My 25 best directors ever!

by kluseba | created - 24 Dec 2010 | updated - 03 Jan 2011 | Public

After a closer look on the best and worst movies as well as the best actors,I now want to present you my list of the 25 best directors ever. I will start with my number 25 to finish with my favourite director!

1. Georges Méliès

Director | Le royaume des fées

Georges Méliès was a French illusionist and film director famous for leading many technical and narrative developments in the earliest days of cinema.

Méliès was an especially prolific innovator in the use of special effects, popularizing such techniques as substitution splices, multiple exposures, ...

Let's start with my number 25 of the best directors of all times. Georges Méliès was the first "Cinemagician" ever and one of the first and best directors at the pioneer state of the cinema. he introduced a narrative style to the movies and discovered many special effects. His movies "Le voyage dans la lune" and "Le voyage à travers l'impossible" were innovating and the first science fiction or fantasy movies ever.

2. F.W. Murnau

Director | Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans

He studied art and literature history at the University of Heidelberg. During World War I, he was a combat pilot.

He was one of the most influential directors of the silent era of the German cinema. He was an important leader of the expressionist movement and created the first very innovating, atmospheric and eerie horror movies like the famous "Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens". He was one of the first european directors that made it to Hollywood. Sadly, he died way too young and a couple of his movies got lost.

3. Edward D. Wood Jr.

Writer | Plan 9 from Outer Space

Hacks are nothing new in Hollywood. Since the beginning of the film industry at the turn of the 20th century, thousands of untalented people have come to Los Angeles from all over America and abroad to try to make it big (as writers, producers, directors, actors, talent agents, singers, composers, ...

For many, he was one of the worst or weirdest movie makers of all times. But his trash flicks are cult movies now and his art was truly unique and mixed the surreal with the absurd in his works about horror, fantasy or science-fiction. By the way, his cult flicks are really entertaining and addicting in my opinion. He tried some bits of every style and even made pornographic movies and this starnge and open-minded attitue add a very special something to his movies. Check out "Bride of the monster" or "Plan 9 from outer space".

4. Ishirô Honda

Writer | Godzilla

Influential Japanese film director born May 7th, 1911, often credited as being the father of Godzilla. His name is a combination of "I" (or Ino), meaning "boar" and "shirô," meaning fourth boy in the family. Originally, the young Honda had aspirations of becoming an artist. However, as he moved ...

This often forgotten Japanese legend directed the legendary first "Gojira" movie and created a philosophical anti-war masterpiece. Later on, he created more superficial moster movies that were though innovating concerning the visual and special effects and decorations. He was an intensive assistant of the cult director Akira Korusawa and even directed some parts or episodes of his most famous movies.

5. Akira Kurosawa

Writer | Kakushi-toride no san-akunin

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...

This other Japanese legend created some beautiful epics like the probably most famous Japanese movie of all times "Shichinin no samurai" or the fascinating "Ran". He pushed the level of Asian cinema on a high quality level and built the way for many other great directors.

6. Jerry Zucker

Producer | Airplane!

Jerry Zucker was born on March 11, 1950 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. He is a producer and writer, known for Airplane! (1980), Ghost (1990) and Top Secret! (1984). He has been married to Janet Zucker since May 1987. They have two children.

This director and writer was involved in some of my favourite comedy movies like "Top secret!", "The naked gun" and "Rat race". He didn't create many films but those ones he made are all of an extremely high quality.

7. Robert Rodriguez

Producer | El mariachi

Robert Anthony Rodriguez was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, USA, to Rebecca (Villegas), a nurse, and Cecilio G. Rodríguez, a salesman. His family is of Mexican descent.

Of all the people to be amazed by the images of John Carpenter's 1981 sci-fi parable, Escape from New York (1981), none ...

His style is often compared to Quentin Tarantino (an extremely overrated director in my opinon just like Roman Polanski) and he made some really intense, epic and brutal movies like the cult flicks "Desperado", "From dusk till dawn" or "Once upon a time in Mexico". He was also involved in the recent and very innovating cult flick "Sin City" or the brand new "Machete".

8. M. Night Shyamalan

Producer | Lady in the Water

Born in Puducherry, India, and raised in the posh suburban Penn Valley area of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, M. Night Shyamalan is a film director, screenwriter, producer, and occasional actor, known for making movies with contemporary supernatural plots.

He is the son of Jayalakshmi, a Tamil ...

This director from India is called by some the "New Hitchcock" because of his eerie movies filled with mysteries, philosophy and surprising twists. His most famous work is "The sixth sense" and he recently wrote and produces the beginning of his brand new trilogy beginning with "Devil" and I think that after a couple of weaker movies the best is yet to come from him.

9. Milos Forman

Director | One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Milos Forman was born Jan Tomas Forman in Caslav, Czechoslovakia, to Anna (Svabova), who ran a summer hotel, and Rudolf Forman, a professor. During World War II, his parents were taken away by the Nazis, after being accused of participating in the underground resistance. His father died in ...

