence and solidarity. Almodóvar’s subsequent films deepened his exploration of sexual desire and the sometimes brutal laws governing it. Matador (1986) offered up desire as a bridge between sexual attraction and death, presenting the viewer with a cornucopia of sexual options, including fetishism, gay and straight voyeurism, necrophilia, and female penetration. This variety was further explored in the aptly named Law of Desire (1987), which offered up similarly overt sexuality, as well as Antonio Banderas in his first starring role. Banderas also starred in Almodóvar’s subsequent feature, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988), which took a sharp and unfailingly amusing look at female sexuality and desire, and further established Almodóvar as a “women’s director.” It also earned its director international acclaim and 7.8 million dollars domestically, remaining the highest-grossing film in Spanish history for a decade.
Following the success of Women, Almodóvar took a turn toward controversy with his next film. Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (1989) was the subject of heated stateside debate, thanks to its premise of a famous actress (Almodóvar muse Victoria Abril) falling in love with the man who kidnaps her and holds her hostage. Decried by feminists and women’s advocacy groups, the film also received a negative reception among certain Spanish critics, who declared that Almodóvar had lost his sense of direction. Similar criticism was leveled at his two subsequent films, the family melodrama High Heels (1991) and Kika (1993). Like Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, Kika incurred a certain amount of controversy in the States, thanks to a rape scene that was perceived as both misogynistic and exploitative.
The director changed gears with his next effort, 1995’s The Flower of My Secret. Starring Almodóvar regular Marisa Paredes as a pulp romance writer, the film was a psychological drama hailed by many as his most mature film to date. It also heralded a change in Almodóvar’s portrayal of his male characters; rather than fashion the kind of clueless male protagonist often featured in his earlier films, Almodóvar created a more positive image of a “new man.” Similar male characterization followed in his next film, Live Flesh (1997). Loosely based on a Ruth Rendell novel of the same name, the film explored love, loss, and suffering with a sober restraint only briefly glimpsed in the director’s earlier work.
Almodóvar then continued to work in more serious dramatic confines, directing All About My Mother in 1999. The story of a woman’s search for her dead son’s father, it revisited Almodóvar’s familiar themes of the inherent force of sisterhood and the power of family, no matter how unconventional that family may be. Dedicated to Bette Davis, Romy Schneider, and Gena Rowlands, the film premiered to great acclaim at the 1999 Cannes Festival, where it won Almodóvar a Best Director prize. He enjoyed further success at the 2000 Golden Globes and Academy Awards ceremonies, both of which saw All About My Mother garner honors for Best Foreign Language Film.
Two years later, Almodóvar hit another career high with Talk to Her, a melodrama as notable for its complex sexual politics as it was for its stylistic flourishes. The film, which revolved around two comatose women and the men who love them, was hailed by critics and embraced by arthouse audiences. However, certain plot points also revived charges of misogyny that had been leveled at the director for some of his earlier films (specifically Kika and Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!). Despite such controversy, Almodóvar won numerous honors across the world for his film, including a French César for Best Film and an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.


Filmography (By IMDB Votes):

(8.00) - Hable con ella (2002)
(7.80) - Todo sobre mi madre (1999)
(7.70) - Volver (2006/I)
(7.50) - La mala educación (2004)
(7.49) - Carne trémula (1997)
(7.29) - Los abrazos rotos (2009)
(7.18) - La ley del deseo (1987)
(7.09) - Tacones lejanos (1991)
(7.08) - Matador (1986)
(6.99) - La flor de mi secreto (1995)
(6.89) - ¡Átame! (1990)
(6.48) - Laberinto de pasiones (1982)
(6.39) - Entre tinieblas (1983)
(6.20) - Kika (1993)
(6.17) - Tráiler para amantes de lo prohibido (1985) (TV)
(5.60) - Salomé (1978)

Trade Mark: Often uses symbolism and metaphorical techniques to portray circular storylines.
His films often portrays strong female characters and transsexuals. Uses only his last name for his "Film By" credit ("Un film de Almodóvar").
Last Site Favorite Film: Bad Education
Upcoming: Three films in development (La Piel Que Habito, El Eternauta, Decidme Como Es Un Arbol)

