This information seemed accurate when published
(initially in 2015, then revised several times).
However these things sometimes change very quickly,
and it's possible some of this is not currently correct.
Although auteur theory
is not as widely applicable as once proposed,
it often really is true that simply knowing who directed a movie
tells a whole lot about what that movie's like.
Particularly (but not exclusively)
in the world of art movies made in the last half century,
many directors have exerted so much influence
that their films are marked by their own distinctive style.
A movie review on the website
IMDb (Internet Movie Data‑base)
expresses this very clearly.
Rather than try to paraphrase or summarize or restate it,
I'll simply repeat parts of it verbatim:
I am always a little surprised to see negative reviews of
Tsai Ming‑Liang films in web communities populated by film enthusiasts.
And that's not because I'm about to argue that all film enthusiasts
should like Tsai Ming‑Liang movies, far from it. Rather, what
surprises me is that film enthusiasts -- people motivated enough to have
IMDb logins and, further, motivated enough to write reviews --
would be unfamiliar enough with Tsai Ming‑Liang and his work,
prior to viewing any particular film, that they could end up being
surprised by what they get. [...]
He's an acquired taste and if you don't like quiet,
light-brush-stroke movies you won't like this guy's stuff.
But I can't imagine anyone not knowing all of that before they start,
and then complaining about it afterward.
In my experience, the situation is actually a bit more complicated
than the quote above makes it seem.
Accurate and meaningful thumbnail summaries of directors are
oddly hard to come by,
so much so that I can understand how even a knowledgeable viewer
can be surprised viewing a film by a director new to them.
Accordingly, I've constructed this webpage from my own experience,
describing only the most important things about
each of many directors.
Remember this is an
idiosyncratic list of
my personal opinions,
and that the descriptions are purposely kept short
and so may be quite abbreviated.
Some of them may not mention important themes,
and they may occasionally not even be completely accurate.
If you're looking for authoritative/scholarly or in‑depth
descriptions of movie directors, look elsewhere.
- Robert Altman
American director active in the last half of the 20th century.
Somewhat like Stanley Kubrick,
his movies tend to be quite different from each other
and are frequently a foray into what is for him a new genre.
His movies tend to be about characters and situations
that are rare and even extreme,
so they often provide a
window into another world.
Typically they appear fairly serious
(sometimes on later reflection even downright depressing),
yet often also contain bits of hidden and
very understated humor.
His trademark is overlapping sound
(dialog and actual ambient noise together,
or several characters speaking at the same time)
even at the risk of loss of clarity.
This often necessitates every single character in a scene
wearing a hidden microphone,
and recording all the microphones on separate tracks for later mixing.
- Paul Thomas Anderson (PTA)
Directed the hit There Will Be Blood.
His camera movements and angles have morphed
from splashy virtuosic ones
to nearly static unobtrusive
(but just right) ones.
His films are quite varied,
including such things as black comedies,
bizarre stories based on personal research,
and literary adaptations.
His recent very sophisticated works
have been ever more the darlings of critics and movie mavens;
he is often mentioned as one of the best current directors.
But none of them have been anywhere near
as widely accepted by rank and file viewers
as his first hit was.
- Michelangelo Antonioni
He started out making films in his native Italy,
but then became a sort of world citizen,
making films in London, Los Angeles, and even in China.
He first gained worldwide recognition for his trilogy
(actually four films) about alienation.
(The fourth was his first [and excellent] foray into color.)
His trilogy emphasized moods
evoked by the pictures and sounds more than action or character;
the story-lines were hazy and inconsequential.
He was one of the first to take films in the evocative direction.
He was also one of the first to use some
really really long takes.
These new stylistic directions
influenced later directors such as Akira Kurosawa and Andrei Tarkovsky.
Various questions surround the next three films he produced:
His London film Blow-Up
is still a favorite puzzle to audiences,
but the puzzle may be quite a bit more than he originally intended.
