Although I love the work of a wide variety of filmmakers I have gone through them all and decided on the ten that I find to have produced the best work. Here they are:
Ingmar Bergman was the greatest filmmaker of all time. No other filmmaker has tackled the topics of religion, life, death, or relationships in the same way that Bergman did. He created a vast array of masterpieces that manage to capture life itself.
His Essential Films: Fanny and Alexander, Winter Light, Persona
Stanley Kubrick managed the feat of creating a masterpiece in almost every genre. A feat that no other filmmaker has since managed. He was a visionary, an artist, and a cinematic genius.
His Essential Films: 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, Dr. Strangelove
Paul Thomas Anderson:
Paul Thomas Anderson has never made a bad film. Period. In fact, I would consider three of those films masterpieces and would gladly list them among the finest I’ve ever seen. In my opinion Paul Thomas Anderson is the finest filmmaker working today.
His Essential Films: There Will Be Blood, Boogie Nights, Magnolia
Five films over almost forty years and he is still one of the greatest filmmakers there is. All of his films are beautiful pieces of art that have fantastic and thought-provoking philosophical undertones.
His Essential Films: The Tree of Life, Badlands, Days of Heaven
Tarantinos exuberance and love of film is abundantly clear in all of his work. Each of his films is unique, expertly written, and always incredibly entertaining.
His Essential Films: Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Inglourious Basterds
Martin Scorsese is a legend of American cinema and it shows in his vast body of work that includes some of the greatest films ever made.
His Essential Films: Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, The Aviator
Kieslowski had a gift. He was able to convey human emotions through film like no one else. Whether it be frustration, anger, angst, or depression Kieslowski pulled it off with perfection.
His Essential Films: Red, Blue, White
David Fincher’s films, whether they be bleak satires of modern America or grisly tales of serial killers are always exceptionally directed and always manage to leave a lasting impression on the viewer.
His Essential Films: Fight Club, Se7en, Zodiac
Nicolas Winding Refn
Nicolas Winding Refn has supplied a breath of fresh air to modern cinema with his incredibly unique and always interesting films that explore some of the most fascinating characters I’ve ever seen.
His Essential Films: Bronson, Valhalla Rising, Drive
Charlie Kaufman has consistently proven that he is not only one of the greatest writers working today but that he also has the ability to be one of the finest directors as well.
His Essential Films: Synecdoche, New York, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Adaptation, Being John Malkovich
So there you go. My personal ten favorite filmmakers. Feel free to share yours or make some suggestions.