40 international directors were asked to make a short film using the original Cinematographe invented by the Lumière Brothers, working under conditions similar to those of 1895. There were three rules: (1) The film could be no longer than 52 seconds, (2) no synchronized sound was permitted, and (3) no more than three takes. The results run the gamut from Zhang Yimou’s convention-thwarting joke to David Lynch’s bizarre miniature epic. —IMDb
Theo Angelopoulos began to study law in Athens but broke up his studies to go to the Sorbonne in Paris in order to study literature. When he had finished his studies, he wanted to attend the School of Cinema at Paris but decided instead to go back to Greece. There he worked as a journalist and critic for the newspaper “Demokratiki Allaghi” until it was banned by the military after a coup d’état. Now unemployed, he decided to make his first movie, Anaparastasi (1970). Internationally successful was his trilogy about the history of Greece from 1930 to 1970 consisting of Meres tou ’36 (1972), O thiasos (1975), and Oi kynigoi (1977). After the end of the dictatorship in Greece, Angelopoulos went to Italy, where he worked with RAI (and more money). His movies then became less political. —IMDb
One of Sweden’s most renowned directors, Lasse Hallström is best known to international audiences as the maker of such poignant but resolutely unsentimental coming-of-age films as My Life as a Dog and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.
The son of an amateur filmmaker, Hallström was born in Stockholm on June 2, 1946. He began his professional career in high school when, with the assistance of a group of friends, he made a short film about some school mates who had formed a band. The film was shown on Swedish television, and after graduating high school, Hallström went on to do more work for television. His Shall We Dance? was aired in 1969, while The Love Seeker (1972) was Sweden’s entry at the Montreux Television Festival. The following year, Hallström’s Shall We Go to My or to Your Place or Each Go Home Alone?, a televised film about Swedish youth, was so well received that he was able to make his feature film directorial debut.
Hallström made his debut with the romantic drama… read more
As a writer, director, actor, producer, author, and entrepreneur, Spike Lee has revolutionized the role of black talent in Hollywood, tearing away decades of stereotypes and marginalized portrayals to establish a new arena for Afro-American voices to be heard. His movies, a series of outspoken and provocative socio-political critiques informed by an unwavering commitment toward challenging cultural assumptions not only about race but also class and gender identity, both solidified his own standing as one of contemporary cinema’s most influential figures and furthered the careers of actors including Denzel Washington, Wesley Snipes, Samuel L. Jackson, Angela Bassett, and Laurence Fishburne. Born Shelton Jackson Lee in Atlanta, GA, on March 20, 1957, he was raised in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn. After attending Atlanta’s prestigious Morehouse College, returned to New York to make his first movie, 1977’s Last Hustle in Brooklyn, a portrait of the area’s Black and Puerto Rican communities… read more
Once the vanguard of 1960s-1970s Hollywood New Wave, director Arthur Penn saw his cinematic fortunes decline with the mid-‘70s rise of more straightforward blockbuster entertainment. Even as he struggled through the ’80s and ’90s, however, Penn’s legacy was assured by such films as Little Big Man (1970), Night Moves (1975), and the pivotal masterwork Bonnie and Clyde (1967).
Born in Philadelphia, Penn was trained to follow in his father’s footsteps as a watchmaker, but by high school, he knew he preferred theater. While stationed at Fort Jackson, SC, during World War II, Penn formed a small drama circle with his fellow infantrymen, and continued his education as an actor at school in North Carolina and Italy after the war. Though Penn acted in Joshua Logan’s theater company and studied with Michael Chekhov at the Actors Studio’s Los Angeles branch, he opted for a career behind the scenes when he got a job at NBC TV in 1951. By 1953, Penn was writing and… read more
Born Liv Johanne Ullmann on 16 December 1938 in Tokyo. Her father Viggo was an international aircraft engineer, hence her childhood spent in Tokyo (which her family left upon Japan’s alliance with Germany in 1940), Toronto and New York. Following an accident, Viggo Ullmann died in New York in 1944, and when the War ended in 1945 Liv’s mother Janna moved with her two daughters home to Trondheim. Liv was seven years old when she first set foot in Norway.
