I agree with many, if not most, of the choices above. However, although his films are not “great” and certainly not the “great_est_,” Bob Dylan made a couple of films, no? And he won an Oscar (albeit for music).
His two movies are:
Eat the Document (1972)
Renaldo & Clara (1978), which is hard to find but available on a 4-hour DVD.
I guess his real talent lies elsewhere.
António Reis & Margarida Cordeiro!
They were ignored, a lot, during all their career. Then António died and Margarida, as the portuguese state didn’t support her projects, retired from cinema. They only made 4 movies together but all of them were real masterpieces, great tributes to the portuguese region of Trás-os-Montes. Jean Rouch praised their job, as does Pedro Costa (António was his teacher at Escola Superior de Teatro e Cinema) and Cahiers wrote some textes about them.
Jaime (short, 1974)
Rosa de Areia (1989)
I would also include Spike Jonze, except that the only film I’ve seen from him is “Where The Wild Things Are”, unfortunately.
Well, I suppose Tarkovsky only made seven feature films (plus three early student films and the documentary “Tempo Di Viaggio”) from 1962 to 1986, and he was maybe the greatest of all directors.
There’s also Charles Laughton, who only directed one film -but what a film.
Also Larisa Shepitko.
Terrence Malick immediately comes to mind.
Tarkovsky. 7 films, none of them bad or even mediocre (ok, Solaris wasn’t a masterpiece, but it was good).
rainer werner fassbinder
i’m not sure, but i was thinking the other day about how sad it is that i’ll never get to see more jim henson movies like labyrinth and dark crystal. 80’s fantasy rules. i’m sure he would have done some interesting things if he had made more.
all the directors i can think of that i’d like to see more from are still active and pretty early in their careers so i don’t feel like mentioning them. all of my favorite directors of the past had at least a good 5 in them, any less than that and i’d just have to agree with everyone saying Charles Laughton.
sergei parajanov & sadao yamanaka. and jean vigo. and victor erice. i’m sure i’ve answered this before too
laughton is disqualified cuz ‘a few’ > one
Jeunet had made very few films
Malick for sure
I second Vincent Gallo
andrew dominik, that’s a good one.
Charles Laughton shouldn’t be mentioned. He only directed one film, which isn’t enough to be considered “a few films.”
Barbara Loden: 1 film
Corrado Farina only made two features, winning a best first film Golden Leopard at Locarno for They Have Changed Their Face (1971) before directing the cult classic Baba Yaga (1973).
Tarkovsky, Anderson, Kubrick, Coppola (?)
Melis Ubukeyev and Aleksandr Askoldov. White Mountains and The Commissar, respectively, are extraordinary.
And here’s hoping Lucrecia Martel ( La ciénaga ) and Mariano Llinás ( Extraordinary Stories ) make more great films and get off this list.
Jean Vigo and Charles Laughton.
I was going to say Yamanaka. He made more than a few, but a few is all that we have, enough to place him among the masters of Japanese cinema and underline the tragedy of his early death. .