This Czech director created two brilliant character movies with the legendary "one flew over cuckoo's nest" and "Amadeus". He showed his diversity and open-minded interests by directing the movie for the musical "Hair" or the Spanish flick "Los fantasmas de Goya".

10. Clint Eastwood

Actor | Gran Torino

Clint Eastwood was born May 31, 1930 in San Francisco, the son of Clinton Eastwood Sr., a manufacturing executive for Georgia-Pacific Corporation, and Ruth Wood, a housewife turned IBM operator. He had a comfortable, middle-class upbringing in nearby Piedmont. At school Clint took interest in music...

Clint Eastwood was not only a brilliant actor but directed also some great movies in which he often played the main roles as he was able to use and analyze his talents in a very adequate and stunning way. A part of the legendary western "The outlaw Josey wales", I adore his recent masterpiece "Gran Torino". He did something of almost every genre from westerns and war movies to action thrillers and dramas.

11. Charles Chaplin

Writer | The Great Dictator

Considered to be one of the most pivotal stars of the early days of Hollywood, Charlie Chaplin lived an interesting life both in his films and behind the camera. He is most recognized as an icon of the silent film era, often associated with his popular character, the Little Tramp; the man with the ...

Many people just know him as a cult actor but he also directed and wrote most of his biggest successes like "Modern times" or his interesting "The great dictator".

12. James Cameron

Writer | Avatar

James Francis Cameron was born on August 16, 1954 in Kapuskasing, Ontario, Canada. He moved to the United States in 1971. The son of an engineer, he majored in physics at California State University before switching to English, and eventually dropping out. He then drove a truck to support his ...

Personally, i rather dislike James cameron because he is completely assimilated to American cinema and opne would never think that he is actually born as a Canadian and seems to has lost a certain kind of uniqueness. But one can't deny that he did a very diversified job in such intense, romantic and touching movies like the blockbusters "Titanic" or the innovating "Avatar". Personally, I liked his works for "Aliens", probably my favourite movie of the legendary series.

13. Peter Jackson

Producer | The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Peter Jackson was born as an only child in a small coast-side town in New Zealand in 1961. When a friend of his parents bought him a super 8 movie camera (because she saw how much he enjoyed taking photos), the then eight-year-old Peter instantly grabbed the thing to start recording his own movies,...

This director from New Zealand directed the bombastic and epic "Lord of the rings" movies as well as the well received remake of "King Kong". Even if his works are mostly based on older movies or books, his way to give a life to the characters and arrange big scenes like on battlefields is truly unique.

14. Tim Burton

Producer | Edward Scissorhands

Timothy Walter Burton was born in Burbank, California, to Jean Rae (Erickson), who owned a cat-themed gift shop, and William Reed Burton, who worked for the Burbank Park and Recreation Department. He spent most of his childhood as a recluse, drawing cartoons, and watching old movies (he was ...

Tim Burton has a truly particular and unique style that you may adore or hate. But one can't deny his groundbreaking successes like the touching tale "Edward Scissorhands", the freaky parody "Mars attacks!" or the cult gothic musical "Sweeney Todd". Especially his works with Johnny Depp are legendary and of a high quality.

15. Francis Ford Coppola

Producer | The Conversation

Francis Ford Coppola was born in 1939 in Detroit, Michigan, but grew up in a New York suburb in a creative, supportive Italian-American family. His father, Carmine Coppola, was a composer and musician. His mother, Italia Coppola (née Pennino), had been an actress. Francis Ford Coppola graduated ...

Coppola did many interesting and great movies but his most famous ones are without a doubt the legendary three "Godfather" movies that have marked and created a whole genre.

16. 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 ...

Let's go straight to my actual top 10. The deceased Stanley Kubrick really innovated the cinema with his very detailed way of directing and his influences including surrealism, expressionism and ironic pessimism. He created many well known masterpieces such as "Doctor Strangelove", "2001: A space odyssey", "A clockwork orange", "Full metal jacket" and "Eyes wide shut". I have not yet seen all of those movies but it's a sure think that he has to be in the list of my ten top directors!

17. Yimou Zhang

Director | Shi mian mai fu

Yimou Zhang was born on November 14, 1951 in Xi'an, Shaanxi, China. He is a director and actor, known for House of Flying Daggers (2004), Ying xiong (2002) and Man cheng jin dai huang jin jia (2006).

This Chinese director is the master of the visual elegance that underline his epic and philosophical masterpieces like "Hero" or "House of flying daggers" to just mention his internationally well known flicks. He also directed very artistical and meaningful parts of the ceremonies for the Olympic games in Athens in 2004 and especially in Beijing in 2008.

