Thursday, August 4, 2016

Great Directors Redux

A few years ago we conducted a poll of our readers and contributors to determine the 10 greatest directors of all time. While none of the top-10 we generated are slouches, it's impossible to ignore the fact that they are all straight, white, males who make films in English. No queer filmmakers, no persons of color and certainly no women or experimental filmmakers. Not even a single silent or white European director.

In an effort to generate a more diverse pantheon that better represents the full spectrum of cinematic voices throughout history, rather than asking our readership to submit top-10 lists, this time we are asking you to contribute a list of your top-25 favorite directors. The hope is that with a larger canvas, people will be more inclined to include niche voices without fear of excluding a better known or more conventionally revered auteur. Of course this could all blow up in our faces if there is no common consensus with regards to the non-establishment directors, but it's an experiment worth trying.

As always we will include everyone's individual ballots in the results post so you can check them out and connect with other cinephiles. If you would like us to link to a preferred social media account or blog, please include it with your ballot. We'd prefer you to submit your ballots to but we will also be checking comments on this post, on facebook and on instagram. The deadline to submit is midnight (pacific time) on the night of Saturday, September 3rd.


  1. Agnes Varda
    Mira Nair
    Mary Harron
    Ava DuVernay
    Julie Dash
    Kathryn Bigelow
    Catherine Hardwicke
    Claire Denis
    Jane Campion
    Dorothy Arzner
    Stanley Kubrick
    Lilliana Cavani
    Karyn Kusama
    Penelope Spheeris
    Vicky Jensen
    Amy Heckerling
    Amma Asante
    Catherine Breillat
    Nicki Caro
    Gurinder Chadha
    Roman Polanski
    Lotte Reiniger
    Leontine Sagan
    Anna Biller

    1. AWESOME! This is a great start! Thank you for contributing!

  2. In the order in which I thought of them:

    Stanley Kubrick
    Woody Allen
    Steven Spielberg
    Quentin Tarantino
    Paul Thomas Anderson
    Martin Scorsese
    Robert Altman
    Lena Dunham
    Sofia Coppola
    David Fincher
    Orson Welles
    Ernst Lubitch
    James Cameron
    Charlie Kaufman (I know, I know, but even the movies he only wrote were very much his vision)
    Noah Baumbach
    Mike Nichols
    Ang Lee
    Ridley Scott
    Chris Nolan
    Roman Polanski
    Francis Ford Coppola
    Michael Mann
    Spike Jonze
    Amy Heckerling
    Cameron Crowe

  3. Off the top of my head...

    Terry Gilliam
    Wes Anderson
    Stanley Kubrick
    Fritz Lang
    Woody Allen
    Orsen Wells
    Steven Spielberg
    Sam Raimi
    Quentin Tarantino
    Joel and Ethan Coen (Coen Borthers - they count as one)
    Wim Wenders
    Sergio Leone
    Ed Wood (no joke)
    John Lasseter
    Akira Kurosawa
    Joe Johnston
    Sophia Coppola
    Spike Jones
    Penny Marshall
    Joe Dante
    Bong Joon-ho
    Don Coscarelli
    John Carpenter
    Frank Darabont
    Charlie Chaplin

  4. cheryl dunye
    tsai ming-liang
    terence davies
    barbara hammer
    julie dash
    dee rees
    abbas kiarostami
    frans zwartjes
    claire denis
    catherine breillat
    patricia rozema
    victor erice
    cindy scott
    patrick bokanowski
    ousmane semebene
    maren ade
    lizzie borden
    gina prince-bythewood
    charles burnett
    hailie gerima
    agnes varda
    marleen gorris
    javier fuentes-leon
    isaac julien
    chantal akerman

  5. Agnes Varda
    Kenneth Anger
    Rainer Werner Fassbinder
    Jean Rollin
    Todd Haynes
    Maya Deren
    Penelope Spheeris
    Vera Chytilova
    Ousmane Sembene
    Chantal Akerman
    Lizzie Borden
    John Waters
    Amy Heckerling
    Susan Seidelman
    Catherine Breillat
    John Carpenter
    Kathryn Bigelow
    Frans Zwartjes
    Claire Denis
    Kelly Reichardt
    Lizzie Borden
    Dee Rees
    Andrei Tarkovsky
    David Cronenberg
    Barbara Kopple

  6. abbas kiarostami
    claire denis
    ousmane sembene
    spike lee
    kenneth anger
    julian hernandez
    john carpenter
    andrei tarkovsky
    akira kurosawa
    kiyoshi kurosawa
    maya deren
    sofia coppola
    hou hsiao hsien
    paul verhoeven
    jacques demy
    howard hawks
    radley metzger
    kenneth lonergan
    sion sono
    guy maddin
    masahiro shinoda
    bong joon-ho
    kathryn bigelow
    robert bresson
    max ophuls

  7. Roger Corman
    Lloyd Kauffman
    Stephanie Rothman
    David DeCoteau
    John Waters
    Cirio Santiago
    Penelope Spheeris
    Eddie Romero
    Gerardo De Leon
    Kevin Smith
    Mel Brooks
    Christopher Guest
    James Whale
    Todd Browning
    Alfred Hitchcock
    Herschell Gordon Lewis
    Joe Dante
    Ishiro Honda
    Jack Hill
    George Romero
    John Carpenter
    Terry Gilliam
    Paul Bartel
    Todd Sheets
    Carl J. Sukenick

  8. 1. John Carpenter
    2. Stewart Raffill
    3. Michele Soavi
    4. Kathryn Bigelow
    5. Taika Waititi
    6. Paul WS Anderson
    7. Joe Dante
    8. Joel & Ethan Coen
    9. Isao Takahata
    10. Hayao Miyazaki
    11. Masaaki Yuasa
    12. H. Tjut Djalil
    13. Dario Argento
    14. Lucio Fulci
    15. William Lustig
    16. Michael Schultz
    17. Frank Henenlotter
    18. Peter Hyams
    19. Brian De Palma
    20. Mark L. Lester
    21. David Wain
    22. Lamberto Bava
    23. Larry Cohen
    24. Arizal
    25. Ryan Coogler