The 100 Essential Directors

By PopMatters Staff

5 September 2011

The 100 Essential Directors Part 1: Chantal Akerman - Bernardo Bertolucci

Neurotic New Yorkers, Queer Mavericks, Swedish close-ups and the art of putting a microphone on every person on set are but a few of the themes explored in PopMatters' first group of ten essential directors, Chantal Akerman through Bernardo Bertolucci. Please note that any perceived omissions were likely on purpose...

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The 100 Essential Directors Part 2: Robert Bresson to David Cronenberg

Our second day of "100 Essential Directors" could loosely be described as one that defines "influential." Each of the auteurs sandwiched in between Robert Bresson and David Cronenberg has left a lasting mark on cinema, each employing a signature style that is unmistakable.

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The 100 Essential Directors Part 3: George Cukor - John Ford

Spiritual possession, screwball comedy, German kinks, and the quintessential American Western genre are among the disparate characters we shine a light on today as PopMatters counts down the 100 Essential Film Directors. Today we look at George Cukor through John Ford. Who falls in the middle might surprise you...

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The 100 Essential Directors Part 4: Samuel Fuller - John Huston

On our fourth day, this journey through the 100 Essential Film Directors continues to twist and turn in unexpected ways. From bold, opinionated Hollywood voices to those who essentially created the language of cinema, today will shed light on kings of genre like Samuel Fuller, through lions like the legendary John Huston.

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The 100 Essential Directors Part 5: Derek Jarman to Mike Leigh

Mid-way through our series, Day 5 is a glorious mishmash of international auteurist cinema. Today we go from saints and sinners, from Brookyln to Britain, from the beginning of time to the Dystopian future, and around the world and beyond.

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The 100 Essential Directors Part 6: Ernst Lubitsch to Vincente Minnelli

Today runs the gamut. Hollywood to indie art house, female perspective to male, screwball comedy to chamber drama. The odyssey from Ernst Lubitsch to Vincente Minnelli will provide illumination on how film's first special effects were used, how two brothers presciently preceded reality TV in the Hamptons, and why some directors prefer to work about once a decade on average...

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The 100 Essential Directors Part 7: Kenji Mizoguchi to Satyajit Ray

Pushing boundaries seems to be the thread that ties the directors of our seventh day together. From Japanese innovators to Italian iconclasts and Polish provocateurs, the directors that fall between Kenji Mizoguchi and the man who was perhaps India's greatest visual storyteller, Satyajit Ray, all push the form in incredible, surprising ways.

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The 100 Essential Directors Part 8: Jean Renoir to Douglas Sirk

From Jean Renior through Douglas Sirk, there may be some choices that raise an eyebrow. While each of the directors we look at today might not be on every cinephile's list of great directors, they absolutely merit inclusion for their distinct visions and dedication to their craft, some despite their questionable personal lives and politics.

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The 100 Essential Directors Part 9: Victor Sjöström to Luchino Visconti

Today we present a glorious spate of international auteurs that range from cinematic innovators from the silent era to those who continue to push the limits of film in their contemporary work.

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The 100 Essential Directors Part 10: Josef Von Sternberg to Zhang Yimou

The final day of directors is here, Josef Von Sternberg through Zhang Yimou. German Expressionism, Dogme 95, contemporary views of Asian life, post-WWII malaise in Eastern Europe, and the alternately heartwarming and queer takes on everyday life in Baltimore all hold a space on today's list. Did we forget your favorite director on this list?

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