My Favorite European Directors

by Mara-Jade-Skywalker-23 | created - 18 Nov 2019 | updated - 20 Nov 2019 | Public

1. Michael Haneke

Writer | Caché

A true master of his craft, Michael Haneke is one of the greatest film artists working today and one who challenges his viewers each year and work goes by, with films that reflect real portions of life in realistic, disturbing and unforgettable ways. One of the most genuine filmmakers of the world ...

Best of Filmography - Top 5: 5.) "Happy End" (2017) 4.) "The Piano Teacher" (2001) 3.) "Amour" (2012) 2.) "The White Ribbon" (2009) 1.) "Funny Games" (2007)

2. Alfred Hitchcock

Director | Psycho

Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was born in Leytonstone, Essex, England. He was the son of Emma Jane (Whelan; 1863 - 1942) and East End greengrocer William Hitchcock (1862 - 1914). His parents were both of half English and half Irish ancestry. He had two older siblings, William Hitchcock (born 1890) and ...

Best of Filmography - Top 5: 5.) "Vertigo" (1958) 4.) "North by Northwest" (1959) 3.) "Rope" (1948) 2.) "Rear Window" (1954) 1.) "Psycho" (1960)

3. Béla Tarr

Producer | Werckmeister harmóniák

Béla Tarr was born on July 21, 1955 in Pécs, Hungary. He is a producer and director, known for Werckmeister Harmonies (2000), The Turin Horse (2011) and Satantango (1994). He is married to Ágnes Hranitzky.

Best of Filmography - Top 5: 5.) "The Man from London" (2007) 4.) "Damnation" (1988) 3.) "The Turin Horse" (2011) 2.) "Werckmeister Harmonies" (2000) 1.) "Satantango" (1994)

4. Ingmar Bergman

Writer | Persona

Ernst Ingmar Bergman was born July 14, 1918, the son of a priest. The film and T.V. series, The Best Intentions (1992) is biographical and shows the early marriage of his parents. The film 'Söndagsbarn' depicts a bicycle journey with his father. In the miniseries Private Confessions (1996) is the ...

Best of Filmography - Top 5: 5.) "Hour of the Wolf" (1968) 4.) "Autumn Sonata" (1977) 3.) "Winter Light" (1963) 2.) "Scenes from a Marriage" (1973) 1.) "The Seventh Seal" (1957)

5. Lars von Trier

Writer | Dancer in the Dark

Probably the most ambitious and visually distinctive filmmaker to emerge from Denmark since Carl Theodor Dreyer over 60 years earlier, Lars von Trier studied film at the Danish Film School and attracted international attention with his very first feature, The Element of Crime (1984). A highly ...

Best of Filmography - Top 5: 5.) "The House That Jack Built" (2018) 4.) "Breaking the Wind" (1996) 3.) "Dancer in the Dark" (2000) 2.) "Dogville" (2003) 1.) "Antichrist" (2009)

6. Andrei Tarkovsky

Writer | Solyaris

The most famous Soviet film-maker since Sergei M. Eisenstein, Andrei Tarkovsky (the son of noted poet Arseniy Tarkovsky) studied music and Arabic in Moscow before enrolling in the Soviet film school V.G.I.K. He shot to international attention with his first feature, Ivan's Childhood (1962), which ...

Best of Filmography - Top 5: 5.) "Ivan's Childhood" (1962) 4.) "The Mirror" (1975) 3.) "Stalker" (1979) 2.) "The Sacrifice" (1986) 1.) "Andrei Rublev" (1966)

7. Steve McQueen

Director | 12 Years a Slave

Steve McQueen was born on October 9, 1969 in London, England as Steve Rodney McQueen. He is a director and producer, known for 12 Years a Slave (2013), Shame (2011) and Hunger (2008). He is married to Bianca Stigter. They have two children.