Average IMDB Rating: 6.99
Awards: 16
Nominations: 16
Style (LastSite Rating out of 20) 17
Originality (LastSite Rating out of 20) 12
Filmography (LastSite Rating out of 20): 17
Total: 84.99

2. Jean-Luc Godard (France, 1930)

Auteurs Profile:

The lynchpin of the French New Wave, Jean-Luc Godard was arguably the most influential filmmaker of the postwar era. Beginning with his groundbreaking 1959 feature debut A Bout de Souffle, Godard revolutionized the motion picture form, freeing the medium from the shackles of its long-accepted cinematic language by rewriting the rules of narrative, continuity, sound, and camera work. Later in his career, he also challenged the common means of feature production, distribution, and exhibition, all in an effort to subvert the conventions of the Hollywood formula to create a new kind of film.
Godard was born in Paris on December 3, 1930, the second of four children. After receiving his primary education in Nyon, Switzerland – during World War II, he became a naturalized Swiss citizen – he studied ethnology at the Sorbonne, but spent the vast majority of his days at the Cine-Club du Quartier Latin, where he first met fellow film fanatics Francois Truffaut and Jacques Rivette. In May 1950, the three men united to publish La Gazette du Cinema, a monthly film journal which ran through November of the same year; here Godard printed his first critical pieces, which appeared both under his own name and under the pseudonym Hans Lucas. With Rivette’s 1950 short feature Quadrille, Godard made his acting debut, also appearing in Eric Rohmer’s Presentation ou Charlotte et son Steack the following year.
In January 1952, Godard began writing for Cahiers du Cinema, the massively influential film magazine which also grew to include staffers Truffaut, Rivette, Rohmer, and Claude Chabrol, among others. However, Godard’s first tenure at Cahiers proved to be brief: In the autumn of 1952, he left France to return to Switzerland, where he worked on the construction of the Grande-Dixence Dam. With his earnings, Godard was able to finance his first film, the short subject Operation Beton. While in Geneva in 1955, he helmed his sophomore effort, the ten-minute Une Femme Coquette, subsequently appearing in Rivette’s Le Coup de Berger. Upon returning to France in the summer of 1956, Godard resumed his work at Cahiers after a four-year break from writing. There he rose to the top ranks of French film criticism while honing his increasingly fresh and freewheeling directorial style over the course of the short comedies Tous les Garcons s’appellent Patrick (1957), Charlotte et son Jules, and Une Histoire d’Eau (both 1958), the latter co-directed by Truffaut.
In 1959, Godard embarked on his feature debut, A Bout de Souffle (Breathless). Released at roughly the same time as Truffaut’s Les Quatre Cents Coups and Alain Resnais’ Hiroshima Mon Amour, the picture helped establish the emergence of what was dubbed the French New Wave, a revolutionary movement in film heralded primarily by Cahiers alumni. A Bout de Souffle quickly earned global acclaim as the definitive document of its era. Based on a rough story outline contributed by Truffaut, it was shot without a script, its inspiration the American gangster movies which its director loved so passionately. Crafted with a rough-and-tumble, home-movie-like quality, it dodged all accepted notions of narrative and visual storytelling, adopting a freeform hipness unlike anything before it and sparking a revolution in low-budget, on-the-fly independent filmmaking. Seemingly overnight, Godard was revered as the most important cinematic talent of his generation.
Quickly, however, Godard’s refusal to be pigeonholed became apparent, and despite a few works of lesser quality, his work over the course of the upcoming decade was a remarkable period of innovation, experimentation, and sustained genius. In 1960, he resurfaced with his second feature, an oddball political thriller titled Le Petit Soldat. The first of many films to star his then-wife Anna Karina, it became the subject of controversy over its characters’ connection to the Algerian crisis and was banned in France for three years. Shooting for the first time in color and in CinemaScope, he next filmed 1961’s comic tale Une Femme Est une Femme, followed a year later by the episodic essay on prostitution Vivre Se Vie. Again, both starred Karina, prompting criticism – similar to the charges of indulgence leveled at Michelangelo Antonioni over his frequent use of actress Monica Vitti – that Godard was using her as a non-actress, a mere screen presence utilized and manipulated in ways that she herself did not fully comprehend.
The first of Godard’s films to receive a critical thrashing was 1963’s war drama Les Carabiniers, but Le Mepris, a study of the nature of cinema itself, starring Brigitte Bardot, returned him to reviewers’ good graces. An astonishingly prolific and brilliant period followed, led off by 1964’s Bande a Part and Une Femme Mariee. Pierrot le Fou and Alphaville, une Etrange Aventure de Lemmy Caution, a singular science fiction effort, appeared in 1965, and a year later no less than three new features – Masculin Feminin, Made in USA, and Deux ou Trois Choses Que Je Sais d’Elle – bowed. Godard repeated the trifecta in 1967 with La Chinoise, ou Plutot a la Chinoise, Loin du Viet-Nam, and finally the apocalyptic Weekend, his most formally radical film since A Bout de Souffle.
