Grandes maestros del cine

Andrei Arsenyevich Tarkovsky

(1932-1986) film director | screenwriter | film theorist

Soviet Russian film director, screenwriter, and film theorist that is widely considered one of the greatest and most influential filmmakers of all time. His films explore spiritual and metaphysical themes, and are noted for their slow pacing and long takes, dreamlike visual imagery, and preoccupation with nature and memory.

Tarkovsky studied film at Moscow's VGIK under filmmaker Mikhail Romm, and subsequently directed his first five features in the Soviet Union: Ivan's Childhood (1962), Andrei Rublev (1966), Solaris(1972), Mirror (1975), and Stalker (1979). A number of his films from this period are ranked among the best films ever made. After years of creative conflict with state film authorities, Tarkovsky left the country in 1979 and made his final two films abroad; Nostalghia(1983) and The Sacrifice (1986) were produced in Italy and Sweden respectively. In 1986, he also published a book about cinema and art entitled Sculpting in Time. He died of cancer later that year. There is still debate if the cancer was caused by the locations used during the filming of Stalker.

Stanley Kubrik

(1928–1999) director | producer | screenwriter | photographer

Kubrick was raised in the Bronx, New York City, and attended William Howard Taft High School from 1941 to 1945. He received average grades, but displayed a keen interest in literature, photography, and film from a young age, and taught himself all aspects of film production and directing after graduating from high school. After working as a photographer for Look magazine in the late 1940s and early 1950s, he began making short films on shoestring budgets, and made his first major Hollywood film, The Killing, for United Artists in 1956. This was followed by two collaborations with Kirk Douglas: the war picture Paths of Glory(1957) and the historical epic Spartacus (1960).

A demanding perfectionist, Kubrick assumed control over most aspects of the filmmaking process, from direction and writing to editing, and took painstaking care with researching his films and staging scenes, working in close coordination with his actors, crew, and other collaborators. He often asked for several dozen retakes of the same shot in a movie, which resulted in many conflicts with his casts. Despite the resulting notoriety among actors, many of Kubrick's films broke new ground in cinematography. The scientific realism and innovative special effects of the science fiction epic 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) were without precedent in the history of cinema, and the film earned him his only personal Oscar, for Best Visual Effects. Steven Spielberg has referred to the film as his generation's "big bang"; it is regarded as one of the greatest films ever made.

While many of Kubrick's films were controversial and initially received mixed reviews upon release—particularly the brutal A Clockwork Orange (1971), which Kubrick pulled from circulation in the UK following a mass media frenzy—most were nominated for Oscars, Golden Globes, or BAFTA Awards, and underwent critical reevaluations. For the 18th-century period film Barry Lyndon (1975), Kubrick obtained lenses developed by Zeiss for NASA, to film scenes under natural candlelight. With the horror film The Shining (1980), he became one of the first directors to make use of a Steadicam for stabilized and fluid tracking shots, a technology vital to his Vietnam War film Full Metal Jacket (1987). His last film, Eyes Wide Shut, was completed shortly before his death in 1999 at the age of 70.

Jean-Pierre Melville

(1917–1973) Writer | Director | Actor

The name "Melville" is not immediately associated with film. It conjures up images of white whales and crackbrained captains, of naysaying notaries and soup-spilling sailors. It is the countersign to a realm of men and their deeds, both heroic and villainous. It is the American novel, with its Ishmaels and its Claggarts a challenge to the European canon. It is Herman Melville. And yet, for over three decades, it was also worn by one of the French cinema's brightest lights, Jean-Pierre Melville, whose art was as revolutionary as that of the eponymous author. Read more...

François Truffaut

(1932 - 1984) director | screenwriter | producer | actor | film critic

"Director François Truffaut, writing as a critic in the influential French journal Cahiers du Cinéma (Cinema Notebook), developed the concept of the auteur in his 1954 essay “Une certaine tendance du cinéma français” (“A certain trend in French cinema”).

Truffaut wrote about the films of several new French filmmakers who he termed auteurs. He drew contrasts between auteurs and directors of mainstream studio movies—who he dismissed as merely metteur en scene, or “stagers” of a script written by another artist. Truffault argued that the filmmakers who made the best films were those who wrote and directed their own films and who had a unique, personal vision. Truffault called that approach La politique des auteurs (“The policy of the authors”). Truffaut’s ideas on film were embraced by an era of French filmmakers who were part of what he called La Nouvelle Vague (what English speakers call the French New Wave)."

