Great Directors documentary

The 2009 film Great Directors from doc filmmaker Angela Ismailos is a great introduction to the work, creative philosophies and personalities of ten directors: Bernardo Bertolucci, David Lynch, Liliana Cavani, Stephen Frears, Agnes Varda, Ken Loach, Todd Haynes, Catherine Breillat, Richard Linklater and John Sayles. The film presents conversations and clips from the work of those filmmakers, and is just the sort of thing to turn new audiences on to films from each of those filmmakers, or, if you’re already a fan of that crew, to bolster your knowledge of each. Watch the full Great Directors documentary below. 

There are a lot of great observations in this doc, and illuminating commentary from many of the directors. I love, for example, the description of the midnight movies circuit that allowed films such as Eraserhead to thrive in the late ’70s and early ’80s: “Midnight movies were cult movies of all different styles, linked by creative subversion, and whose audiences would come again and again to revel in the pageantry of the experience.” That last bit is so important when approaching some movies, and something that seems to get lost now.

Here’s the film:

Full doc via Anisma Films.

Great Directors, directed by Angela Ismailos, features conversations with ten of the world’s greatest living directors: Bernardo Bertolucci, David Lynch, Liliana Cavani, Stephen Frears, Agnes Varda, Ken Loach, Todd Haynes, Catherine Breillat, Richard Linklater and John Sayles. The film documents Ismailos’ voyage of discovering the creative personalities behind the camera. She explores the filmmakers’ artistic evolution and personal identity, the role of politics and history on their work, and the agony and dilemmas in the creative process. It also examines the challenges of being an artist in an age of commercialism and globalization. The film traces the influence of cinematic movements and iconic directors on these directors’ work-from the role of Neo-Realism in Bertolucci’s evolution to the influence of Federico Fellini on David Lynch, Ingmar Bergman on Catherine Breillat and Rainer Werner Fassbinder on Todd Haynes.

[Thanks to The Playlist for the heads-up.]

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