Beginning in 1968, Godard’s so-called “radical” period emerged and took form during an era when the political leanings below the surface of many of his earlier works began to position themselves as the director’s dominant focus. Through Anne Wiazemsky, his second wife, Godard was initiated into Paris’ Maoist underground. Ultimately, his entire worldview shifted from that of the obsessive cinephile to a radical outlook which even prompted him to reject his own film oeuvre as “bourgeois.” The global tumult that defined 1968 further informed his consciousness as he mounted Le Gai Savior, a series of political dialogues punctuated by telling images and symbols. Next was Un Film Comme les Autres, a collection of images juxtaposed with the various conversations between workers and students. One Plus One – a documentary portrait of the Rolling Stones also known as Sympathy for the Devil – followed. The final project of 1968, One American Movie (a planned cinéma vérité collaboration with D.A. Pennebaker and Richard Leacock), went unrealized.
In the summer of 1968, Godard also co-founded (with Jean-Pierre Gorin, Gerard Martin, Armand Marco, Nathalie Billard, and Jean-Henri Roger) Dziga Vertov Group, a collective designed to make “political films politically” and in the process revolutionize the motion picture language. The films created by the group were produced and written based upon concepts of class struggle and dialectical materialism, all in an attempt to revive a kind of proletarian culture. Once a die-hard auteurist, here Godard began working closely with other Dziga Vertov members, in particular Gorin, shooting in 16 mm on extremely low budgets and forgoing the usual channels of distribution and exhibition. As a result, the collective’s work – 1969’s British Sounds (See You at Mao), Vent d’Est, and Amore e Rabbia, and 1970’s Vladimir et Rosa and the uncompleted Jusqu’a la Victoire – went unseen by virtually anyone outside of student and activist circles, existing outside of common theatrical situations and never even appearing in the U.S.
In 1972, Tout Va Bien marked the ending of the Dziga Vertov Group; an attempt to deliver the collective’s messages to a more mainstream audience, it actively sought distribution on commercial circuits and was even bankrolled with American financing. After completing 1972’s Letter to Jane, Godard relocated from Paris to Grenoble, planning to remodel a video studio and establish alternative methods of production and distribution (primarily by passing out videotapes to networks of friends and associates). There he met Anne-Marie Mieville, forging a long-lasting partnership which began with 1974’s Ici et Ailleurs and continued with 1975’s Numero Deux and the following year’s Comment ça va? In 1976, Godard and Mieville moved to the small Swiss community of Rolle and immersed themselves in video and television work. After a decade, Godard began moving away from radical politics, returning to more personal material, exploring issues of subjectivity and individuality.
Among their first projects in Switzerland was Six Fois Deux (Sur et Sous la Communication), a series of a half-dozen two-part programs commissioned for Swiss television. Another TV series, France Tour/Detour Deux Enfants, followed over the course of 1977 and 1978 before Godard and Mieville returned to France to begin work on 1979’s Sauve Qui Peut (La Vie). In 1980, Godard traveled to California to work with Francis Ford Coppola on a biography of mobster Bugsy Siegel which failed to progress beyond the planning stages. Upon returning to Paris, he began work on his “trilogy of the sublime,” a collection of films – 1982’s Passion, 1983’s Prenom: Carmen, and 1983’s highly controversial Hail Mary (which Pope John Paul II denounced as "blasphemous") – all fascinated with notions of beauty, feminine allure, and nature.
After 1985’s neo-noir feature Detective, Godard and Mieville produced 1986’s Soft and Hard (A Soft Conversation Between Two Friends on a Hard Subject) for England’s Channel Four. A series of projects, including 1986’s TV film Grandeur et Decadence d’un Petit Commerce de Cinema, and 1987’s Soigne ta Droite and King Lear, appeared in quick succession, but Godard did not again resurface until 1990’s Nouvelle Vague. Over the course of the decade he mounted Histoire(s) du Cinema, a ten-part video study of France’s film legacy; most of Godard’s 1990s work was auxiliary to the series, including 1991’s Allemagne Annee 90 Neuf Zero and 1994’s JLG/JLG – Autoportrait de December. Forever Mozart, an episodic film about the attempts of a French theater troop to put on a play in Sarajevo, followed in 1996. The following year, Godard completed the third and fourth installments of his Histoire(s) du Cinema series with 3A: La Monnaie De L’Absolu; 4A: Le controle De L’Univers; he also starred in Nous Sommes Tous Encore Ici, an episodic comedy-drama directed by Mieville.
Filmography (By IMDB Votes):