One story is that his producer was aghast at the shooting expense
and suddenly completely forbade him to shoot any more,
so that he had to edit together a finished film
just from the shots he already had.
His Los Angeles film Zabriskie Point
was an extensive aggressive attempt to capture
the youth rebellion of the swinging sixties.
But it ultimately failed, partly because the dialog seemed klunky,
sounding didactic by delivering too much explication,
and suggesting the philosophy behind the youth rebellion
had more coherence than it really did.
And his relationship with Hollywood -already strained- was further ruptured
by the charge he often egged on
questionable behaviors so he'd have more to document with film.
His mysterious film The Passenger
with Jack Nicholson and Maria Schneider
returned to form, but was not a box office success.
And for some reason the rights to that film went to Jack Nicholson,
who kept it private,
so that for a couple of decades the only way to see it
was a personal screening by Jack Nicholson himself
at one of his appearances.
- Ingmar Bergman
Swedish director who was
fully involved with movies for much of his long life.
His works were at the front of the
of American art‑house cinema in the fifties and sixties
and into the seventies.
His early background was in theater,
and although his films were very much films,
parts of many of them nevertheless feel
a little bit stage‑ready.
As his favorite subjects were so dark (death, insanity, etc.),
his films have earned the reputation of displaying
His dark topics do not imply any sort of
in fact –particularly in his earlier films–
organized religion is often portrayed in an unflattering light.
- Robert Bresson
His work in France in the mid-20th century garnered him a reputation
as one of the finest filmmakers.
His films have an ascetic or
minimalist bent, perhaps even a
or Catholic one.
He used little music,
and his method of directing actors reduced them to not much more than puppets,
so most of the emotional weight of the film
was carried by the images themselves.
It's sometimes theorized that spiritual
is nothing more than shorthand for
I don't get it,
and what he was really doing -although few viewers realize it even now-
was playing out every stylistic permutation.
He greatly affected the direction of the
French New Wave,
although as he was a bit older he isn't generally considered to be
a New Wave director himself.
He was very good at organizing and verbalizing his thoughts about film theory,
impacting the French New Wave
through his theoretical musings,
and leaving to posterity an excellent book on film theory.
- Shane Carruth
Learned filmmaking on his own as a second career
after being a high-powered software engineer for several years.
Much of his learning came from doodling with
sophisticated software on his personal computer.
He has made only a couple of films to date,
using relatively (sometimes very) low-cost techniques
to produce polished results.
He fills a very wide range of roles:
director, writer, composer, producer,
distributor, cinematographer, co-editor, and actor.
He famously refuses to patronize his audience
by simplifying even a little bit for them.
The (unintended?) result has been movies
whose story‑lines can sometimes be rather difficult to follow
and which sometimes seem to be puzzle movies.
For example a whole lot of computer forum participants from all over the world,
with much guidance from him,
took three years
to fully unravel all the bits of the story behind his first movie.
That movie was about time travel,
but in a much more intricate and sophisticated way
than anything that had been seen before.
- Federico Fellini
Federico Fellini was an Italian director
who was active for several decades after WWII.
He started out right after WWII as an assistant
on some Italian Neorealist films
(for example Rome, Open City),
contributing to them as screenwriter, assistant director, etc.
Shortly he moved on to directing his own films.
He's deeply intrigued by circus culture,
which often appears in some form in his films.
If you see a film where a group of clowns
playing crazy music appears in a most unexpected place,
it's probably a Fellini film.
Many of his films also have significant psychological/spiritual components,
for example explorations of what
subconscious is and does,
or what creativity is and where it comes from.
His films often significantly overlay reality
with what might be called childish whimsy,
so the net result is a bit surreal (yet not completely unreal).
While some of his films are B&W,
many others are very colorful.
Initially a very high proportion of his films received
both regional and worldwide acclaim,
and still have the reputation of being masterpieces.
This earlier period culminated in 8½,
his film about filmmaking.