Best of Filmography - Top 4: 4.) "Widows" (2018) 3.) "Hunger" (2008) 2.) "12 Years a Slave" (2013) 1.) "Shame" (2011)

8. Alain Resnais

Director | Hiroshima mon amour

Alain Resnais was born on June 3, 1922 in Vannes, Morbihan, France as Alain Pierre Marie Jean Georges Resnais. He was a director and editor, known for Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959), Same Old Song (1997) and My American Uncle (1980). He was married to Sabine Azéma and Florence Malraux. He died on March...

Best of Filmography - Top 5: 5.) "Night and Fog" (1956) 4.) "Smoking/No Smoking" (1991) 3.) "Muriel, or the Time of Return" (1963) 2.) "Hiroshima Mon Amour" (1959) 1.) "Last Year at Marienbad" (1961)

9. Peter Watkins

Director | The War Game

Peter Watkins began his career in advertising as an assistant producer and turned to amateur filmmaking in the late 1950s. In the mid-'60s he was commissioned by BBC-TV to make two feature-length docudramas incorporating a quasi-newsreel style and nonprofessional actors. The second of these, The ...

Best of Filmography - Top 5: 5.) "Culloden" (1964) 4.) "The War Game" (1966) 3.) "Punishment Park" (1971) 2.) "La Commune (Paris, 1871)" (2000) 1.) "Edvard Munch" (1974)

10. Andrey Zvyagintsev

Director | Nelyubov

Andrei Zvyagintsev is a Russian filmmaker and was born on Feb.6, 1964 in the siberian city of Novisibirsk. He graduated from the Novosibirsk Actors School in 1984 and started to act on stage in provincial theatres. In the early 1990s he came to Moscow - the centre of the Russian film industry - ...

Best of Filmography - Top 5: 5.) "The Banishment" (2007) 4.) "Elena" (2011) 3.) "The Return" (2003) 2.) "Leviathan" (2014) 1.) "Loveless" (2017)

11. Aleksandr Dovzhenko

Writer | Zemlya

Aleksandr Dovzhenko was born on September 10, 1894 in Vyunishche, Sosnitsa Ueyzd, Chernigov Governorate, Russian Empire as Aleksandr Petrovich Dovzhenko. He was a writer and director, known for Earth (1930), Shors (1939) and Life in Bloom (1949). He was married to Yuliya Solntseva. He died on ...

Best of Filmography - Top 5: 5.) "Aerograd" (1935) 4.) "Arsenal" (1929) 3.) "Earth" (1930) 2.) "Ivan" (1932) 1.) "Zvenigora" (1928)

12. Andrzej Wajda

Director | Katyn

Andrzej Wajda is an Academy Award-wining director. He is the most prominent filmmaker in Poland known for The Promised Land (1975), Man of Iron (1981), and Katyn (2007).

He was Born on March 6, 1926, in Suwalki, Poland. His mother, Aniela Wajda, was a teacher at a Ukrainian school. His father, Jakub...

Best of Filmography - Top 5: 5.) "Ashes and Diamonds" (1958) 4.) "Kantyn" (2007) 3.) "The Promised Land" (1975) 2.) "Kanal" (1957) 1.) "Danton" (1983)

13. Jan Svankmajer

Director | Otesánek

After studying at the Institute of Industrial Arts and the Marionette Faculty of the Prague Academy of Fine Arts in the 1950s, Jan Svankmajer started working as a theatre director, chiefly in association with the Theatre of Masks and the Black Theatre. He first experimented with film-making after ...

Best of Filmography - Top 5: 5.) "Dimensions of Dialogue" (1982) 4.) "Lesson Faust" (1994) 3.) "Food" (1992) 2.) "Conspirators of Pleasure" (1996) 1.) "Alice" (1988)

14. Abel Gance

Writer | La dame aux camélias

Born an illegitimate son of a wealthy physician, Abel Flamant, and a working class mother, Francoise Perethon. He was raised by his mother and her boyfriend, who later became her husband, Adolphe Gance. Pressured by his parents, he began his working career as a lawyer's clerk in hopes of achieving ...