           (8.00) - À bout de souffle (1960)
           (7.99) - Bande à part (1964)
           (7.88) - Vivre sa vie: Film en douze tableaux (1962)
           (7.78) - Masculin féminin: 15 faits précis (1966)
           (7.69) - Le mépris (1963)



    (7.59) - Pierrot le fou (1965)
    (7.59) - Une femme est une femme (1961)
    (7.46) - Je vous salue, Sarajevo (1993) (V)
    (7.19) - Week End (1967)
    (7.18) - Le petit soldat (1963)
    (7.17) - La chinoise (1967)
    (7.14) - Sauve qui peut (la vie) (1980)
    (7.13) - Ici et ailleurs (1976)
    (6.95) - Ro.Go.Pa.G. (1963)
    (6.89) - The Old Place (1998)
    (6.88) - Les carabiniers (1963)
    (6.87) - Loin du Vietnam (1967)
    (6.87) - Une catastrophe (2008)
    (6.86) - Nouvelle vague (1990)
    (6.83) - Allemagne 90 neuf zéro (1991)
    (6.79) - Notre musique (2004)
    (6.77) - Une histoire d'eau (1961)
    (6.76) - Paris vu par... (1965)
    (6.69) - Tout va bien (1972)
    (6.68) - Charlotte et son Jules (1960)
    (6.62) - Liberté et patrie (2002) (V)
    (6.62) - Lettre à Freddy Buache (1982)
    (6.61) - Contre l'oubli (1991)
    (6.59) - "Les Français vus par" (1988)
    (6.51) - Le gai savoir (1969)
    (6.51) - Numéro deux (1975)
    (6.50) - Made in U.S.A. (1966)
    (6.50) - Prénom Carmen (1983)
    (6.50) - Meetin' WA (1986)
    (6.50) - 'Je vous salue, Marie' (1985)
    (6.46) - Soft and Hard (1986)
    (6.41) - Passion (1982)
    (6.33) - For Ever Mozart (1996)
    (6.32) - Hélas pour moi (1993)
    (6.31) - Sympathy for the Devil (1968)
    (6.22) - Le vent d'est (1970)
    (6.21) - Éloge de l'amour (2001)
    (6.13) - Lotte in Italia (1971)
    (6.13) - Détective (1985)
    (6.12) - British Sounds (1970)
    (6.08) - Comment ça va? (1978)
    (6.02) - Soigne ta droite (1987)
    (5.85) - Amore e rabbia (1969)
    (5.80) - Un film comme les autres (1968)
    (5.63) - Aria (1987)
    (5.62) - One P.M. (1972)
    (5.56) - Pravda (1970)
    (5.51) - Vladimir et Rosa (1970)
    (5.42) - King Lear (1987)

Trade Mark: Frequently casts Anna Karina. Shot-reverse-shot of characters looking at faces on a sheet/poster (Anna Karina looking at the faces on dollar bills in Bande à part (1964), Jean-Paul Belmondo looking at a poster of Humphrey Bogart in À bout de souffle (1960)).

