Personally I think that Joe Wright is THE most underrated director working today.
Jacob Aaron Estes
David Gordon Green
I’m not saying he hasn’t gotten some recognition but I feel he is very underrated. Snow Angels was one of my favorite films of 2008 and it seems no one has been talking about it.
Drew – I agree, both Snow Angels and All the Real Girls hit me like a ton of bricks. George Washington is great as well.
John Sayles-Matewan is one of my favorite films.Has done quite a few good films-Limbo, Passion Fish, Eight Men Out.
even though drew and mr.king are probably correct about it, as i sit in a classroom with posters of george washington on one wall and all the real girls on the opposite(my personal touches to homeroom decoration) i find it hard to call david gordon green underrated if only for the reason that i rate him so highly.
my vote for this would be nicole holofcener…walking and talking, lovely and amazing, and friends with money is quite a way to start a career and nobody ever seems to be talking about her.
Rian Johnson, Brick was an amazing film and Joe Carnahan despite the massive pile of crap Smokin’ Aces was.
Alexander Payne and James Gray
Green and Payne are not underrated. Green just had his jump off after ’Pineapple Express" and Payne has been an indie staple for a good while now. I would throw Tarsem Singh in there. He is talented, but “The Cell” fucked him over. I have yet to see “The Fall” but thankfully there is good word of mouth. Maybe Mark Romanaek? “Birth” was pretty good.
I would like to add…Susanne Bier.
Nelson-I agree about Alexander Payne, both Election and About Schmidt are favorites of mine. But James Gray has disappointed lately-I liked Little Odessa and The Yards but We Own the Night was terrible and his new film Two Lovers isn’t very good either.
Akash-The Fall is a beautiful looking film but doesn’t have much else going for it. All style no substance.
speaking of Joe Wright, does anyone think the Soloist will be any good?
Shayne Meadows, director of This Is England, Somers Town and many more intimate films about modern Britain.
Totally Mark Romanaek, good one Akash. I think you meant Jonathan Glazer though, he directed “birth” and I would also add him to the list. And Roman Coppola, he doesn’t seem to get any love.
All these guys must be underrated cause I’ve never heard of any of them, except Sayles.
Maybe hes not underrated at all, but I’ve seen no mention of him here on this forum, nor very often in other places but, Lee Chang Dong. Quite possibly one of the more important Korean directors working today who has sort of gotten overshadowed by Park Chan Wook, Kim Ki Duk, and others…
Vincenzo Natali and Alexander Payne
I am convinced that Edward Yang is one of the most under rated directors of all time. Shy of the attention that Yi Yi recieved, the rest of his work remains almost impossible to retrieve. As far as new talent is concerned luis otega (black box/monobloc) is a really tallented young filmmaker, that I feel has gone almost completly unnoticed. I have also had my eye on Andrei Zvyagintsev for some time now. He has an amazing sense of time, and is a visual genious. He truly deserves more credit.
Andre Rehal, I praise thee.
+1 for Roman Coppola, a true tour de force.
Mustafa-I think I would wait to see what Roman Coppola does before we consider if he’s under or overrated. He’s only made one film. I liked it but he doesn’t have a body of work yet.
Matthew-Harmony Korine is already way overrated.
I know that she has gotten a fair amount of press (and I, among others, have been talking about her on here for a while) but I would like to throw Lynne Ramsay’s name out. Other than that I would also like to say that while I am no where near an expert on the subject, what I’ve seen of the new Berlin School is AMAZING, and as far as I know not many people, outside of select film circles, are talking about it! Specifically I have REALLY enjoyed what I’ve watched of Christian Petzold, so I will say him as well.
Carlos Reygadas is amazing, but I think amongst the independent cinema crowd his name is fairly large.
I also think that Reha Erdem deserves a little more attention.
Steve, I would also look at his co-writer/assistant director credits for some of Wes Anderson’s films and also his vast body of work in the commercial realm … He’s behind the scenes but he’s definitely there.
Alison MacLean….. doesn’t work much, but Jesus’ Son is a masterwork.
Ernest Dickerson…. the guy makes beautiful popcorn thriller and horror films. He’s got style.
Lynne Ramsay…. if anyone can find her
Michael Winterbottom……. not sure if people really grasp how talented he is…. hopefully soon.
Tommy Lee Jones…. after one movie, I think he could easily rise to master status in 5-10 years…. Melquiades Estrada was that good.
and Bela Tarr….. he is well known in critics circles….. but that hasn’t led to the theatrical distribution of his latest film in the United States. If a Master of Cinema can’t receive proper distribution in the United States, he or she is underrated.
Patrick, I have been impressed by your extraordinary taste and knowledge of experimental film. But Michael WInterbottom? I don’t see how he’s really doing work that’s all that original. I’d like to hear a good argument in favor of his work, 24 Hour Party People was somewhat entertaining, but I just don’t see him as a great director.
It just hit me…….. Todd Solondz. No. 1 with a bullet.
Besides Lynch, I don’t believe there is another American filmmaker who pushes forward with each film (and that’s debatable if you consider Straight Story, which, while not a disaster, is most definitely a step sideways, rather than forward), each one more experimental than the last. If Storytelling sorta flopped, it was still a structurally ambitious misfire that might have benefited from the inclusion of its deleted scene….. Palindromes is an unheralded (except by Armond White, who is an enthusiastic champion of the film) masterpiece. His next film (at one point titled “Life During Wartime,” I think it’s “Forgiveness” now) will be, from what I’ve read, his most ambitious to date. He has never rested on his laurels, despite revisiting themes and characters several times. Not quite a master of cinema, although I think he ranks with Jim Jarmusch as one of the best American independents. Maybe the best. And few critics and audiences pass him more than a glance.
When I think of “underrated,” I think of someone people either write off or take for granted. He, at times, has received both treatments. He has never sold out, and has trouble getting his films financed because of his outright refusal for compromise. Yet he is just not a fashionable choice for more cinephiles, which baffles me. His films are genuinely edgy and subversive, unlike most of the bullshit that passes for “edgy indie fare” (the label often granted to movies in which same-sex couples kiss or junkies writhe around and cry.)
Here’s a guy who does everything the right way, not a corporate shill, presents a unique, biting, but heartfelt portrait of contemporary American life….. and no one pays attention. Such a shame. He’s not so flashy as his contemporaries, but I’ll take his challenging satire any day over tired indie navel-gazing.
Matt’s right about Kelly.
Maybe it’s to early to tell, which is why his name isn’t mentioned much at all really, but I think Ramin Bahrani made two of the best films of the decade. I’m extremely excited for his new feature.
Lodge Kerrigan is another one I should have listed.