A week spent celebrating the work of some of our favourite directors starts with the team’s top 60 choices. Today is 30 to 21...
Find the rest of the Top 60
This week we are celebrating those filmmakers that have provided us nothing but joyful times in our viewing lives. Not necessarily joy as in laughs and happiness, but that feeling you get when, despite the subject matter, you know you’ve just seen something that will stick with you long after the cinema lights have come back on. The list is by no means definitive so don’t judge us. What we did was ask everyone who writes for us to give us a list of ten film directors, and then we scientifically, okay we just added up all the choices, and then we built the list from duplicated names. Our finalised list won’t be to everyone’s liking I am sure, but we hope you enjoy the list none the less and at the weekend enjoy all our thoughts and reviews on filmmakers and their art. Where a final decision on placement was needed due to a tied vote, the final decision was made by Steve Taylor-Bryant. With biography information from IMDb, here is the list from 30-21…
30. Luc Besson
Luc Besson spent the first years of his life following his parents, scuba diving instructors, around the world. His early life was entirely aquatic. He already showed amazing creativity as a youth, writing early drafts of The Big Blue (1988) and The Fifth Element (1997), as an adolescent bored in school. He planned on becoming a marine biologist specializing in dolphins until a diving accident at age 17 which rendered him unable to dive any longer. He moved back to Paris, where he was born, and only at age 18 did he first have an urban life or television. He realized that film was a medium which he could combine all his interests in various arts together, so he began taking odd jobs on various films. He moved to America for three years, then returned to France and formed Les Films de Loups - his own production company, which later changed its name to Les Films de Dauphins. He is now able to dive again.
TheDreamCage Most Watched – Subway and Leon.
29. John Glen
John Glen was born on May 15, 1932 in Sunbury-on-Thames, England. He is an editor and director, known for For Your Eyes Only (1981), Licence to Kill (1989) and Octopussy (1983).
TheDreamCage Most Watched – Licence to Kill.
28. Milos Forman
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 Buchenwald and his mother died in Auschwitz, and Milos became an orphan very early on. He studied screen-writing at the Prague Film Academy (F.A.M.U.). In his Czechoslovakian films, Black Peter (1964), A Blonde in Love (1965), and The Fireman's Ball (1967), he created his own style of comedy. During the invasion of his country by the troops of the Warsaw pact in the summer of 1968 to stop the Prague spring, he left Europe for the United States. In spite of difficulties, he filmed Taking Off (1971) there and achieved his fame later with One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) adapted from the novel of Ken Kesey, which won five Oscars including one for direction. Other important films of Milos Forman were the musical Hair (1979) and his biography of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Amadeus (1984), which won eight Oscars.
TheDreamCage Most Watched – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
27. Tony Scott
Tony Scott was a British-born film director and producer. He was the youngest of three brothers, one of whom is fellow film director Ridley Scott. He was born in North Shields, Northumberland, England to parents Jean and Colonel Francis Percy Scott. Because of his father's career in the British military, his family moved around a lot. Their mother loved the going to the movies and instilled a love of cinema in her children. At age 16, Tony made his first appearance on screen as 'the boy' in his brother's directorial debut, the short film Boy and Bicycle (1965). In 1969, Tony directed his own short film One of the Missing (1969) about a soldier in the American civil war.
Tony had a talent for art and painting. He spent a year in Leeds College of Art and Design and went on to study for a fine arts degree at the School of Art at the University of Sunderland. He won a scholarship to study for his Master of Fine Arts at the Royal College of Art. Following university, he spent several years as a painter. But life as a painter proved a struggle, so he decided to forge a different career path and partnered with Ridley in advertising at Ridley Scott Associates. It was there that he began shooting commercials. In 1971 he wrote, produced and directed Loving Memory however his vampire movie The Hunger (1983) starring Susan Sarandon, David Bowie and Catherine Deneuve wasn't a critical success but it attracted attention from Hollywood. He was asked by producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer to direct Top Gun (1986) starring Tom Cruise. He would work again with Cruise on another high adrenaline film Days of Thunder (1990), which proved less successful. He followed the success of Top Gun with the sequel Beverly Hills Cop II (1987) with Eddie Murphy, which was well received. Tony Scott was a British-born film director and producer. He was the youngest of three brothers, one of whom is fellow film director Ridley Scott. He was born in North Shields, Northumberland, England to parents Jean and Colonel Francis Percy Scott. As a result of his father's career in the British military, his family moved around a lot. Their mother loved the going to the movies and instilled a love of cinema in her children. At age 16, Tony made his first appearance on screen as 'the boy' in his brother's directorial debut, the short film Boy and Bicycle (1965). In 1969, Tony directed his own short film One of the Missing (1969) about a soldier in the American civil war.