After a period of study at the Webber-Douglas Academy in London, Liv Ullmann made her stage debut in Stavanger in Anne Frank’s Diary (roughly the same time that Harriet Andersson was playing the same part in Stockholm). Her film debut came in Fjols til fjells in 1957. Following a number of promising film and stage roles in Norway, Liv Ullmann came to Sweden to make her breakthrough film Persona, and remained in the country as Ingmar Bergman’s partner for five years. She played major roles in his films up until Autumn Sonata in… read more
Born in Dusseldorf just after the end of World War II, German film director Wim Wenders grew up with an insatiable appetite for American movies. Not all that interested in big-budget products, he, instead, developed a fascination with B-movies, notably melodramas and Westerns. After studying Medicine and Philosophy in his native country, Wenders took up art in Paris (a mecca for viewing American films), and then returned to his homeland to attend Munich’s Academy of Film and Television. Like many of his French movie-fan brethren, Wenders began his career writing film criticism before directing a few short subjects of his own, and, in 1970, he and several other young filmmakers formed a production-distribution firm, Filmverlag Der Autoren. Summer in the City (1970) was Wenders’ first feature film, but it was his 1973 adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter that first brought him attention outside of Germany. The film included many accomplishments, most notably coaxing… read more
Zhang Yimou is one of the best-known directors of the Chinese Fifth Generation and one of the most influential and widely respected filmmakers working today. Zhang was born in 1950, in the city of Xi’an in Shaanxi Province, to a future in Communist China that seemed unpromising; his father was an officer in Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang Army and one of his brothers was accused of being a spy, while another fled to Taiwan. During the 1950s, his family’s background was suspect and during the convulsive tumult of the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s, it was criminal. Zhang was pulled out of high school and sent to toil with the peasants. Later, he transferred to a textile factory. While working there, Zhang reportedly sold his own blood to buy his first camera.
In 1978, at the age of 27, Zhang passed the entrance exam for the Beijing Film Academy but was rejected on account of his age. After an appeal to the Ministry of Culture, however, he was enrolled in the B.F.A.‘s class of 1982… read more
Thanks to the content of his films, American director James Ivory has spent much of his long career being mistaken for an Englishman. Few filmmakers have been more closely associated with a particular type of genre than Ivory and his longtime collaborator, producer Ismail Merchant. The very mention of the hyphenate Merchant-Ivory effortlessly conjures up heavily stylized images of Edwardian England, replete with stiff upper lips, effete aristocrats, and young women confined by both corsets and repressed desire. However, although much of Ivory’s reputation has been built on his E.M. Forster-adapted period dramas, he has also earned considerable respect for the insightful examinations on the interplay of different cultures inherent in almost all of his work — particularly his earlier films about India — and his and Merchant’s ability to make quality films on a minimal budget.
Born in Berkeley, California, on June 7, 1928, Ivory grew up in Klamath Falls, Oregon, where his father… read more
David Lynch grew up as a Presbyterian. David Lynch spent his childhood throughout the Pacific Northwest and Durham, North Carolina depending on where his father’s job as a research scientist for the Department of Agriculture took him. His mother was an English tutor whose parents immigrated to the United States from Finland in the 19th century. David Lynch attained the rank of Eagle Scout and, as a teenager served as an usher at John F. Kennedy’s Presidential Inauguration. David Lynch took courses at The Corcoran School of Art during his high school career at Francis C. Hammond High School in Alexandria, Virginia. He enrolled in the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston for one year (where he was a roommate of Peter Wolf) before leaving for Europe with childhood friend and contemporary artist Jack Fisk. In 1966 he attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA).
While enrolled at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA) he created the visual work, Industrial Symphonies… read more
Vicente Aranda (born on 9 November 1926 in Barcelona), is a Spanish film director, screenwriter and producer.
Due to his refined and personal style, he is one of the most renowned Spanish filmmakers. He started as a founded member of the Barcelona School of Film and became known for bringing contemporary Spanish novels to life on the big screen. Aranda is famous for exploring difficult social issues and variations on the theme of desire that employs the codes of melodrama.