Best of Filmography - Top 3: 3.) "Justice!" (1919) 2.) "The Wheel" (1923) 1.) "Napoleon" (1927)

15. Yorgos Lanthimos

Director | The Lobster

Yorgos Lanthimos was born in Athens, Greece. He studied directing for Film and Television at the Stavrakos Film School in Athens. He has directed a number of dance videos in collaboration with Greek choreographers, in addition to TV commercials, music videos, short films and theater plays. Kinetta,...

Best of Filmography - Top 5: 5.) "Alps" (2011) 4.) "The Killing of a Scared Deer" (2017) 3.) "The Lobster" (2015) 2.) "The Favorite" (2018) 1.) "Dogtooth" (2009)

16. Werner Herzog

Director | Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes

Director. Writer. Producer. Actor. Poet. He studied history, literature and theatre for some time, but didn't finish it and founded instead his own film production company in 1963. Later in his life, Herzog also staged several operas in Bayreuth, Germany, and at the Milan Scala in Italy. Herzog has...

Best of Filmography - Top 5: 5.) "Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans" (2009) 4.) "Fitzcarraldo" (1982) 3.) "Nosferatu the Vampyre" (1979) 2.) "Grizzly Man" (2005) 1.) "Aguirre, the Wrath of God" (1972)

17. Sergio Leone

Writer | Once Upon a Time in America

Sergio Leone was virtually born into the cinema - he was the son of Roberto Roberti (A.K.A. Vincenzo Leone), one of Italy's cinema pioneers, and actress Bice Valerian. Leone entered films in his late teens, working as an assistant director to both Italian directors and U.S. directors working in ...

Best of Filmography - Top 5: 5.) "A Fistful of Dollars" (1964) 4.) "For a Few Dollars More" (1965) 3.) "Once Upon a Time in the West" (1968) 2.) "Once Upon a Time in America" (1984) 1.) "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" (1966)

18. Claire Denis

Director | High Life

Claire Denis was born on April 21, 1946 in Paris, France. She is a director and writer, known for High Life (2018), Beau travail (1999) and Nenette and Boni (1996).

Best of Filmography - Top 5: 5.) "White Material" (2009) 4.) "Chocolat" (1988) 3.) "35 Shots of Rum" (2008) 2.) "Beau travail" (1999) 1.) "The Intruder" (2004)

19. Jean-Luc Godard

Director | Vivre sa vie: Film en douze tableaux

Jean-Luc Godard was born in Paris on December 3, 1930, the second of four children in a bourgeois Franco-Swiss family. His father was a doctor who owned a private clinic, and his mother came from a preeminent family of Swiss bankers. During World War II Godard became a naturalized citizen of ...

Best of Filmography - Top 5: 5.) "Hail Mary" (1985) 4.) "Goodbye to Language" (2014) 3.) "Alphaville" (1965) 2.) "Breathless" (1960) 1.) "Vivre Sa Vie" (1962)

20. Theodoros Angelopoulos

Director | Topio stin omihli

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 ...

Best of Filmography - Top 5: 5.) "Eternity and a Day" (1998) 4.) "The Suspended Step of the Stork" (1991) 3.) "Landscape of the Midst" (1988) 2.) "Trilogy: The Weeping Meadow" (2004) 1.) "The Travelling Players" (1975)

21. Robert Bresson

Writer | Journal d'un curé de campagne

Robert Bresson trained as a painter before moving into films as a screenwriter, making a short film (atypically a comedy), Public Affairs (1934) in 1934. After spending more than a year as a German POW during World War II, he made his debut with Angels of Sin (1943) in 1943. His next film, Les ...

Best of Filmography - Top 5: 5.) "A Man Escaped" (1954) 4.) "Mouchette" (1957) 3.) "L'Argent" (1983) 2.) "Diary of a Country Priest" (1951) 1.) "Pickpocket" (1959)

22. Pier Paolo Pasolini

Writer | Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma

Pier Paolo Pasolini achieved fame and notoriety long before he entered the film industry. A published poet at 19, he had already written numerous novels and essays before his first screenplay in 1954. His first film Accattone (1961) was based on his own novel and its violent depiction of the life ...