He continued to produce films regularly for a couple more decades,
but a somewhat lower proportion of those films were publicly acclaimed.
Many critics judge him one of the most influential filmmakers of all time.
- Jean-Luc Godard
A French-Swiss film director who's made a great many films
over a very long period of time.
He's mainly identified with France,
but also has roots in Switzerland
and holds dual citizenship.
He contributed significantly toward
both the definition of and the films of the
French New Wave.
He and François Truffaut sometimes collaborated
and sometimes leapfrogged each other
toward making the earliest
New Wave film;
ultimately Truffaut released the first internationally recognized
New Wave film
(The 400 Blows),
and Godard released the second
(More properly these were the second
New Wave films,
as the very first New Wave film
remains almost unknown outside of France.)
Because he's made so many films over such a long period of time,
the style of his films has changed significantly several times,
and some of his films are not at all like others.
For example some of his films are overtly political,
some appear plain but in fact have a political subtext,
and some are not political at all.
When someone says
Godard is my favorite director,
the next question should be
- Hou *Hsiao-Hsien
Grew up in Taiwan and became an important contributor to the
Taiwanese New Wave.
After largely absenting himself from making commercial films
for almost a decade
(partly to be intimately involved in the
Golden Horse Film Festival and Awards)
he recently returned with The Assassin.
That film is based on a Chinese folktale/myth
which is well known to many, but hardly known at all to Westerners.
As a result,
Westerners typically need to invest some effort
in order to understand who's who and what's happening.
(Just finding a Family Tree
with Google may be enough.)
- Peter Jackson (and Fran Walsh)
Helmed the huge and hugely successful production of the
The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
It was released over three years
(and was in production more than twice that long),
put New Zealand firmly on the moviemaking map,
and provided the springboard for his Weta Studios to become
one of the premier effects houses in the whole world
(in the same rank as ILM).
His adventurousness in using and expanding
so many new moviemaking technologies all at once
to tell a story more effectively
has blazed a path for others.
It's a bit unclear what he should tackle next,
since he was still quite young when he did his
movie event of a lifetime.
- Wong *Kar-Wai
Works in Hong Kong.
His output may seem rather schizophrenic;
there really are two rather separate filmmakers in one body.
One persona produces martial arts/violent/action movies,
while the other persona produces much slower extremely artistic films.
He sometimes floods the whole screen
with a riot of (often subtly related) colors,
he sometimes noticeably manipulates the projected speed of the image,
and his characters are often at the same time both
and unique (even quirky) individuals.
- Krzysztof Kieslowski
Serious Polish director who worked both before and after
the end of the communist regime,
and whose career was ended suddenly
by unexpected complications following heart bypass surgery.
He began as a documentary filmmaker,
but gave up documentaries as he found it too (morally?) difficult
to produce them under the authoritarian regime.
Something of the documentary style remains in his feature films though,
with his straightforward and unmysterious and
not at all arty approach,
often described more simply as a heightened appreciation of realism.
Typical of films made in Eastern Europe near the end of the communist regimes,
his early feature films were funded by the government
even while being obliquely critical of that same government.
They are mostly not well known in the U.S. for various reasons:
some are only available with some difficulty
(and even then only inferior prints, and often without good English subtitles);
and some are a very awkward length for theatrical distribution.
(In particular his famous Dekalog,
based on the idea of the ten commandments,
was made as a TV miniseries,
and so consists of ten approximately one hour segments.
The segments are unified in setting and tone
[and even characters in some cases],
yet each can stand alone.
But a single segment is too short for a theatrical showing,
and all ten segments together is too long.
Thank goodness for home VideoDiscs:-)
After the fall of the communist regime
he and similar filmmakers faced two problems:
First, nothing replaced the government as a source of funds
- he could not get local funding for another feature film.
And second, the whole
serious film culture in Poland
fell apart completely, not just the funding but also the film schools,
the studio system, the distribution system, and so forth.