Love as uncontrollable passion, eroticism and cruelty are constant themes in his filmography. The frank examination of sexuality is one of the trademarks of his work as can be seen in his most internationally successful film: Amantes (1990) (Lovers). —Wikipedia
Boorman was born in Shepperton, Surrey, England, the son of Ivy (née Chapman) and George Boorman. He was educated at the Salesian School in Chertsey, Surrey, even though his family was not Roman Catholic.
Boorman first began by working as a drycleaner and journalist in the late 1950s and then he moved into TV documentary filmmaking, eventually becoming the head of the BBC’s Bristol-based Documentary Unit in 1962.
Capturing the interest of producer David Deutsch, he was offered the chance to direct a film aimed at repeating the success of A Hard Day’s Night (directed by Richard Lester in 1964): Catch Us If You Can (1965) is about competing pop group Dave Clark Five. While not as successful commercially as Lester’s film, it smoothed Boorman’s way into the film industry. Boorman was drawn to Hollywood for the opportunity to make larger-scale cinema and in Point Blank (1967), a powerful interpretation of a Richard Stark novel, brought a stranger’s vision… read more
Youssef Chahine (born in Alexandria, Egypt, 1926) started studying in a friars’ school, and then turned to English College until the High School Certificate. After one year in the University of Alexandria, he moved to the U.S. and spent two years at the Pasadena Play House, taking courses on film and dramatic arts. After coming back to Egypt, cinematographer Alevise Orfanelli helped him into the film business. His film debut was Baba Amin (1950): one year later, with Ibn el Nil (1951) he was first invited to the Cannes Film festival. In 1970, he was awarded a Golden Tanit at the Carthage Festival. With Le moineau (1973), he directed the first Egypt-Algeria co-production. He won a Silver Bear in Berlin for Iskanderija… lih? (1978), the first installment in what proved to be an autobiographic trilogy, completed with adduta misrija (1982) and Iskanderija, kaman oue kaman (1990).
In 1992, Jacques Lassalle proposed him to stage a piece of his choice for Comédie Française… read more
The French director Alain Corneau made 16 films in a variety of genres, from Série Noire, the bleak, sordid 1979 drama that featured a compelling performance by Patrick Dewaere as a door to door salesman looking for redemption in the wrong places, to Crime D’Amour [Love Crime], the psychological thriller starring Kristin Scott Thomas and Ludivine Sagnier, which opened in French cinemas to critical acclaim a fortnight before his death from lung cancer. “He was a cinema great,” Scott Thomas said, “an absolutely adorable, funny and sharp-witted man.” Corneau was best known internationally for Tous Les Matins Du Monde (All The Mornings Of The World), a delicate, painterly film about the relationship between the Versailles court composer Marin Marais – Gérard Depardieu and his son Guillaume – and his aesthetic teacher Jean de Sainte-Colombe, played by the ever-excellent Jean-Pierre Marielle. First screened at the end of 1991, Tous Les Matins became a word-of-mouth success with over two million… read more
Costa-Gavras is a Greek filmmaker, best known for films with overt political themes, most famously the fast-paced thriller, Z (1969). Most of his movies were made in French; starting with Missing (1982), several were made in English.
Gavras was born in Loutra Iraias, Arcadia. His family spent the Second World War in a village in the Peloponnese, and moved to Athens after the war. His father had been a member of the left-wing EAM branch of the Greek Resistance, and was imprisoned after the war as a suspected communist. His father’s record made it impossible for him to attend university or emigrate to the United States, so after high school Costa Gavras went to France, where he began his studies of law in 1951.