Best of Filmography - Top 5: 5.) "Arabian Knights" (1974) 4.) "The Canterbury Tales" (1972) 3.) "Mama Roma" (1962) 2.) "The Gospel According to St. Matthew" (1964) 1.) "Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom" (1975)

23. Jacques Tati

Writer | Playtime

The comic genius Jacques Tati was born Taticheff, descended from a noble Russian family. His grandfather, Count Dimitri, had been a general in the Imperial Army and had served as military attaché to the Russian Embassy in Paris. His father, Emmanuel Taticheff, was a well-to-do picture framer who ...

Best of Filmography - Top 5: 5.) "Trafic" (1971) 4.) "Mr. Hulot's Holiday" 3.) "My Uncle" (1958) 2.) "Parade" (1974) 1.) "Playtime" (1967)

24. Federico Fellini

Writer | Le notti di Cabiria

The women who both attracted and frightened him and an Italy dominated in his youth by Mussolini and Pope Pius XII - inspired the dreams that Fellini started recording in notebooks in the 1960s. Life and dreams were raw material for his films. His native Rimini and characters like Saraghina (the ...

Best of Filmography - Top 5: 5.) "Juliet of the Spirits" (1965) 4.) "The Nights of Cabiria" (1957) 3.) "La Dolce Vita" (1960) 2.) "I Vitelloni" (1953) 1.) "8 1/2" (1963)

25. Michelangelo Antonioni

Writer | Blowup

Michelangelo Antonioni was born in 1912 into a middle-class family and grew up in bourgeois surroundings of the Italian province. In Bologna he studied economics and commerce while he painted and also wrote criticism for a local newspaper. In 1939 he went to Rome and worked for the journal "Cinema"...

Best of Filmography - Top 5: 5.) "The Lady Without Camelias" (1953) 4.) "The Eclipse" (1962) 3.) "The Adventure" (1960) 2.) "The Night" (1961) 1.) "Blow-up" (1966)

26. F.W. Murnau

Director | Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans

F.W. Murnau was a German film director. He was greatly influenced by Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Shakespeare and Ibsen plays he had seen at the age of 12, and became a friend of director Max Reinhardt. During World War I he served as a company commander at the eastern front and was in the German air ...

Best of Filmography - Top 5: 5.) "Tabu: A Story of the South Seas" (1931) 4.) "Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans" (1928) 3.) "Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror" (1922) 2.) "The Last Laugh" (1924) 1.) "Faust: A German Folktale" (1926)

27. Luis Buñuel

Writer | Belle de jour

The father of cinematic Surrealism and one of the most original directors in the history of the film medium, Luis Buñuel was given a strict Jesuit education (which sowed the seeds of his obsession with both religion and subversive behavior), and subsequently moved to Madrid to study at the ...

Best of Filmography - Top 5: 5.) "An Andalusian Dog" (1929) 4.) "Viridiana" (1961) 3.) "The Exterminating Angel" (1962) 2.) "Belle de Jour" (1967) 1.) "The Young and the Damned" (1950)

28. Fritz Lang

Actor | Le mépris

Fritz Lang was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1890. His father managed a construction company. His mother, Pauline Schlesinger, was Jewish but converted to Catholicism when Lang was ten. After high school, he enrolled briefly at the Technische Hochschule Wien and then started to train as a painter. ...

Best of Filmography - Top 5: 5.) "Die Nibelungen" (1924) 4.) "Metropolis" (1927) 3.) "The Testament of Dr. Mabuse" (1933) 2.) "Dr. Mabuse the Gambler" (1922) 1.) "M" (1931)

29. Carl Theodor Dreyer

Writer | La passion de Jeanne d'Arc

The illegitimate son of a Danish farmer and his Swedish housekeeper, Carl Theodor Dreyer was born in Copenhagen on the 3th of February, 1889. He spent his early years in various foster homes before being adopted by the Dreyers at the age of two. Contrary to popular belief (perhaps nourished by the ...

