Being a director isn’t easy. Establishing a name within the industry is difficult. Receiving mass critical acclaim? Now that’s reserved for only a select few. These directors have not only posited themselves as some of the most creative minds in the industry, but also produced some of the greatest cinematic features that will be revered long after they’ve passed. Below are 5 of the greatest directors still thriving today.
The mastermind behind Saving Private Ryan, Schindler’s List, and Catch Me If You Can, Steven Spielberg is undoubtably one of the most influential directors of our time. The 1975 classic, Jaws, truly set him apart from his industry peers and established him as an international, household name. His latest directed project was the 2012 Lincoln.
Who hasn’t heard of the Titanic? What about Avatar? Chances are, you’ve heard of both these films. In addition to these two extraordinary productions, James Cameron is also responsible for three documentaries: Aliens of the Deep, Ghosts of the Abyss, and Expedition: Bismarck. He has been directing and producing films since 1978. He has a total of 3 Oscar awards.
This man hardly receives enough credit. With 2 Oscar awards, Ang Lee has directed numerous iconic films including Life of Pie, Brokeback Mountain, and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. Born and raised in Taiwan, Ang is one of the only internationally known East Asian directors. He received his Masters in Film from NYU where he also served as Assistant Director on Spike Lee’s student film, Joe’s Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads (1983).
Spike Lee is a two-time Oscar nominated director, writer, and producer from Brooklyn, New York. Mostly known for his films Do the Right Thing and Malcolm X, Joe’s Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads (1983) won an Academy Award. She’s Gotta Have It (1986) was produced with only $175,000, and earned $7 million at the box office, catapulting his career.
Without a doubt, Scorsese is one of the most notable directors in recent memory. His impressive roster includes The World of Wall Street, Hugo, Shutter Island, and Goodfellas. He has also directed many documentaries including Shine a Light, The Blues, and Made in Milan. Since 1959, Martin Scorsese has been accustomed to the camera.