Krzysztof Kieślowski

(1941 - 1996) director | screenwriter

(“American movies are based on the assumption that life presents you with problems and European films based on the conviction that life confronts you with dilemmas, and while problems are something you solve, dilemmas cannot be solved, they are merely probed or investigated”)

Marek Haltof (Polish National Cinema) quoting Paul Schrader

“Krzysztof Kieślowski; 27 June 1941 – 13 March 1996) was an influential Polish art-house film director and screenwriter known internationally for The Decalogue, The Double Life of Véronique, and The Three Colors Trilogy. Kieślowski received numerous awards during his career, including the Cannes Film Festival Jury Prize, FIPRESCI Prize, and Prize of the Ecumenical Jury; the Venice Film Festival FIPRESCI Prize, Golden Lion, and OCIC Award; and the Berlin International Film Festival Silver Bear. In 1995 he received Academy Award.”

“After he completed "Red" (1994), the final film in his "Three Colors" trilogy, Krzysztof Kieslowski announced that he would retire. This was not a man weary of work. It was the retirement of a magician, a Prospero who was now content to lay aside his art--"to read and smoke." When he died two years later, he was only 56.

Because he made most of his early work in Poland during the Cold War, and because his masterpiece "The Decalogue" consists of 10 one-hour films that do not fit easily on the multiplex conveyor belt, he has still not received the kind of recognition given those he deserves to be named with, like Bergman, Ozu, Fellini, Keaton and Bunuel. He is one of the filmmakers I would turn to for consolation if I learned I was dying, or to laugh with on finding I would live after all.” - Roger Ebert

Dekalog trailer

The Double Life of Veronique trailer

Three Colors trailer

Abbas Kiarostami

(1940 - 2016) director | screenwriter | poet | photographer | film producer

(Persian: June 1940 – 4 July 2016) was an Iranian film director, screenwriter, poet, photographer, and film producer. An active film-maker from 1970, Kiarostami had been involved in the production of over forty films, including shorts and documentaries. Kiarostami attained critical acclaim for directing the Koker trilogy (1987–1994), Close-Up (1990), The Wind Will Carry Us (1999), and Taste of Cherry (1997), which was awarded the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival that year. In later works, Certified Copy (2010) and Like Someone in Love (2012), he filmed for the first time outside Iran: in Italy and Japan, respectively. His films Where Is the Friend’s Home?, Close-Up, and The Wind Will Carry Us were ranked among the 100 best foreign films in a 2018 critics' poll by BBC Culture.[5] Close-Up was also ranked one of the 50 greatest movies of all time in the famous decennial Sight & Sound poll conducted in 2012.

Like Someone in Love trailer

One of the most visionary figures in international cinema, Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami made films that both challenged viewers' expectations of modern filmmaking and expounded a deeply humanist philosophy. Using a deceptive simplicity to explore very complex issues, Kiarostami stressed the importance of material over technique. Taking his inspiration and story ideas from the people around him and the observations of everyday life, and stressing a natural, improvisational approach from his actors, he has said, "I think that technique for technique's sake is a big lie, as it doesn't answer real feelings and real needs”

Agnès Varda

(1928-2019) film director | screenwriter | photographer | artist

"For me, Agnès Varda was the greatest of that great and long-lived generation of the French New Wave. She was a master of personal cinema and essay cinema, drama, satire, documentary and romance, and her work had a distinctive richness and wisdom. Her debut feature, La Pointe Courte (1954), is a study in contemporary relationships with a poetic poise that surpasses Hiroshima Mon Amour (whose director, Alain Resnais, worked on Pointe Courte as editor). Her early masterpiece Cléo from 5 to 7 (1961) is news that stays news: a thrillingly urgent, intensely sexy and melancholy despatch from the epicentre of the 60s Parisian zeitgeist, which is far more interesting and conceptually supple than Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless.

Jacquot de Nantes (1991) is a stunningly moving and complex homage to her husband, Jacques Demy, mixing dramatised reconstructions of his memories with clips of his movies and heartwrenchingly intimate documentary footage of him at the end of his life. There are clear elements of François Truffaut, Louis Malle and Godard in this remarkable film, but it is ultimately in a class of its own, fusing cinephilia and emotional gentleness in a moving and original act of love.”