Best of Filmography - Top 5: 5.) "Day of Wrath" (1943) 4.) "Getrud" (1964) 3.) "The Passion of Joan of Arc" (1928) 2.) "Vampyr" (1932) 1.) "Ordet" (1955)

30. Aleksey German

Writer | Khrustalyov, mashinu!

Aleksey German was born on July 20, 1938 in Leningrad, Russian SFSR, USSR as Aleksei Yuryevich German. He was an actor and writer, known for Khrustalyov, My Car! (1998), Hard to Be a God (2013) and My Friend Ivan Lapshin (1985). He was married to Svetlana Karmalita. He died on February 21, 2013 in ...

Best of Filmography - Top 5: 5.) "Twenty Days Without War" (1977) 4.) "Khrustalyov, My Car!" (1998) 3.) "Trial on the Road" (1986) 2.) "My Friend Ivan Lapshin" (1985) 1.) "Hard to Be a God" (2013)

31. Peter Greenaway

Director | The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover

Peter Greenaway trained as a painter and began working as a film editor for the Central Office of Information in 1965. Shortly afterwards he started to make his own films. He has produced a wealth of short and feature-length films, but also paintings, novels and other books. He has held several ...

Best of Filmography - Top 5: 5.) "The Belly of an Architect" (1987) 4.) "The Pillow Book" (1997) 3.) "Prospero's Books" (1990) 2.) "The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover" (1989) 1.) "The Falls" (1980)

32. Lucrecia Martel

Director | La mujer sin cabeza

Born in 1966 in Salta in the North of Argentina,Lucrecia Martel settled down in Buenos Aires where she attended the ENERC (National Film School). She started by directing a few shorts among which Dead King (1995), which garnered several awards in the international film festival circuit. From 1995 to...

Best of Filmography - Top 5: 5.) "Muta" (2011) 4.) "Zama" (2017) 3.) "The Holy Girl" (2004) 2.) "La Cienega" (2001) 1.) "The Headless Woman" (2008)

33. Jean-Pierre Melville

Actor | À bout de souffle

The name "Melville" is not immediately associated with film. It conjures up images of white whales and crackbrained captains, of naysaying notaries and soup-spilling sailors. It is the countersign to a realm of men and their deeds, both heroic and villainous. It is the American novel, with its ...

Best of Filmography - Top 5: 5.) "Léon Morin, Priest" (1961) 4.) "Le Deuxième Souffle" (1966) 3.) "Army of Shadows" (1969) 2.) "Le Doulos" (1970) 1.) "Le Samourai" (1967)

34. Roberto Rossellini

Writer | Germania anno zero

The master filmmaker Roberto Rossellini, as one of the creators of neo-realism, is one of the most influential directors of all time. His neo-realist films influenced France's nouvelle vague movement in the 1950s and '60s that changed the face of international cinema. He also influenced American ...

Best of Filmography - Top 5: 5.) "The Taking of Power by King Louis XVI" (1966) 4.) "Journey to Italy" (1954) 3.) "Rome, Open City" (1945) 2.) "The Flowers of St. Francis" (1950) 1.) "India: Matri Bhumi" (1959)

35. Victor Sjöström

Actor | Smultronstället

Victor Sjöström was born on September 20, 1879, and is the undisputed father of Swedish film, ranking as one of the masters of world cinema. His influence lives on in the work of Ingmar Bergman and all those directors, both Swedish and international, influenced by his work and the works of ...

Best of Filmography - Top 5: 5.) "A Man There Was" (1917) 4.) "He Who Gets Slapped" (1924) 3.) "The Wind" (1928) 2.) "The Outlaw and His Wife" (1918) 1.) "The Phantom Carriage" (1921)

36. Jacques Rivette

Director | La Belle Noiseuse

Although François Truffaut has written that the New Wave began "thanks to Rivette," the films of this masterful French director are not well known. Rivette, like his "Cahiers du Cinéma" colleagues Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Claude Chabrol and Éric Rohmer, did graduate to filmmaking but, like Rohmer...