His solution was to become an
making his last feature films inside some other country's system.
- Stanley Kubrick
Produced on average one film every three years
over the entire last half of the 20th century.
He honed his keen eye and composition sense
in his early job as a staff photographer for
Although unquestionably an American director,
he worked mostly in the U.K.
He was known as an enfant terrible.
He tackled a whole genre at a time, producing one movie of that type
before moving on to some other genre.
Although each movie clearly fit into its genre,
he usually broke the rules
to produce something different,
sometimes sending the whole genre off in a new direction.
Although his movies are quite different from each other
and tend to not have a whole lot of ideas in common,
an implied anti‑war theme does somehow show through many of them.
He often composes a frame with a
single vanishing point (symmetric, centered).
He's known for his very simple and highly stylized and colorful
settings (especially architecture and furniture),
so much so that even today
use of large simply-shaped shiny surfaces as a principal design element
is often referred to as Kubrick‑esque.
- Akira Kurosawa
Japanese director worked through much of the latter 20th century.
He was especially good at:
portraying actions such as duels and horseback riding,
frame composition, editing, and judicious use of music to mesh with
and subtly help portray plot points.
His movies were often set in historical Japan,
yet modern value sensibilities generally peeked through somehow
(for example treating women more equally).
He was quite influenced by some foreign directors (especially American),
and sometimes borrowed from western writers
(for example his Ran can partly be thought of
as Shakespeare's King Lear
reenvisioned in medieval Japan).
And the movies he made,
even though largely factually accurate to their Japanese settings,
often had a western sensibility
that made them more eagerly accepted by foreign audiences
than by Japanese audiences.
- Fritz Lang
Director initially working in Germany.
He helmed several very large projects,
many of them loosely classified as
His silent science fiction and dystopian classic
has strongly influenced even films made close to a century later.
It initially bombed both critically and at the box office though,
practically defining ahead of its time.
It was such an expensive project
it contributed to the entire German film industry losing its independence.
(Finding and restoring all the pieces
was very difficult and took well over two decades.
Back when it was created,
the process for copying negatives was so poor
that directors routinely produced several
good takes, and used different ones when
cutting together the distribution masters for different continents.
So our concept of the authoritative version
doesn't quite fit, and film restorers sometimes face quite a puzzle.)
He eventually escaped Germany
and ultimately settled in Hollywood for decades
before finally returning to Germany.
His later films are less well known,
and have received inconsistent and confusing critical acclaim.
- Terrence Malick
An arty director
who tries to convey as much as possible through just the images.
Most of his films also have significant voiceovers,
so much so it's something of a trademark.
His unique visual style, which was initially a considerable breakthrough,
has been so widely copied and adopted over the decades
that these days it's sometimes referred to (often derogatorily) as either
fashion advertisement style or MTV style.
He's not a full-time filmmaker -
filmmaking is only one of his interests
(and probably not even the primary one).
His films tend to be about people and emotions
(not so much about action or razzle-dazzle).
His films are sometimes described as
(what might be described as a subtle
seems to pervade all of his works).
His output is quite small (only a handful of films in a lifetime) and
sometimes very personal (even autobiographical);
with erratic timing (sometimes decades-long gaps between films);
and his film's topics vary widely (with no discernable pattern?-).
Many consider him a difficult director -
he's one of those love-him-or-hate-him strongly polarizing directors,
considered by some to be one of the greatest filmmakers of all time
and by others to be not worth watching at all.
He's often mentioned together with
either Andrei Tarkovsky or Stanley Kubrick.
- Goro Miyazaki
Hayao Miyazaki's son
(although the two were not close when Goro was a child:-).
Once thought of as the likely heir to
Studio Ghibli artistic leadership,
after the untimely death of Yoshifumi Kondo.
(As of [February 2015] it's not clear what will become of
now that both Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Tahata have announced their retirement.