In 1956, he left his university studies to study film at the French national film school, IDHEC. After film school, he apprenticed under Yves Allégret, and became an assistant director for Jean Giono and René Clair. After several further positions as first assistant… read more
Raymond Depardon is a photographer, a journalist and a filmmaker. He was born into a family of farmers in 1942 in Burgundy and went to Paris in 1958, wishing to be a photographer. He was first taken on as a messenger in an agency and was sent to take photos of an opening-night at the cinema: the movie was none other than Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless. He finally established his own agency, Gamma, together with three reporters, in 1966 ‘not for money but for the freedom’. He suggested to set up a cinema department: ‘we bought an Eclair- camera and tried to make news-films for television in addition to taking news-photograhs… It was then that I learned to hold the camera." When Depardon films people, he is silent. If one has the impression that he always keeps his eyes lowered in the face of the world’s miseries, it is untrue. Raymond Depardon looks as through a lattice and reacts like quicksilver, keeping his deepest, innermost emotion secret, and allows his pictures to speak for themselves… read more
Francis Girod (9 October 1944 – 19 November 2006) was a French film director, actor and screenwriter. He directed 20 films between 1974 and 2006. His film L’enfance de l’art was entered into the 1988 Cannes Film Festival. In 1994, he was a member of the jury at the 44th Berlin International Film Festival. —Wikipedia
An avant-gardist who earned surprising access to the mainstream, Peter Greenaway is among the most ambitious and controversial filmmakers of his era. Trained as a painter and heavily influenced by theories of structural linguistics, ethnography, and philosophy, Greenaway’s films traversed often unprecedented ground, consistently exploring the boundaries of the medium by rejecting formal narrative structures in favor of awe-striking imagery, shifting meanings, and mercurial emotional tension; fascinated by formal symmetries and parallels, his material displayed an almost obsessive interest in list-making and cataloguing, earning equal notoriety for its provocative eroticism as well as its almost self-conscious pretentiousness. Born April 5, 1942, in Newport, Wales, Greenaway was raised primarily in nearby Chingford. After deciding at the age of 12 to become a painter, he entered the Walthamstow College of Art. By 1965, Greenaway had begun working as a film editor for the Central Office… read more
Hugh Hudson (born 25 August 1936) is an English film director. His best-known international success is the 1981 multiple Academy Award-winning film, Chariots of Fire.
Hudson was born in London, the only son of Jacynth (Ellerton), the second wife of Michael Donaldson-Hudson from Cheswardine in rural north Shropshire. His great-grandfather was Charles Donaldson-Hudson, a one-time member of Parliament for Newcastle under Lyme, Staffordshire. His paternal ancestors came from Scotland and Cumberland. He was sent to boarding school at the age of 6, and thereafter was educated at Eton College. He completed his National Service in the Royal Armoured Corps as a second lieutenant from the 28 January 1956, and remained as a lieutenant in the Army Reserve of Officers until he was discharged on January 16, 1960.
In the 1960s, after three years of editing documentaries in Paris, Hudson headed a documentary film company with partners Robert Brownjohn and… read more
Kabore started out as a history student at the Centre d’Etudes Superieures d’Histoire d’Ouagadougou and continued his studies in Paris where he received an MA. During his studies he became interested in how Africa was portrayed abroad, which then led him, in 1974, to study cinematography at the Ecole Superieure d’Etudes Cinematographiques. Further inspiration came upon viewing Ousmane Sembene’s Xala, which he saw as an example of how film could be used to express African culture. After returning to Africa, Kabore was made director of the Centre National du Cinema and taught at the Institut African d’Education Cinematographique. Along with students under his direction there he made his first film, ‘Je Reviens De Bokin’ (I Come From Bokin).
Kabore went on to produce practical documentaries such as 1978’s, ‘Stockez et conservez les grains’ (Store and Conserve the Grain), which focused on agrarian concerns. Another kind of documentary he made in this early period, ‘Regard sur le… read more
Abbas Kiarostami was born in Tehran, Iran, in 1940. He graduated from university with a degree in fine arts before starting work as a graphic designer. He then joined the Center for Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults, where he started a film section, and this started his career as a filmmaker at the age of 30. Since then he has made many movies and has become one of the most important figures in contemporary Iranian film. He is also a major figure in the arts world, and has had numerous gallery exhibitions of his photography, short films and poetry. He is an iconic figure for what he has done, and he has achieved it all by believing in the arts and the creativity of his mind. —World Cinema Foundation
Cédric Klapisch is one of today’s most popular French Director and his movies have regularly hit the French box office. Born in 1961, he worked on his first short films in the United States from 1983 to 1985. He started out as a DOP to finally become a film director. In 1989, his short film Ce qui me meut wins several prizes, one being the Perspectives of French Cinema Prize at the Cannes International Film Festival. He then directs his first feature in 1992, Little Nothings, which was nominated for the Cesars. His second, Good Old Daze, wins the 1993 Golden FIPA and Grand Prize at the 1994 Chamrousse Humour Film Festival.