Best of Filmography - Top 5: 5.) "Va Savoir" (2001) 4.) "The Nun" (1966) 3.) "The Beautiful Troublemaker" (1991) 2.) "Celine and Julie Go Boating" (1974) 1.) "Out 1" (1971)

37. Marcell Jankovics

Writer | Küzdök

In Japanese media outlets, he's often called the "Hungarian Hayao Miyazaki".

Best of Filmography - Top 5: 3.) "Johnny Corncob" (1973) 2.) "Son of the White Mare" (1981) 1.) "Tragedy of Man" (2011)

38. Sergei M. Eisenstein

Director | Aleksandr Nevskiy

The son of an affluent architect, Eisenstein attended the Institute of Civil Engineering in Petrograd as a young man. With the fall of the tsar in 1917, he worked as an engineer for the Red Army. In the following years, Eisenstein joined up with the Moscow Proletkult Theater as a set designer and ...

Best of Filmography - Top 5: 5.) "October: Ten Days That Shook the World" (1927) 4.) "Ivan the Terrible, Part I" (1944) 3.) "Alexander Nevsky" (1938) 2.) "Battleship Potemkin" (1925) 1.) "Ivan the Terrible, Part II" (1958)

39. Bernardo Bertolucci

Writer | Ultimo tango a Parigi

Bernardo Bertolucci, the Italian director whose films were known for their colorful visual style, was born in Parma, Italy. He attended Rome University and became famous as a poet. He served as assistant director for Pier Paolo Pasolini in the film Accattone (1961) and directed The Grim Reaper (...

Best of Filmography - Top 5: 5.) "1900" (1976) 4.) "The Dreamers" (2003) 3.) "The Grim Reaper" (1962) 2.) "The Last Emperor" (1987) 1.) "The Conformist" (1970)

40. Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Writer | Faustrecht der Freiheit

Above all, Rainer Werner Fassbinder was a rebel whose life and art was marked by gross contradiction. Openly homosexual, he married twice; one of his wives acted in his films and the other served as his editor. Accused variously by detractors of being anticommunist, male chauvinist, antiSemitic and...

Best of Filmography - Top 5: 5.) "The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant" (1972) 4.) "Fox and His Friends" (1975) 3.) "Veronika Voss" (1982) 2.) "The Marriage of Maria Braun" (1979) 1.) "Ali: Fear Eats the Soul" (1974)

41. Manoel de Oliveira

Director | Os Canibais

Manoel de Oliveira was born on December 11, 1908 in Oporto, Portugal as Manoel Candido Pinto de Oliveira. He was a director and writer, known for Os Canibais (1988), I'm Going Home (2001) and The Convent (1995). He was married to Maria Isabel Brandão de Meneses de Almeida Carvalhais. He died on ...

Best of Filmography - Top 3: 3.) "I'm Going Home" (2001) 2.) "The Satin Slipper" (1985) 1.) "Abraham's Valley" (1993)

42. Sergey Bondarchuk

Actor | Voyna i mir

Sergei Bondarchuk was one of the most important Russian filmmakers, best known for directing an Academy Award-winning film epic War and Peace (1965), based on the book by Lev Tolstoy, in which he also starred as Pierre Bezukhov.

He was born Sergei Fedorovich Bondarchuk on September, 25, 1920, in the ...

Best of Filmography - Top 3: 3.) "Waterloo" (1970) 2.) "Fate of a Man" (1959) 1.) "War and Peace" (1966)

43. James Watkins

Writer | Eden Lake

James Watkins was born in 1978 in the UK. He is a writer and director, known for Eden Lake (2008), The Woman in Black (2012) and The Take (2016).

Best of Filmography - Top 3: 3.) "Bastille Day" (2016) 2.) "The Woman in Black" (2011) 1.) "Eden Lake" (2008)

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