directors

by retardist | created - 20 Apr 2016 | updated - 20 Jan 2017 | Public

known & to explore

1. Stan Brakhage

Director | The Loom

Stan Brakhage was born on January 14, 1933 in Kansas City, Missouri, USA as Robert Sanders. He was a director and cinematographer, known for The Loom (1986), The God of Day Had Gone Down Upon Him (2000) and Persian Series (2001). He was married to Marilyn Jull and Jane Brakhage. He died on March 9,...

2. Jesús Franco

Writer | Der Teufel kam aus Akasava

He was only six years old when he started composing music under the protection of his brother Enrique. After the Spanish Civil War he was able to continue his studies at the Real Conservatorio de Madrid, where he finished piano and harmony. Being a Bachelor of Law and an easy-read novel writer (...

3. Walerian Borowczyk

Director | Docteur Jekyll et les femmes

Born in Kwilcz, Poland, Walerian Borowczyk trained as a painter and lithographer, winning Poland's National Prize in 1953. He began his film career as a film poster designer, then started making short animated films in the late 1950s. Moving to France in the early 1960s, he gained a reputation as a...

4. Georges Franju

Director | Thérèse Desqueyroux

Georges Franju is a figure of immense importance in the history of French cinema, not primarily for his films (exceptional though many of these are) but for being the co-founder, with Henri Langlois, of the Cinematheque Française in 1937--France's most famous and important film archive.

He worked ...

5. Alain Robbe-Grillet

Writer | Un bruit qui rend fou

Born in Brest, France, in 1922, Alain Robbe-Grillet initially studied mathematics and biology. He graduated from the Paris-based Institut National Agronomique (National Institute of Agronomy) in 1945 and embarked on a career of scientific research in the tropics and in France. Then at age 30 he ...

7. Monika Treut

Director | Gendernauts - Eine Reise durch die Geschlechter

Monika Treut was born on April 6, 1954 in Mönchengladbach, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. She is an award-winning director and writer of documentaries and features. Treut is known for Of Girls and Horses (2014) , Warrior of Light (2001), Gendernauts: A Journey Through Shifting Identities (1999) ...

8. M.M. Serra

Director | Darling International

M.M. Serra is an experimental filmmaker, curator, author, and the Executive Director of Film-Makers' Cooperative, the world's oldest and largest archive of independent media.

In June 2012, Serra had a retrospective of her films at Anthology Film Archives called Art(Core): Avant-Garde and the ...

9. Maria Beatty

Director | Silken Sleeves

Maria Beatty was born in Caracas, Venezuela. She is a director and editor.

10. Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Writer | Faustrecht der Freiheit

Above all, Rainer Werner Fassbinder was a rebel whose life and art was marked by gross contradiction. Openly homosexual, he married twice; one of his wives acted in his films and the other served as his editor. Accused variously by detractors of being anticommunist, male chauvinist, antiSemitic and...

11. Herk Harvey

Director | Shake Hands with Danger

Colorado-born Herk Harvey majored in theater at Kansas University, directing and acting in stage productions and later returning to the school in a teaching capacity. He broke into the film business as an actor in some of the movies being made by Centron Corporation of Lawrence, Kansas, an ...

12. Claude Chabrol

Director | Le beau Serge

Claude Chabrol was born on June 24, 1930 in Paris, France. He was a director and writer, known for Le Beau Serge (1958), La Cérémonie (1995) and Story of Women (1988). He was married to Aurore Chabrol, Stéphane Audran and Agnès Goute. He died on September 12, 2010 in Paris.

13. Juraj Herz

Director | Panna a netvor

Juraj Herz was born on September 4, 1934 in Kezmarok, Czechoslovakia. He was a director and actor, known for Beauty and the Beast (1978), Habermann (2010) and Cremator (1969). He was married to Therese Herz. He died on April 8, 2018 in Prague, Czech Republic.

14. Paul Sharits

Director | Figment I: Fluxglam Voyage in Search of the Real Maciunas

Paul Sharits was born on February 7, 1943 in Denver, Colorado, USA. He was a director and producer, known for Figment I: Fluxglam Voyage in Search of the Real Maciunas (1986), N:O:T:H:I:N:G (1968) and Shutter Interface (1975). He was married to Frances Niekerk. He died on July 15, 1993 in Buffalo, ...