Some sort of restructuring,
possibly including a change of ownership,
and possibly even including
complete withdrawal from producing theatrical releases,
It's anybody's guess where Goro might fit into this future.)
Unfortunately Goro's first directorial effort was a bit of a stinker,
which both re-problematized relations with his father
and sullied his reputation with distributors.
As a result, his later excellent efforts have not received
the marketing push and wide distribution they deserved in North America.
He's by no means just a slavish copy of his famous father,
yet his art isn't completely different either.
- Hayao Miyazaki
Very talented retired senior figure in
Japanese Anime (animation).
He co-founded Studio Ghibli.
His works often allude to Japanese folk sources,
often appear as simple as fairy tales,
and often have environmental overtones.
The Japanese folk sources he uses have often been largely forgotten,
so in a sense he acted as a
cultural archaeologist for Japan.
He prefers the hand‑drawn style of animation,
and he guided his studio in producing only a few high quality works
for theatrical release
(rather than churning out lower quality works
which are typically released mainly through TV).
Although his animes are definitely Japanese,
he attended quite a bit to worldwide marketing requirements too,
rather than producing purely for the local market.
For well over a decade he had an agreement with Disney U.S.A.
(it's been modified in secret many times,
so the details are no longer fully known publicly)
which seems to give Disney U.S.A.
the right of first refusal for North American distribution
to all Studio Ghibli works
that Miyazaki directed.
As a result,
his works have been widely publicized and shown in America
and are fairly well known there,
so much so that sometimes Studio Ghibli's work
is mis-taken to be a representative sampling
of the entire world of Japanese anime.
His significant contribution to the Disney relationship was his insistence on
which seems to have ended the tradition of North American distributors
trimming or even rearranging foreign animation.
Disney's significant contribution to this relationship has been a long series
of very high quality replacement English soundtracks,
much higher quality
than was previously typical for North American distributors,
with attention to translating not just the dialog
but even cultural references.
- Makoto Shinkai
As a young man with a background in graphics design,
around the turn of the century
he brought together and refined
techniques for routinely producing very detailed and artistic anime
entirely within a computer.
At that time he was widely hailed as the
While visually diverse and exciting,
thematically all his early works tended to be rather similar.
Specifically, they all revolved around looking back on one's early life,
generally with some mixture of nostalgia and regret.
More recently he has apparently consciously decided to focus on
creating for and distributing to the Japanese market exclusively,
no longer trying to cater to worldwide tastes as well.
As a result his more recent works are barely known in the U.S.
(also they're available only on Blu-ray
but not on DVD).
- Alexander Sokurov
A Russian director, working after the collapse of the USSR
and working with apolitical subjects.
His films tend to adhere to formalistic artistic tenets,
and are sometimes technically audacious.
For example his Russian Ark
(about the Russian State Hermitage Museum)
set a record for longest single camera take
(no editing splices or tricks), one that seems likely to stand for all time.
At the time he had to obtain the latest technology
and even then modify it substantially to support
what he wanted to do.
Technology has improved a lot in just a few years,
so run of the mill equipment operated in a routine way can now do what he did.
But nobody cares any more,
because in the meantime techniques for editing together
different sequences so they appear
to be a single take have been developed.
Some of Sokurov's films are so slow
they at first appear to be completely static,
until the viewer notices the subtle variations or the tiny characters in view.
He tends toward documentary subjects,
and not at all sensationalized or romanticized or fictionalized.
One of his recurring subject areas is the life of army soldiers.
- Isao Takahata
Other co‑founder of Studio Ghibli in 1985.
He's just a handful of years older than Hayao Miyazaki.
He's tended to direct less often than Miyazaki,
but similarly produced high quality animes for theatrical distribution.
His body of work is more varied
and does not have obvious common themes.