Peter Bradshaw

Akira Kurosawa

(1910 - 1998) film director | screenwriter

Regarded as one of the most important and influential filmmakers in the history of cinema, his films constantly rank among the greatest movies ever made. He received an Honorary Award from the Academy in 1990 for "cinematic accomplishments that have inspired, delighted, enriched and entertained worldwide audiences and influenced filmmakers throughout the world".

Dreams is a 1990 magical realist film of eight vignettes. Written and directed by Akira Kurosawa, the film was screened out of competition at the 1990 Cannes Film Festival, and has consistently received positive reviews. It was his first film in 45 years in which he was the sole author of the screenplay.

Dreams addresses themes such as childhood, spirituality, art, death, and mistakes and transgressions made by humans against nature. It ends on the vignette, “The Village of the Water Mills.” I arrive in an idyllic village and speaks to a 103-year-old man (Ozu regular Chishu Ryu), who tells him they have abandoned the conveniences of the modern world—that they use no electricity, and burn wood only from trees that have fallen on their own. “Scientists . . . may be smart . . . but so many of them are completely deaf to the beating of nature’s heart,” the old man laments. “They work so hard inventing things that make people unhappy.”

Jane Campion

1954- director | screenwriter | producer

Born in Wellington, New Zealand, and now lives in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Having graduated with a BA in Anthropology from Victoria University of Wellington in 1975, and a BA, with a painting major, at Sydney College of the Arts in 1979, she began filmmaking in the early 1980s, attending the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS). Her first short film, Peel (1982) won the Palme D'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1986. Her other short films include A Girl's Own Story (1984), Passionless Moments (1985), After Hours (1985) and the tele-feature 2 Friends (1986), all of which won Australian and international awards. She co-wrote and directed her first feature film, Sweetie (1989), which won the Georges Sadoul prize in 1989 for Best Foreign Film, as well as the LA Film Critics' New Generation Award in 1990, the American Independant Spirit Award for Best Foreign Feature, and the Australian Critics' Award for Best Film, Best Director and Best Actress. She followed this with An Angel at My Table (1990), a dramatization based on the autobiographies of Janet Frame which won some seven prizes, including the Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 1990. It was also awarded prizes at the Toronto and Berlin Film Festivals, again winning the American Independent Spirit Award, and was voted the most popular film at the 1990 Sydney Film Festival. The Piano (1993) won the Palme D'Or at Cannes, making her the first woman ever to win the prestigious award. She also captured an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay at the 1993 Oscars, while also being nominated for Best Director and made history at the 94th Academy Awards when she won Best Director for The Power of the Dog (2021), making her the oldest female director to win, the first woman to win Academy Awards for both directing and screenwriting in her different films, and the first woman not to win Best Picture after winning Best Director.

Béla Tarr

(1955–) director

This acclaimed Hungarian film director is a living legend of the seventh art. His work is marked by philosophical elements and a pessimistic view of humanity. His films utilize unconventional storytelling methods, such as long takes and/or non-professional actors to achieve realism.

At the age of 22 he shot his debut film, Family Nest, a film of social spirit, halfway through fiction and documentary, without a budget and with non-professional actors. Later he was able to enter the School of Theater and Cinema and, from then on, he developed a filmography that has major works such as Sátántangó (1994), Werckmeister Harmonies (2000) and The Horse of Turin (2011).

Ingmar Bergman

(1918–2007) director | screenwriter | producer| playwright

Swedish film director, screenwriter, producer and playwright. Widely considered one of the greatest and most influential filmmakers of all time, his films are known as "profoundly personal meditations into the myriad struggles facing the psyche and the soul."

Bergman directed more than 60 films and documentaries for cinematic release and for television screenings, most of which he also wrote. Some of his most acclaimed work includes The Seventh Seal (1957), Wild Strawberries (1957), Persona (1966), Cries and Whispers (1972), Scenes from a Marriage (1973), Autumn Sonata (1978), and Fanny and Alexander (1982). His theatrical career continued in parallel and included periods as Leading Director of the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm and of the Residenztheater in Munich. He directed more than 170 plays. He forged a creative partnership with his cinematographers Gunnar Fischer and Sven Nykvist. Among his company of actors were Harriet Andersson, Bibi Andersson, Liv Ullmann, Gunnar Björnstrand, Erland Josephson, Ingrid Thulin, and Max von Sydow. Most of his films were set in Sweden, and many films from Through a Glass Darkly (1961) onward were filmed on the island of Fårö.