18. Ridley Scott

Producer | The Martian

Described by film producer Michael Deeley as "the very best eye in the business", director Ridley Scott was born on November 30, 1937 in South Shields, Tyne and Wear (then County Durham). His father was an officer in the Royal Engineers and the family followed him as his career posted him ...

The list of his well known classics is extremely long. Masterpieces such as "Alien", "Blade runner", "1492: Conquest of paradise" or "American gangster" excuse for a few weaker works like "Gladiator" that is surely an interesting movie but filled with goofs.

19. Martin Scorsese

Director | Taxi Driver

Martin Charles Scorsese was born on November 17, 1942 in Queens, New York City, to Catherine Scorsese (née Cappa) and Charles Scorsese, who both worked in Manhattan's garment district, and whose families both came from Palermo, Sicily. He was raised in the neighborhood of Little Italy, which later ...

I admire Martin Scorses for his works in the epic tale "gangs of New York", the weird and entertaining "The aviator" or the excellent psycho thriller "Shutter Island" even if I didn't like the long, slow paced and simply boring "The departed" that much.

20. Alfred Hitchcock

Director | Psycho

Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was born in Leytonstone, Essex, England. He was the son of Emma Jane (Whelan; 1863 - 1942) and East End greengrocer William Hitchcock (1862 - 1914). His parents were both of half English and half Irish ancestry. He had two older siblings, William Hitchcock (born 1890) and ...

The British director with the famous cameo appearances is the master of the crime and suspense movies. With his slow paced and very detailed style, he directed masterpieces spanning six decades. There is a high amount of unforgettable classics in his filmography such as "Vertigo", "North by northwest" or "Psycho" to just name a few.

21. Steven Spielberg

Producer | Artificial Intelligence: AI

Undoubtedly one of the most influential personalities in the history of film, Steven Spielberg is perhaps Hollywood's best known director and certainly one of the wealthiest filmmakers in the world. Spielberg has countless big-grossing, critically acclaimed credits to his name, as producer, ...

This director excelled in almost every genre. He made brilliant science-fiction movies like "Close encounters of the third kind" or "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial", excellent fantasy movies such as "Jurassic Park", stunning adventure flicks like "Indiana Jones" or intense dramas such as "Schindler's list". His movies are eternal and simply unforgettable.

22. Christopher Nolan

Writer | The Prestige

Best known for his cerebral, often nonlinear storytelling, acclaimed writer-director Christopher Nolan was born on July 30, 1970 in London, England. Over the course of 15 years of filmmaking, Nolan has gone from low-budget independent films to working on some of the biggest blockbusters ever made.

...

I don't admire this director for his legendary movie "The dark knight" that I have refused to see until now but rather for his intelligent, weird and innovating flicks like the very weird "Memento", the historical and atmospheric "The prestige" or the recent "Inception".

23. Sergei M. Eisenstein

Director | Aleksandr Nevskiy

The son of an affluent architect, Eisenstein attended the Institute of Civil Engineering in Petrograd as a young man. With the fall of the tsar in 1917, he worked as an engineer for the Red Army. In the following years, Eisenstein joined up with the Moscow Proletkult Theater as a set designer and ...

Let's head to my personal top 3 with a little surprise for some of you. This Russian director was a pionneer and innovating superbrain as he developped and invented many very particular approaches of filming in the most difficult circumstances that many Hollywood flicks only repeated. His Soviet propaganda movie "Броненосец «Потёмкин»" is an unforgettable early masterpiece and he has even more interesting movies to be seen by any fan of the art of cinema.

24. Sergio Leone

Writer | Once Upon a Time in America

Sergio Leone was virtually born into the cinema - he was the son of Roberto Roberti (A.K.A. Vincenzo Leone), one of Italy's cinema pioneers, and actress Bice Valerian. Leone entered films in his late teens, working as an assistant director to both Italian directors and U.S. directors working in ...

This unforgettable Italian director created some of the greatest history movies, westerns and mafia flicks. My favourite film of all times "The good, the bad and the ugly" has been directed by him. I like the way he films the bright and wide landscapes and big sceneries as well as his focus on the little and smart expressions on the faces and especially in the eyes of his actors that nobody was able to reproduce in such an intense way as he did.

25. 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 ...

The master of the weird and the mystery is my number one of the best directors of all times. His extremely detailed way of filming, his slow paced development with sudden accelerations and changes, his eerie and surreal elements, his philosophical way to make people imagine and think, the way he creates truly unique characters and motivates each one of his actors to give the most intense and brilliant performance possible make him the best movie maker I have ever seen. He creates more emotions and thoughts with his images than any other director with words. Movies like the experimental masterpiece "Eraserhead", the best and most intense series of all times "Twin Peaks" or the stunning and freaky "Lost highway" are amongst the best movies ever done. Let's hope that he'll continue to create such kind of masterpieces even if I also adore his music, his paintings and his short movies or comics as this guy is a multiple talent.