In 1996, When the Cat’s Away is released, followed by Family Resemblances, his fourth feature which is awarded numerous prizes including three Cesars and the 1997 Lumière for Best Screenplay and Best Director. Maybe, starring Romain Duris and Jean-Paul Belmondo, is released in French cinemas in 1999. In 2002, Klapisch comes back to social comedy with The Spanish… read more
The Russian theatre and film director Andrei Konchalovsky is an elder brother of Nikita Mikhalkov, born August, 20, 1937. As a youngster he planned to pursue a career of a musician and learned to play piano but his love for cinema outweighed and he entered VGIK-the major state film school where he studied under Mikhail Romm. At VGIK he met Tarkovsky, they collaborated on Ivan’s childhood and Andrei Rublev. For his length feature debut The First Teacher (1961), he chose the book by Chingis Aitmatov about the post-1917 Revolution period in the southern Russia. His next film, a black and white Asya Klyachina’s Story although made in 1966 was not released until a decade later because it failed to comply with the strict requirements of the Russian censorship of the period. A Nest of Gentry (1969) – a study of the 19 c. aristocracy – was praised for its visual beauty but attacked by critics as mannered. Konchalovsky’s powerful Uncle Vanya (1970) from the play by Chekhov is regarded by many… read more
Born in the 9th arrondissement of Paris to a Jewish family of Algerian origin, Lelouch won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1966 for Un homme et une femme (A Man and a Woman), as well as two oscars including best foreign language film. The 1981 musical epic Les Uns et les Autres is widely considered as his masterpiece, and his credits now add up to 50 or so films. His father gave him a camera to give him a fresh start after his failure in the baccalaureat. He started his career with reportage – one of the first to film daily life in the U.S.S.R., the camera hidden under his coat as he made his personal journey. He also filmed sporting events like the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Tour de France. His first full length film as director, Le Propre de l’homme, was decried by the critics – ‘Claude Lelouch, remember this name well, because you will not hear it again’ – Cahiers du Cinema said. La Femme Spectacle (1963), following prostitutes, women shopping, going for nose-jobs… read more
Juan José Bigas Luna (19 March 1946 – 6 April 2013) was a Spanish film director.
He began his professional career in the design world, creating the Estudio Gris with Carlos Riart in 1969. In his earlier exhibitions, at the beginning of the 1960s, he showed a great interest in conceptual art and the emerging visual technologies. Esteemed as an atypical director in the Spanish cinema, in 1986 he retired to Tarragona in order to devote his time to painting. In 1990 the producer Andrés Vicente Gómez persuaded him to return to cinema and entrusted to him the direction of Las edades de Lulú, a film which reached the general public. Without abandoning his dedication to painting and photography, reflected in numerous exhibitions, he began the well-known Trilogía Ibérica with Jamón Jamón (1992), Huevos de Oro (1993) and La teta y la luna (1994). Subsequently, with the short film for internet Collar de Moscas (2001), he revived his interest in avant-garde experimentation and audiovisual… read more
Moon, Sarah (b. 1940), British-born fashion photographer and film-maker, resident in Paris. After studying art she worked as a model, then, from 1967, a photographer. Her carefully staged images are mysterious, nostalgic, and surreal, sepia toned or in colours muted and diffused by grain. Some evoke fairy tales: for example, a one-eyed, dandyish old tom-cat-in-clothes being cosseted by two demure young women. Her 1972 Pirelli Calendar pictures suggested an ultra-exclusive 1930s brothel. She has made films about Cartier-Bresson (1994), and early cinematography (Lumière & Company; 1995). —Photography Encyclopedia