Philip French referred to Bergman as "one of the greatest artists of the 20th century ... he found in literature and the performing arts a way of both recreating and questioning the human condition." Director Martin Scorsese commented that "it's impossible to overestimate the effect that [his] films had on people." Bergman was ranked 8th in director's poll on Sight & Sound's 2002 list of The Greatest Directors of All Time.

Wong Kar-wai

(1958 - ) director | screenwriter | producer

His films are characterized by nonlinear narratives, atmospheric music, and vivid cinematography involving bold, saturated colors. A pivotal figure of Hong Kong cinema, Wong is considered a contemporary author, and ranks third on Sight & Sound's 2002 poll of the greatest filmmakers of modern times. His films frequently appear on best-of lists domestically and internationally.

Born in Shanghai, Wong emigrated to British Hong Kong as a child with his family. He began a career as a screenwriter for soap operas before transitioning to directing with his debut, the crime drama As Tears Go By (1988). While this film was successful in Hong Kong, Wong moved away from the contemporary trend of crime and action movies to embark on more personal filmmaking styles. Days of Being Wild (1990), his first venture into such direction, did not perform well at the box office. It however received critical acclaim and won Best Film and Best Director at the 1991 Hong Kong Film Awards. His next film, Ashes of Time (1994), was met with mixed reception because of its vague plot and atypical take on the wuxia genre.

He subsequently directed Chungking Express (1994). The film, expressing a more lighthearted atmosphere, catapulted Wong to international prominence, and won Best Film and Best Director at the 1995 Hong Kong Film Awards. Wong consolidated his worldwide reputation with the 1997 drama Happy Together, for which he won Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival.

The 2000 drama In the Mood for Love, revered for its lush visuals and subtle storytelling, concretely established Wong's trademark filmmaking styles. Among his other work are 2046 (2004) and The Grandmaster (2013), both of which received awards and nominations worldwide.

Luis Buñuel Portolés

(1900 - 1983) director | filmmaker

The father of cinematic Surrealism and one of the most original directors in the history of the film medium, Luis Buñuel was given a strict Jesuit education (which sowed the seeds of his obsession with both religion and subversive behavior), and subsequently moved to Madrid to study at the university there, where his close friends included Salvador Dalí and Federico García Lorca.

His filmic language and his way of understanding cinema have served as a reference for great directors throughout history. Traits of his personality can be seen in almost all the filmography of the Aragonese director. His cinema speaks of a non-conformist with his time and highly critical of bourgeois and religious conventions, which even led him to leave his native country and fight against the censorship of the moment.

Buñuel created films from the 1920s through the 1970s. Having worked in Europe and North America, and in French and Spanish, Buñuel also directed films spanning various genres. Despite this variety, filmmaker John Huston believed that, regardless of genre, a Buñuel film is so distinctive as to be instantly recognizable, or, as Ingmar Bergman put it, "Buñuel nearly always made Buñuel films".

When Buñuel died at age 83, his obituary in The New York Times called him "an iconoclast, moralist, and revolutionary who was a leader of avant-garde surrealism in his youth and a dominant international movie director half a century later". His first picture, Un Chien Andalou—made in the silent era—is still viewed regularly throughout the world and retains its power to shock the viewer, and his last film, That Obscure Object of Desire—made 48 years later—won him Best Director awards from the National Board of Review and the National Society of Film Critics. Writer Octavio Paz called Buñuel's work "the marriage of the film image to the poetic image, creating a new reality...scandalous and subversive".

Seven of Buñuel's films are included in Sight & Sound's 2012 critics' poll of the top 250 films of all time. Fifteen of his films are included in the They Shoot Pictures, Don't They? list of the 1,000 greatest films of all time, second only to Jean-Luc Godard, with sixteen, and he ranks number 13 on their list of the top 250 directors.

These versions of the posters of some of his most important films were developed by José Luis Ágreda, illustrator and Art Director of "Buñuel in the labyrinth of the turtles".