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Updated by Soubin Nath on Mar 20, 2015
Headline for 10 Influential Directors of 20th Century
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Soubin Nath Soubin Nath
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10 Influential Directors of 20th Century

The 20th century in world's history had sowed and nourished new technics and movements in cinema. It was not a random process which happened in 1 or 2 days but was the collective effect of many god fathers in the world. Just go through them..
(Reference : The Oxford History of World Cinema, By Geoffrey Nowell-Smith)

1

David Wark Griffith (1875-1948)

David Wark Griffith (1875-1948)

David Wark Griffith (1875-1948) was the American film director, considered as one of the pioneer of world cinema. He was the man who foundered the concept of feature film. On January 1915 he released the movie The Birth of a Nation, The longest American feature film to date which contained 12 reels. He transformed world cinema in to an era by that movie.
Notable Creations- The Birth of a Nation (1915), Broken Blossoms (1919), Way Down East (1920) Orphans of the Storm (1921)

2

Charle Chaplin (1889-1977)

Charle Chaplin (1889-1977)

Charles Spencer Chaplin (1889-1977) was the English actor and filmmaker who were one of the most influential icons of the world in his times. He is well known for the humor in his films which were executed only by non-verbal communication. The character he created for this genre of films named “The Tramp” is still remains as textbook for people with acting passion.

Notable Creations-The Kid (1921), Modern Times (1936) , The Great Dictator (1940) Limelight (1952),

3

Sergei Eisnstein (1898-1948)

Sergei Eisnstein (1898-1948)

Sergei Eisnstein was Soviet Russian director who introduced significance of editing to the world cinema. He created magical and influential films especially in Silent Era of World Cinema. He anchored the theory and practice of montage to the cinema, later it named as Soviet Montage.

Notable Creations-Strike (1924), Battleship Potemkin (1925) and October (1927), as well as the historical epics Alexander Nevsky (1938) and Ivan the Terrible (1944, 1958).

4

Fritz Lang (1890-1976)

Fritz Lang (1890-1976)

Fritz Lang was German Film maker and script writer who has considered as the pioneer of German Expressionism. He showed a new way of film making for the Hollywood by his silent movies in German. His movie Metropolis (1927) was most expensive movie of that time. He had become the founder of film noir by his movie M (1931)
Notable Works - Metropolis (1927,Woman in the Moon (1929),M (1931, The Big Heat (1953)

5

Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980)

Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980)

Alfred Hitchcock was the British-American film maker known by this suspense movies. He was the establisher of the Psychological movies in world cinemas. He is often nick-named as ‘The Master of Suspense. Most of his movies travel in to the inner mines of the human mind and behavior. He had successful career in both British and American Cinemas by his pre-talkie and post talkie movies. His cinemas are still examined and overviewed by film students and critics.
Notable Works - Bon Voyage (1944),Rear Window (1954),Psycho (1960),The Birds (1963)

6

Vittorio de Sica (1901-1974)

Vittorio de Sica (1901-1974)

Vittorio de Sica was the Italian film director who pioneered the neo-realist movements in Italy. His films are considered as the textbooks of realistic movies ever in world cinema. Four of his films have won Academy Awards and two of his have won honorary Oscars. His film Bicycle Thieves is considered as one of the most influential movie released ever.
Notable Works - Sciuscià (1946),Bicycle Thieves (1948),Miracle in Milan (1951)

7

Orson Welles (1915-1985)

Orson Welles (1915-1985)

Orson Welles was American director, screen writer and actor, whose master piece film Citizen Kane (1941) has considered as the one of the greatest film ever made, by film critics, filmmakers and fans. That film has taken as the path-breaking movie in the aspect of shot division, technology and narrative style. Welles had also created film like Caesar (1937), The War of the Worlds (1938) etc which also remind in his name in this current world.

8

Satyajit Ray (1921-1992)

Satyajit Ray (1921-1992)

Satyajit Ray (1921-1992) was the Indian filmmaker who as praised as the torch bearer of Indian art film movement. He has showcased in the front of world even by his first movie Pather Panchali (1955) which won 11 International awards including Best Human Documentary from Cannes Film Festival, France. He has known for his realistic and artistic outcast of film which have been portrayed the real human scenarios.
Notable creations- Aparajito (1956),Apur Sansar(1959),Charulatha (1964)

9

Jean-Luc Godard (1930 - )

Jean-Luc Godard (1930 - )

Jean-Luc Godard is the revolutionary filmmaker from France who questioned the conventional way of film making through his films.
He was a radical film maker who identified by the French New wave Cinema Movement which he criticized and transformed the Hollywood path of film making. He was also political filmmaker who known by his subtle, sometimes expressive, politics and philosophy in his movies, especially Marxism. In 2010, Godard was awarded an Academy Honorary Award, but did not attend the award ceremony. Godard's films have inspired many directors including Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Steven Soderbergh, Robert Altman, Jim Jarmusch, Wong Kar-wai, Wim Wenders, and Pier Paolo Pasolini.

Notable Films-Breathless (1960), A Woman is a Woman (1961),Made in USA (1966), Week End (1967)

10

Steven Speilberg (1947 - )

Steven Speilberg (1947 - )

Steven Speilberg is both an influential and popular American Film director who as considered as pioneer of Science-fiction movies. He was block-buster hitter of all times and his films have both acquired audience and critics’ appreciation. He won Academy Award for Best Director for his movies-Schindler's List (1993) and Saving Private Ryan (1998).

Notable Works - Jaws (1975),E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), and Jurassic Park (1993), Schindler's List (1993) and Saving Private Ryan (1998).

  • Listly By

    Born and brought up in Kerala, India. Now in Mumbai, India doing first year of my Masters in Film Studies (M.A)..

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