15. Jan Svankmajer

Director | Otesánek

After studying at the Institute of Industrial Arts and the Marionette Faculty of the Prague Academy of Fine Arts in the 1950s, Jan Svankmajer started working as a theatre director, chiefly in association with the Theatre of Masks and the Black Theatre. He first experimented with film-making after ...

16. Gus Van Sant

Director | Elephant

Gus Van Sant was born on July 24, 1952 in Louisville, Kentucky, USA as Gus Greene Van Sant Junior. He is a director and producer, known for Elephant (2003), My Own Private Idaho (1991) and Drugstore Cowboy (1989).

17. Jean Cocteau

Writer | La belle et la bête

Jean Cocteau was one of the most multi-talented artists of the 20th century. In addition to being a director, he was a poet, novelist, painter, playwright, set designer, and actor. He began writing at 10 and was a published poet by age 16. He collaborated with the "Russian Ballet" company of Sergei...

18. Kenneth Anger

Director | Fireworks

Kenneth Anger grew up in Hollywood and started out as a child actor, but his interest in filmmaking was evident at an early age: he made his first film, "Who's Been Rocking My Dreamboat?", at age 9. Anger developed into one of the pioneers of the American underground film movement. His gritty, ...

19. Krzysztof Kieslowski

Writer | Trois couleurs: Bleu

Krzysztof Kieslowski graduated from Lódz Film School in 1969, and became a documentary, TV and feature film director and scriptwriter. Before making his first film for TV, Przejscie podziemne (1974) (The Underground Passage), he made a number of short documentaries. His next TV title, Personnel (...

20. Wojciech Has

Director | Pozegnania

Born in Kraków, Poland, in 1925. Feature film director. Graduated in 1946 from Cracow Film Institute, also studied painting. From 1947 to 1957 made a number of documentary shorts and educational films. Feature film debut: _The Noose_ (Petla, 1958, co-scr.). Other films: _Farewells_ (Pozegnania, ...

21. Jaromil Jires

Director | Zert

Jaromil Jires was born on December 10, 1935 in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia. He was a director and writer, known for The Joke (1969), And Give My Love to the Swallows (1972) and Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (1970). He died on October 26, 2001 in Prague, Czech Republic.

22. Andrei Tarkovsky

Writer | Solyaris

The most famous Soviet film-maker since Sergei M. Eisenstein, Andrei Tarkovsky (the son of noted poet Arseniy Tarkovsky) studied music and Arabic in Moscow before enrolling in the Soviet film school V.G.I.K. He shot to international attention with his first feature, Ivan's Childhood (1962), which ...

23. Luis Buñuel

Writer | Le charme discret de la bourgeoisie

The father of cinematic Surrealism and one of the most original directors in the history of the film medium, Luis Buñuel was given a strict Jesuit education (which sowed the seeds of his obsession with both religion and subversive behavior), and subsequently moved to Madrid to study at the ...

24. Maya Deren

Director | Meshes of the Afternoon

Maya Deren came to the USA in 1922 as Eleanora Derenkowsky. Together with her father, a psychiatrist, and her mother, an artist, she fled the pogroms against Russian Jews. She studied journalism and political science in at Syracuse University in New York, finishing her BA at NYU in June 1936 and ...

25. Akira Kurosawa

Writer | Ran

After training as a painter (he storyboards his films as full-scale paintings), Kurosawa entered the film industry in 1936 as an assistant director, eventually making his directorial debut with Sanshiro Sugata (1943). Within a few years, Kurosawa had achieved sufficient stature to allow him greater...

26. Caveh Zahedi

Director | I Am a Sex Addict

Caveh Zahedi was born on April 29, 1960 in Washington, District of Columbia, USA as Robert Caveh Zahedi. He is a director and writer, known for I Am a Sex Addict (2005), Underground Zero (2002) and A Little Stiff (1991). He has been married to Amanda Field since 2003. He was previously married to ...

27. David Lynch

Writer | Twin Peaks

Born in precisely the kind of small-town American setting so familiar from his films, David Lynch spent his childhood being shunted from one state to another as his research scientist father kept getting relocated. He attended various art schools, married Peggy Lynch and then fathered future ...