His works tend to be more
sometimes to the point of being classified as downright
Among other things, he's introduced to anime
aextremely sad topics,
bthe idea of focusing on
young adults more than on teenagers,
ca plethora of ribald remarks
da new distinctly different drawing style,
efocus on reality
with absolutely no fantasy elements,
fgreat emotional impact
without resorting to action/violence,
and even greligious and philosophical themes.
- Andrei Tarkovsky
A Russian who made films in the mid-20th century.
He made only a few films, most inside Russia within the regime's system,
and the last couple in Europe.
He was so good at gaming
the Russian system and its censors
that he actually found arranging production of films as he desired them
outside of Russia to be more difficult.
As a result of his very frequent tussles with the Russian system,
few of the many stories about the production of his films
can simply be taken at face value.
For example something happened
related to film development on Stalker,
but what exactly that was isn't crystal clear.
Was Tarkovsky the victim of a severe technical problem?
or was the whole scenario his elaborate scam
to substitute his preferred (uncensored) script
and his preferred cinematographer?
or was the event unintentional
but exaggerated and taken advantage of by Tarkovsky
to get enhanced creative control, relaxed deadlines, and additional funds?
His films tend to be slow and symbolic (something he'd vehemently deny),
showing situations and images that would be
banal or worse in most directors' hands,
but turned out just right when he did them.
He's often mentioned in the same breath as Terrence Malick,
and his film Solaris
(remade decades later in Hollywood)
is often referred to as
The Russian 2001.
In addition to his films,
he produced significant theoretical and critical writings;
fortunately his films can be enjoyed
without reference to those writings.
He died of cancer (possibly caused by severe chemical pollution near the
Stalker filming location),
and is buried in Paris.
- Bela Tarr
Hungarian film director
who began producting films in the late seventies and is now retired.
Only a few of his films are known in the U.S.,
and only some of those have had a theatrical distribution.
He is known for filming all the seemingly insignificant details too,
letting the camera continue to roll far longer than other filmmakers would.
(One of his films is famous for being seven and a half hours long!
It's of course firmly relegated to home video.)
While this makes most of his films much longer than one would expect,
the result is by no means
an exercise in watching paint dry.
It's a little like that old Galloping Gourmet recipe
Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic;
at some point when you keep adding garlic it stops just being
and instead becomes something qualitatively
Likewise as a movie scene gets longer and longer
one starts to see it in an entirely new way
and notices many interesting subtleties.
Most of his available films are close adaptations of
modernistic high literary fiction,
the kind of thing that brandishes
lots of big words, long sentences, fractured and reordered time,
multiple points of view, an almost impenetrable structure, and so forth.
In other words his films really are as weird as they may at first seem,
which in the context of their source isn't weird at all.
It's easy to focus so much on the very long scenes aspect of his style
(also perhaps on the black‑and‑white filming)
that one misses most of the modernistic literary flourishes,
such as that sometimes one really is seeing
the exact same scene all over again
except from the point of view of a different character.
The common lack of comprehension is so bad
that his films are generally regarded as deadly serious
even though he himself describes almost all of them as
- François Truffaut
After a childhood so troubled he was thrown out by his biological family,
he was informally adopted
by the great film critic André Bazin
at the film journal Bazin helped found:
Cahiers du Cinéma.
Truffaut was always very interested in movies,
and eventually began making his own.
His name became closely associated with the
French New Wave.
In addition to directing movies,
he also participated in moviemaking
as a screenwriter, a producer, and even an actor.
He was initially very close to Jean-Luc Godard,
but they later had a falling out.
He extensively interviewed (a whole week) Alfred Hitchcock,
and from that produced the famous book
that discusses in great detail film content and filmmaking,
titled simply Hitchcock.
He died relatively young (age 52)
of a brain tumor and its complications.
- Douglas Trumbull
Not primarily a director (although he has directed some films),
but rather one of the premier wizards with special effects involving light.
An inventor, designer, and producer of visual effects.
Several decades ago he championed
the idea of a powerful new film position that was effectively
co-director for visual effects,
a reorganization of film creative control that never caught on.