Born in 1933 in Southern Bessarabia (part of Ukraine since the 1940s), Lucian Pintilie studied film and theatre in Bucharest. He began his directing career in theatre before turning to film. Although his films were internationally praised—Sunday at Six won The Grand Prize of the International Youth Jury in the 1966 Cannes Festival; Reenactment was presented in the official selection of Quinzaine des Réalisateurs, 1969 Cannes; Ward Six won Un Certain Regard at the 1979 Cannes Festival—Pintilie was in a continuous fight with the Romanian communist authorities. After Reenactment was banned in 1969, and his theatre production of The Inspector was banned in 1972, Pintilie was forbidden to work in theatres and had only two more films produced, the last of which—Carnival Scenes—was also banned for 10 years, to be officially released only in 1991. Pintilie was ultimately pressured by the authorities to leave Romania in 1982. For twenty years he lived and worked in France and the United States… read more
Helma Sanders-Brahms was born in Emden in 1940. She attended the drama school for music and theater in Hanover, and studied German and English Languages in Cologne. She worked as a television announcer for WDR and from 1976-1969 became a guest student with both Pier Paolo Pasolini and Sergio Corbucci. Under the Pavement Lies the Beach became her breakthrough in 1975. Heinrich (1976), her film on the life and death of the German poet Heinrich von Kleist, was awarded the German Film Award in 1977. Her film Germany, Pale Mother (1980) remains an international success today and is one of the classics of German cinema. Her other films include: Shirin’s Wedding (1975), No Mercy No Future (1981), The Future of Emily (1984), Laputa (1986), Manouevres (1989), Apple Trees (1991), My Heart is Mine Alone (1997), Colour of Soul (2003), and Clara (2008). —german films
Born In the Bronx, New York. He attended the University of Miami, worked as assistant to Bill Helburn (1954-1956); then started his career as a freelance photographer. His Fashion photography has been published in magazines such as Vogue, McCalls, Esquire, Glamour, Town and Country, And Life. After directing some TV commercials, he made his debut as a film director in 1970 with “Puzzle of a Downfall Child”, the story of a fashion model. Schatzberg scored with his second directorial effort, the gripping, finely acted “The Panic in Needle Park”(1971), a bleak study of heroin addiction starring Al Pacino. Pacino costarred with Gene hackman in his next film, “scarecrow” (1973), a moody tale of two drifters which in many ways is an apotheosis of 70’s alienation and confusion. Perhaps significantly, Schatzberg’s critical following in the United States rose and fell with the 70’s; after 1979’s “Seduction of Joe Tynan”, the trend in Hollywood shifted from small introspective films to the Spielberg… read more
Spanish director of light, frolicsome comedies with classical characters and story structures. Trueba had directed features and penned screenplays for a number years, starting with “Opera Prima/First Effort” (1980) unbeknownst to Americans save film festival attendees. This changed with the release of “Belle Epoque” (1993) which snagged a 1993 Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Film. A story of a young soldier who stays with a painter and his four beautiful daughters, the film illustrated Trueba’s desire to entertain through well-scripted comedies. His signature films include “El Ano de las Luces/The Year of Awakening” (1986) and “The Mad Monkey” (1989), his English-language debut, starring Jeff Goldblum.
According to Trueba, his influences include such diverse auteurs as Billy Wilder, Jean Renoir and Woody Allen. Trueba started out as a film critic for a Spanish daily before founding his own film magazine, “Casablanca”, in 1980. He has also produced several films including “Lulu… read more
Jaco Van Dormael (born 1957, Ixelles, Belgium) is a Belgian film director, screenwriter and playwright. His complex and critically acclaimed films are especially noted for their respectful and sympathetic portrayal of people with mental and physical disabilities.
In the 1980s, he became interested in filmmaking and produced a number of short films that aroused considerable critical interest.
Van Dormael made his feature-length debut in 1991 with Toto le Héros (Toto the hero), a tale about a man who believes his life was “stolen” from him when he was switched at birth, told in a complex mosaic of flashbacks and dream sequences, sometimes with almost a stream of consciousness effect. Toto le Héros gained wide critical acclaim, winning both the César Award for best foreign film and the Camera d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, making Van Dormael something of an overnight celebrity.