28. Pedro Almodóvar

Writer | Hable con ella

The most internationally acclaimed Spanish filmmaker since Luis Buñuel was born in a small town (Calzada de Calatrava) in the impoverished Spanish region of La Mancha. He arrived in Madrid in 1968, and survived by selling used items in the flea-market called El Rastro. Almodóvar couldn't study ...

29. Wes Anderson

Writer | Fantastic Mr. Fox

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

30. Stanley Kubrick

Director | 2001: A Space Odyssey

Stanley Kubrick was born in Manhattan, New York City, to Sadie Gertrude (Perveler) and Jacob Leonard Kubrick, a physician. His family were Jewish immigrants (from Austria, Romania, and Russia). Stanley was considered intelligent, despite poor grades at school. Hoping that a change of scenery would ...

31. Andy Warhol

Director | Blue Movie

Andrew Warhol's father, Ondrej, came from the Austria-Hungary Empire (now Slovakia) in 1912, and sent for his mother, Julia Zavackyová Warholová, in 1921. His father worked as a construction worker and later as a coal miner. Around some time, the family moved to Pittsburgh. During his teenage years...

32. Alejandro Jodorowsky

Writer | La montaña sagrada

Alejandro Jodorowsky was born in Iquique, Chile on February 17, 1929. In 1942 he moved to Santiago where he attended university, was a circus clown and a puppeteer. In 1955 he went to Paris and studied mime with Marcel Marceau. He worked with Maurice Chevalier there and made a short film, La cravate...

33. Les Blank

Director | Burden of Dreams

Born in 1935 in Tampa, Florida, Les Blank attended Tulane University in New Orleans, where he received a B.A. in English literature and an M.F.A. in theatre. In 1967, after two years in the Ph.D. film program at the University of Southern California, and five years of freelancing in Los Angeles, he...

34. Terry Gilliam

Writer | Brazil

Terry Gilliam was born near Medicine Lake, Minnesota. When he was 12 his family moved to Los Angeles where he became a fan of MAD magazine. In his early twenties he was often stopped by the police who suspected him of being a drug addict and Gilliam had to explain that he worked in advertising. In ...

35. Werner Herzog

Director | Fitzcarraldo

Director. Writer. Producer. Actor. Poet. He studied history, literature and theatre for some time, but didn't finish it and founded instead his own film production company in 1963. Later in his life, Herzog also staged several operas in Bayreuth, Germany, and at the Milan Scala in Italy. Herzog has...

36. John Waters

Writer | Pecker

Growing up in Baltimore in the 1950s, John Waters was not like other children; he was obsessed by violence and gore, both real and on the screen. With his weird counter-culture friends as his cast, he began making silent 8mm and 16mm films in the mid-'60s; he screened these in rented Baltimore ...

37. Jim Jarmusch

Director | Broken Flowers

Moved to New York City at the age of seventeen from Akron, Ohio. Graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in English, class of '75. Without any prior film experience, he was accepted into the Tisch School of the Arts, New York.

38. Gregg Araki

Writer | Mysterious Skin

Gregg Araki was born on December 17, 1959 in Los Angeles, California, USA. He is a writer and director, known for Mysterious Skin (2004), White Bird in a Blizzard (2014) and Kaboom (2010).

39. Richard Linklater

Director | Waking Life

Self-taught writer-director Richard Stuart Linklater was born in Houston, Texas, to Diane Margaret (Krieger), who taught at a university, and Charles W. Linklater III. Richard was among the first and most successful talents to emerge during the American independent film renaissance of the 1990s. ...

40. Lotte Reiniger

Director | Silhouetten

Lotte Reiniger was born on June 2, 1899 in Berlin, Germany as Charlotte Reiniger. She is known for her work on Silhouetten (1936), The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926) and Here and There (1949). She was married to Carl Koch. She died on June 19, 1981 in Dettenhausen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.

41. Adam Curtis

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

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

42. Mira Nair

Director | Monsoon Wedding

Accomplished Film Director/Writer/Producer Mira Nair was born in India and educated at Delhi University and at Harvard. She began her film career as an actor and then turned to directing award-winning documentaries, including So Far From India and India Cabaret. Her debut feature film, Salaam ...

43. Ava DuVernay

Producer | Queen Sugar

A director, producer, writer, marketer and film distributor, Ava DuVernay made her feature film debut with the documentary This in the Life (2008), a history on hip hop movement that flourished in Los Angeles in the 1990's. This was followed by series of television music documentaries which ...



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