In 1993, he directed True Romance (1993), which was written by emerging director Quentin Tarantino. Scott had a lot of control over the film and received some great reviews.
Tony has worked five times with actor Denzel Washington with Crimson Tide (1995), The Taking of Pelham 123 (2009), Deja Vu (2006), Man on Fire (2004) and Scott's final film in the director's chair Unstoppable (2010).
Tony Scott passed away at age 68 on August 19, 2012 in California, USA.
TheDreamCage Most Watched – Deja Vu and Top Gun.
26. Gabriela Cowperthwaite
“People always wonder whether I believe SeaWorld should be closed down. I always say no. They have tremendous financial resources and could play a key role in creating sea sanctuaries which could be a profit-making endeavor. I believe people would flock to a site where a killer whale is being a killer whale for the first time -- something infinitely more satisfying than seeing a killer whale dance the Macarena.”
TheDreamCage Most Watched – Rex (Megan Leavey in the U.S.)
25. David Cronenberg
David Cronenberg, also known as the King of Venereal Horror or the Baron of Blood, was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in 1943. His father, Milton Cronenberg, was a journalist and editor, and his mother, Esther (Sumberg), was a piano player. After showing an inclination for literature at an early age (he wrote and published eerie short stories, thus following his father's path) and for music (playing classical guitar until he was 12), Cronenberg graduated from the University of Toronto with a degree in Literature after switching from the science department. He reached the cult status of horror-meister with the gore-filled, modern-vampire variations of Shivers (1975) and Rabid (1977), following an experimental apprenticeship in independent film-making and in Canadian television programs.
Cronenberg gained popularity with the head-exploding, telepathy-based Scanners (1981) after the release of the much underrated, controversial, and autobiographical The Brood (1979). Cronenberg become a sort of a mass media guru with Videodrome (1983), a shocking investigation of the hazards of reality-morphing television and a prophetic critique of contemporary aesthetics. The issues of tech-induced mutation of the human body and topics of the prominent dichotomy between body and mind were back again in The Dead Zone (1983) and The Fly (1986), both bright examples of a personal film-making identity, even if both films are based on mass-entertainment materials: the first being a rendition of a Stephen King best-seller, the latter a remake of a famous American horror movie.
With Dead Ringers (1988) and Naked Lunch (1991), the Canadian director, no more a mere genre movie-maker but a fully realized auteur, got the acclaim of international critics. Such profound statements on modern humanity and ever-changing society are prominent in the provocative Crash (1996) and in the virtual reality essay of eXistenZ (1999), both of which well fared at the Cannes and Berlin Film Festivals. In the last two film projects Spider (2002) and A History of Violence (2005), Cronenberg avoids expressing his teratologic and oneiric expressionism in favour of a more psychological exploration of human contradictions and idiosyncrasies.
TheDreamCage Most Watched – Videodrome and Crash.
24. Denis Villeneuve
Denis Villeneuve is a French-Canadian film director and writer. He was born in 1967, in Trois-Rivières, Québec, Canada. He started his career as a filmmaker at the National Film Board of Canada. He is best known for his feature films Arrival (2016), Sicario (2015), Prisoners (2013), Enemy (2013), and Incendies (2010). He is married to Tanya Lapointe.
TheDreamCage Most Watched – Arrival and Blade Runner 2049.
23. Chan-wook Park
Chan-wook Park was born on August 23, 1963 in Seoul, South Korea. He is a director and writer, known for The Handmaiden (2016), Thirst (2009) and Oldboy (2003).
TheDreamCage Most Watched – Stoker and Oldboy.
22. Brian De Palma
Brian De Palma is the son of a surgeon. He studied physics but at the same time felt his dedication for the movies and made some short films. After seven independent productions he had his first success with Sisters (1972) and his voyeuristic style. Restlessly he worked on big projects with the script writers Paul Schrader, John Farris and Oliver Stone. He also filmed a novel of Stephen King: Carrie (1976). Another important film was The Untouchables (1987) with a script by David Mamet adapted from the TV series.
TheDreamCage Most Watched – Scarface and Carrie.
21. Clint Eastwood
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 and mechanics but was an otherwise bored student; this resulted in being held back a grade. Eastwood's parents relocated to Washington state in 1949, and Clint worked menial jobs in the Pacific Northwest until returning to California for a stint at Fort Ord Military Reservation. He enrolled at Los Angeles City College but dropped out after two semesters to pursue acting.He made his directorial debut with the thriller Play Misty for Me.
TheDreamCage Most Watched – Mystic River and The Eiger Sanction.
Image/biography – IMDb.