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Directors that made films that reflected their personal vision as a piece of art instead of satisfying commercial needs.

If you think someone should be on this list please let me know.

According to Andrew Sarris, a director must accomplish technical competence in their technique, personal style in terms of how the movie looks and feels, and interior meaning.

http://www.fadedrequiem.com/zoetrope/wp-content/uploads/2007/10/andrew_sarris_notes_auteur_theory.pdf