His brother Pierre Van Dormael was a jazz guitarist and composer, and had scored his… read more
After graduating with a degree in classical letters, Régis Wargnier started out as a freelance photographer before working with Claude Chabrol, as assistant director and assistant operator. During the 70s and 80s, he worked as an assistant director and first unit director on films by Volker Schlöndorff, Valerio Zurlini, Margarethe Von Trotta, Elie Chouraqui, Francis Girod, Patrice Leconte, among others. He got his break thanks to Yannick Bernard, who produced his first two feature films, La Femme de ma vie (Woman of My Life) (1986), which won him the César for Best New Director of a Feature Film, and Je suis le seigneur du château (I’m the King of the Castle) (1989). In 1991, Régis Wargnier directed Indochine, which earned him the Oscar, the Golden Globe and the Goya for Best Foreign Film, as well as five Césars. He went on to make Une femme française (A French Woman) in 1995, a three-time award-winning film at the Moscow International Film Festival, and Est-Ouest (East-West) in 1999… read more
A legendary figure of the postwar Japanese cinema, Yoshishige Yoshida (b. 1933) is one of Japan’s most artistically ambitious, politically astute and influential filmmakers. Yoshida is best known for his work with the spellbinding Mariko Okada (b. 1934), one of the most beloved and celebrated actresses of her generation, and one of the great stars of the Japanese New Wave. Working together with Okada, Yoshida created an incredible body of films unparalleled for their formal sophistication, philosophical depth and sheer beauty. Underappreciated in this country, Yoshida is rightly considered in Japan and Europe, and especially France, among the preeminent masters of the modern Japanese art film.
Yoshida’s first passion, and the focus of his studies at Tokyo University, was French existential philosophy and literature, a training which deeply informs the intellectual rigor of his subsequent film work and later writing on film and art. By chance, or destiny, Yoshida was drawn into… read more
Born in Algiers, Merzak Allouache grew up during the Algerian struggle for independence. He studied filmmaking at Paris’s celebrated IDHEC, and quickly moved on to directing feature films, documentaries, and television programs. Omar Gatlato (1976), his first feature film, set in the neighborhood of Bab el-Oued in Algiers, was such a success that it changed the course of Algerian cinema. The popularity of Omar Gatlato with Algerian audiences demonstrated to the Algerian film industry that its public had an appetite for complex films that dealt with the realities of Algerian contemporary society, opening the door to other films of the same ilk. In 1994 Merzak returned to this same neighborhood to film Bab el-Oued City. The film captured the beginnings of the civil war that was then spreading across Algeria. Bab el-Oued City garnered the International Critics’ Prize at Cannes in 1994, as well as the grand prize at the Arab Film Festival in Paris. During a career that has spanned thirty… read more
Gabriel Axel (born 18 April 1918) is an Oscar winning Danish film director, actor, writer and producer, best known for the Oscar-winning Babette’s Feast (1987), which he wrote and directed.
Born in Århus, Denmark, on April 18, 1918, Axel spent most of his childhood in France, and returned to Denmark to train as an actor at the Royal Danish Theatre. After spending some years in Paris, working with the Louis Jouvet theatre ensemble, Axel concentrated his efforts on directing for the theatre, television and cinema in Denmark.
With some 16 feature films to his credits Axel returned to France where he directed several large projects for television, which brought him a number of distinguished honours.
In 1988, Gabriel Axel won an Academy Award for his Danish feature film Babette’s Feast, an adaptation of Isak Dinesen’s novel of the same name.
His other notable films include the popular comedy Familien Gyldenkål (1975) and its sequel; a series of sexually oriented… read more
Cheerfully wishing his audience a “disturbing evening” at a London retrospective of his films, director Michael Haneke insists that he is an optimist at heart, despite all of the relentlessly bleak carnage and deeply disturbing imagery so vividly painted and seared into the mind of anyone who has had the uncomfortable experience of viewing his work.