(He even once actually held such a position on one film,
although the actual title wasn't exactly that.)
He opened his career with various special effects
for Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey,
most notably adapting the slit scan technique
to produce the stargate sequence.
(Nowadays similar graphics are done easier and better with
generic photo manipulation software on a PC,
so the slit scan technique is no longer used.
But back then the purely mechanical approach
was the only possible way to do such a thing,
and he was the first one to use it in a feature film.)
Over his career he worked in various capacities on
several other well-known films, including
The Andromeda Strain,
Close Encounters of the Third Kind,
Star Trek: The Motion Picture
and Blade Runner.
And most recently (and quite possibly last)
he did the birth of the universe sequence in Terrence Malick's
The Tree of Life.
He also worked a lot with hi-def movies,
including serving as president of IMAX for several years,
inventing and ceaselessly promoting a hyper-realistic
large and wide format very high frame rate (60 fps)
system he called Showscan,
and developing the Ridefilm.
- *Tsai Ming-Liang
began working in Taiwan and gained a reputation as a member of the
Second New Wave of directors in Taiwan
(although he's worked in other countries too).
His films use an almost completely static camera with infrequent jump cuts,
a lot of longer/wider shots,
and a detailed and completely realistic soundtrack with little or no music.
Some scenes appear to be nothing more than still photographs,
either because the motion is so small and obscure,
or because the motion doesn't start until well after the scene starts.
Sometimes scenes get only very low and inconsistent lighting,
so the viewer doesn't even know right away what he's looking at,
and so shapeless unidentified mounds can eventually resolve into characters.
Sometimes characters proceed quite a way without the viewer
ever being quite sure who they are, and only later turn toward the camera
so they can be facially identified.
Most people describe his films as extremely slow.
Some people really like his work, while many do not.
- Apichatpong ("Joe") *Weerasethakul
A Thai with a background in architecture,
already known worldwide through the fine art world
before producing any feature films.
Like many Thais, he's chosen a short western nickname (Joe)
since so many non‑Thais have trouble with his real name.
He has produced many short films
(which don't seem to be easily available in the U.S.),
and he has produced cutting edge video installations
for many galleries and shows.
The artistic sensibilities honed there led him to create
feature films which feel vaguely experimental,
and allowed his very first feature films to
win an extraordinary number of international prizes.
Each of his feature films has its own unique structure,
none of which are anything like the rules
(in fact one of his features explicitly follows the surrealist
exquisite corpse concept).
And his features tend to be extremely culturally specific
to the time and place and way he grew up.
I've never wished so hard for lots of
and editorial comments
(like studying a Shakespear play in high school);
unfortunately –as with virtually all films nowadays–
I haven't found anything like that.
After initially making quite a splash,
his profile has been significantly lower recently.
(In fact some opine
he's not even trying all that hard any longer,
perhaps because he got a better understanding of what it would take
to be a world‑famous feature film director
and decided that was not the game he wanted to play.)
- Joss Whedon
Currently early middle aged,
he comfortably moves back and forth between
movies and TV
all the time, as though the differences were insignificant.
He's sometimes a writer, sometimes a director, and
often takes on multiple roles,
most often writer/director but also including things like producer.
He works the gamut from almost idiosyncratically personal
through creative collaborations
all the way to hired gun director.
An example of a creative collaboration was the
Firefly, where as usual the
had considerable control,
yet he made a couple key creative contributions:
forcing the show to be shot in widescreen aspect ratio,
and supplying the whole underlying conceit of combining
western and space tropes
into a single ongoing story.
He is known for
iextensive and complex female roles, and
iionslaughts of snappy, clever, funny dialog
that work on multiple levels.
* indicates family name,
which is analogous to the western surname.
In most of the Far East (but not in Japan),
family name is usually written first
(rather than the western convention of writing the surname last).
This list is alphabetized by surname/family name.