Last Site Favorite Film: Breathless
Upcoming: Socialisme

Average IMDB Rating: 6.72
Awards: 11
Nominations: 20
Style (LastSite Rating out of 20) 17
Originality (LastSite Rating out of 20) 17
Filmography (LastSite Rating out of 20): 14
Total: 85.72

1. Michael Haneke (Germany, 1942)

Auteurs Profile:

Cheerfully wishing his audience a “disturbing evening” at a London retrospective of his films, director Michael Haneke insists that he is an optimist at heart, despite all of the relentlessly bleak carnage and deeply disturbing imagery so vividly painted and seared into the mind of anyone who has had the uncomfortable experience of viewing his work.
Practically born into show business, to an actress mother and director father, in Munich in March 1942, Haneke spent his early years in a working class suburb of Vienna before an early attempt at fame as an actor and pianist. Failing to achieve early success, Haneke attended the University of Vienna to study philosophy and psychology, and became a film critic and stage director before making his eventual debut as a television director with After Liverpool in 1973. Setting in motion a television career specializing in literary adaptations and small screen films, Haneke would work successfully in that medium until his feature debut with The Seventh Continent in 1989.
Laced with the theme of muted emotions resulting in stark violence that would become his calling card, The Seventh Continent’s bleak and austere portrayal of a family deadened and ultimately destroyed by modern convenience served as a deeply disturbing cautionary tale, made all the more effective by the final revelation that it was based in reality. The first of an agonizing trilogy on the same theme, including Benny’s Video (1992) and 71 Fragments of a Chronology Chance (1994), it offered a telling contrast to the Hollywood-manufactured attempts at shock in the form of slimy aliens and supernatural chills. These films were horrific and they were all too real in their implications and actions, the distortion of reality so common among typical horror films was abandoned in Haneke’s works in favor of the infinitely more terrifying affects of urban alienation.
Haneke took the modern obsession with cinematic violence to a level rarely attempted in 1997, with the tale of a happy family relentlessly tortured in Funny Games. Violence is not fun in Haneke’s world and this is where his optimism comes into play. Though shocking and repulsive on a number of levels, Haneke’s goal to shatter the numbness instilled by countless depictions of inconsequential violence in modern media is something the director views as positive and uplifting, even if the means to that end induce shock and anger. Haneke took home the Grand Prize at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival for The Piano Teacher, a compelling tale of sexual repression that also won that film’s stars, Benoit Magimel and Isabelle Huppert, the Best Actor and Actress awards at the festival.


Filmography (by IMDB Votes):

(7.87) - Der siebente Kontinent (1989)
(7.70) - Funny Games (1997)
(7.30) - Caché (2005)
(7.30) - La pianiste (2001)
(7.29) - Benny's Video (1992)
(7.07) - Die Rebellion (1993) (TV)
(6.99) - Lumière et compagnie (1995)
(6.78) - Das Schloß (1997)
(6.40) - Le temps du loup (2003)
(6.30) - Funny Games U.S. (2007)




Trade Mark:Short outbursts of violence. Use of extremely long static takes. Uses no film score
Last Site Favorite Film: Hidden (Cache)
Upcoming: No info known of late






Average IMDB Rating: 7.17
Awards: 13
Nominations: 9
Style (LastSite Rating out of 20) 20
Originality (LastSite Rating out of 20): 19
Filmography (LastSite Rating out of 20): 19

Total: 87.17


IMDB AVERAGE

1. Christopher Nolan 7.93
2. Christian Mungiu 7.59
3. Nikita Mikhalkov 7.54
4. Philippe Garrel 7.49
5. Jean-Pierre Jeunet 7.47
6. Jacques Audiard 7.45
7. Guiseppe Tornatore 7.41
8. Bela Tarr 7.37
9. Pedro Costa 7.37
10. Fatih Akin 7.36
11. Paolo Sorrentino 7.36
12. Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardanne 7.28
13. Ken Loach 7.24
14. Emir Kusturica 7.24
15. Werner Herzog 7.23
16. Nuri Ceylan 7.23
17. Mike Leigh 7.22
18. Julio Medem 7.19
19. Michael Haneke 7.17
20. Michel Gondry 7.16


2 comments:

  1. Now a days in India film industries update his media and make a good story always any new film update in every month so i advice you if you move in Indian film industries that is good for you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Current Indian director's don't cut it.

    ReplyDelete