Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Auteurs (The Great Directors of Cinema History): Part 2 – Movies Spotlight – April 2015

List is in alphabetical order.


Part II – The Rise of the Auteur and Experimentation



Woody Allen
Style/system: American; worked in American independent film; known for his dialog and contribution to the romantic comedy genre
Active: 1966-Present
Key films to see: Annie Hall, Manhattan, Hannah and Her Sisters, Crimes and Misdemeanors, and Midnight in Paris


Robert Altman
Style/system: American; worked in Hollywood and American independent film; large ensemble casts, naturalistic style, a leading filmmaker in the New Hollywood era
Active: 1951-2006
Key films to see: MASH, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, The Long Goodbye, Nashville, and The Player


Ingmar Bergman
Style/system: Swedish; worked in Sweden; a director’s director, very influential and beloved by those who came after him, his work often focused on the human condition
Active: 1946-2007
Key films to see: The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries, Persona, Cries and Whispers, and Fanny and Alexander


Bernardo Bertolucci
Style/system: Italian; worked in Italy and America; strikingly beautiful and poetic films, often dealing with character facing moments of monumental change in their lives
Active: 1962-Present
Key films to see: The Conformist, Last Tango in Paris, 1900, and The Last Emperor


Robert Bresson
Style/system: French; worked in France; influenced the filmmakers who birthed the French New Wave, a director’s director (influential and beloved), Jean-Luc Godard wrote: “Robert Bresson is French cinema, as Dostoevsky is the Russian novel and Mozart is German music.”
Active: 1934-1983
Key films to see: Diary of a Country Priest, A Man Escaped, Pickpocket, Au Hasard Balthazar, and Mouchette


John Cassavetes
Style/system: American; worked in American independent film; an actor’s director, known for garnering some of cinema’s greatest performances from his troupe of actors, often made films about normal life and the great strain that exists within it
Active: 1959-1986
Key films to see: Faces, A Woman Under the Influence, The Killing of a Chinese Bookie, Opening Night, and Gloria


Francis Ford Coppola
Style/system: American; worked in Hollywood and American independent film; a prominent member of the New Hollywood wave of filmmakers, the filmmaker of the 1970s (only to seemingly never again make a truly great film)
Active: 1959-Present
Key films to see: The Godfather, The Conversation, The Godfather: Part II, Apocalypse Now, The Outsiders, and Dracula


Stanley Donen
Style/system: American; worked in Hollywood; marvelous musicals (with Gene Kelly) and masterful Hollywood genre films (with Audrey Hepburn), bright and colorful, pure Hollywood
Active: 1949-1999
Key films to see: On the Town, Singin’ in the Rain, Funny Face, Charade, and Two for the Road


Federico Fellini
Style/system: Italian; worked in Italy; blends fantasy and baroque imagery with realism, yet another of the most influential filmmakers of those to follow him
Active: 1950-1990
Key films to see: La Strada, The Nights of Cabiria, La Dolce Vita, 8 ½, and Amarcord


Milos Forman
Style/system: Czech; worked in Czechoslovakia and Hollywood; a leader of the Czechoslovak New Wave moment, bringing his biting satire and rebellion against authority to Hollywood
Active: 1960-Presnet
Key films to see: The Loves of a Blonde, The Fireman’s Ball, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Hair, and Amadeus


Jean-Luc Godard
Style/system: French; worked in France; a leader of the French New Wave, an artist often working with experiment cinema techniques
Active: 1955-Present
Key films to see: Breathless, Vivre Sa Vie, Contempt, Band of Outsiders, and Pierrot le Fou


Stanley Kubrick
Style/system: American; worked in Hollywood and England; evocative films, strikingly beautiful films, incredibly influential, a prominent leader of the New Hollywood wave
Active: 1951-1999
Key films to see: Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon, and The Shining


Sergio Leone
Style/system: Italian; worked in Italy and America; known for his grand Spaghetti Westerns (modernizing and stylistically changing the western forever)
Active: 1954-1984
Key films to see: A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, The Good , the Bad and the Ugly, Once Upon a Time in the West, and Once Upon a Time in America


Sidney Lumet
Style/system: American; worked in Hollywood; an actor’s director with expert craftsmanship, prolific, his films often address social realism
Active: 1952-2007
Key films to see: 12 Angry Men, Fail Safe, The Hill, Dog Day Afternoon, and Network


Style/system: American; worked in American independent film; ethereal filmmaking almost more montage than narrative, more poetic than structured, stunning visuals, deeply philosophical
Active: 1969-Presnet


Jean-Pierre Melville
Style/system: French; worked in France; a minimalist, French film noir and gangster films, his style is the epitome of cool, influenced the French New Wave
Active: 1946-1972
Key films to see: Bob le Flambeur, Le Doulos, Le Samourai, The Army of Shadows, and Le Cercle Rouge


Mike Nichols
Style/system: German; worked in Hollywood and Broadway; an actor’s director, experimental and aggressively progressive stylistically completely changing the narrative language on American cinema with one film (The Graduate)
Active: 1966-2007


Sam Peckinpah
Style/system: American; worked in Hollywood; innovative and explicit use of violence, reworked the western to be much grittier and moral ambiguous (replacing white hats and black hats with versions of gray)
Active: 1958-1983
Key films to see: The Wild Bunch, Straw Dogs, The Getaway, and Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia


Roman Polanski
Style/system: Polish; worked in Poland, England, France and Hollywood; a master of the thriller, an expressive style utilizing camera movement, framing and mise en scene to their greatest effect
Active: 1955-Present
Key films to see: Repulsion, Rosemary’s Baby, Chinatown, The Tenant, and The Pianist


Nicolas Roeg
Style/system: English; worked in England; disjunctive editing, cryptic plots that are fascinating even so (to be revealed in full in the end), films that draw the view in, often terrifying due to a foreboding sense of atmosphere
Active: 1970-2007
Key films to see: Performance, Walkabout, Don’t Look Now, The Man Who Fell to Earth, and Bad Timing


Style/system: American; worked in Hollywood; a leader of the New Hollywood wave, revitalizing the American gangster film (along with Francis Ford Coppola), highly stylized use of music, camera moves and editing, cinema’s greatest student, fan and protector
Active: 1959-Present
Key films to see: Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas, and Casino


Style/system: English; worked in England and Hollywood; a grandiose scene of scope and scale, atmospheric visuals, modernization of sci-fi crossing it over with other genres (like the horror/thriller and noir/hard boiled detective)
Active: 1965-Present
Key films to see: Alien, Blade Runner, Thelma & Louise, Gladiator, and Black Hawk Down


Steve Spielberg
Style/system: American; worked in Hollywood; created the modern blockbuster (along with George Lucas) and blockbuster filmmaking, a leader of the New Hollywood wave, maybe the world’s most famous director
Active: 1959-Present
Key films to see: Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, and Schindler’s List


Andrei Tarkovsky
Style/system: Russian; worked in Russia, Italy and Sweden; a director’s director, changed film language for many to follow him with his style and storytelling, life as a reflection, as a dream
Active: 1956-1986
Key films to see: Ivan’s Childhood, Andrei Rublev, Solaris, The Mirror, and Stalker


François Truffaut
Style/system: French; worked in France; a principal filmmaker of the French New Wave, a student and critic of cinema, as well-versed as any
Active: 1955-1983
Key films to see: The 400 Blows, Shoot the Pianist, Jules and Jim, Stolen Kisses, and Day for Night


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