Practically born into show business, to an actress mother and director father, in Munich in March 1942, Haneke spent his early years in a working class suburb of Vienna before an early attempt at fame as an actor and pianist. Failing to achieve early success, Haneke attended the University of Vienna to study philosophy and psychology, and became a film critic and stage director before making his eventual debut as a television director with After Liverpool in 1973. Setting in motion a television career specializing in literary adaptations and small screen films, Haneke would work successfully in that medium until his feature debut… read more
French filmmaker Patrice Leconte is as notable for his refusal to be easily categorized as he is for his long and productive career. Since making his major directorial debut in 1975 with Les Vécés Étaient Fermés de L’Intérieur, Leconte has established himself as one of France’s most respected directors, at ease tackling subjects ranging from mental illness to sexuality to canny deconstructions of wit and society. He received particular acclaim for his 1996 film Ridicule, winning the admiration of an international audience while furthering his reputation as one of the French cinema’s most treasured figures.
A native Parisian, Leconte was born on November 12, 1947. He decided to be a filmmaker at a very young age, and went on to attend France’s most prestigious film school, I.D.H.E.C. During his education, constant visits to the Paris Cinémathèque aided in his understanding of cinematography culture. After graduating from I.D.H.E.C. in 1969, Leconte went against the cinematic grain… read more
A student at Paris’ IDHEC film school from 1962 through 1963, Miller had his first practical cinematic experience while he was in uniform, serving with Le Service Cinema de L’Armee. From 1965 until 1974, Miller worked in assistant and supervisory capacities for many of France’s major New Wave directors, including Robert Bresson and Jean-Luc Godard. His principal mentor was François Truffaut, under whose tutelage Miller directed a trio of shorts and his first theatrical feature, 1976’s La Meilleure façon de marcher (The Best Way to Walk), a coming-of-age drama which bore traces of Truffaut’s Les Mistons (1957) and The 400 Blows (1959). Miller received César nominations for best director and writing for this film. Subsequent Miller-directed films can also be perceived as homages to Truffaut, many even using the same production personnel. The following year he made Dites-lui que je l’aime, for which he received a second César nomination for Best Director. He won a César Award for Best… read more
Idrissa Ouedraogo is one of Africa’s most prolific filmmakers. His early films are remakable in their ability to communicate through imagery. Poko, Les Ecuelles (The Wooden Bowls), Les Funerailles du Larle Naba (The Funeral of Larle Narba), Ouagadougou, Ouga deux roues (Ouagadougou, Ouga Two Wheels), and Issa le tisserand (Issa the Weaver) appeal to a multi-lingual audience without using dialogue or voice-over narration. Although his subsequent films incorporate dialogue, Ouedraogo’s talent for creating meaning with images remains a hallmark of his work.
Ouedraogo’s first commercial success, Yaaba (Grandmother), narrates the story of two young children who befriend an old woman wrongly accused of malevolent sorcery. This film exemplifies Ouedraogo’s interest in the multiple ramifications of individual choices. It also demonstrates Ouedraogo’s skill at adapting the poetics of African oral tales to contemporary cinema. Nwachukwu Frank… read more
Jacques Rivette was born in Rouen in 1928. In 1950, he began attending the Cine-Club du Quartier Latin in Paris, and contributed articles to its bulletin, the Gazette du Cinema, edited by Eric Rohmer. During this time he embarked on his career as a filmmaker with his first short films, Aux Quatre Coins (1950), Le Quadrille (1950), and Le Divertissement (1952).
Rivette’s friendship with Rohmer led him to begin writing articles for the new film journal Cahiers du Cinema. Here he met and became friends with Claude Chabrol, Francois Truffaut, and Jean-Luc Godard. At Cahiers he became one of the first to champion contemporary American cinema as opposed to the staid French “cinema of quality”, then prevalent. He became known as a fierce advocate of the auteur theory and praising the work of such directors as Howard Hawks, Nicholas Ray, John Ford, and Robert Aldritch.
In the mid-1950’s he continued his filmmaking education by serving as an assistant… read more
Most of these shorts didn't do much for me and I was relatively disappointed because this could have gone much better. As most people seem to agree, David Lynch really did the best job with his short and made the most of it. Claude Lelouch, Andrei Konchalovsky, and Peter Greenaway were the others that really did a great job in my personal opinion.
Fashion photographer and sometime filmmaker Sarah Moon (“Mississippi One” & “Contre l’oubli”) teams up with cinematographer Philippe Poulet for this 100th anniversary celebration of the work of… read review