Oct 8, 2013

Top Ten Directors of the Century

I'm a whole six months too late in linking to this, but since April I've organized a monthly team poll at The Film Experience, where all the site's contributors get together to choose a top ten in a given topic. With our October episode coming up next Tuesday, I thought it as good as a time as any to begin linking to previous editions and sharing my personal top tens. For our inaugural list, we had a look at the best directors of the 21st century: filmmakers who have made their first film after 2000, inclusive. Here's what my top ten looked like: 
With Asghar Farhadi at TIFF

1. Asghar Farhadi (4th on the team list)
2. Miguel Gomes

3. Yorgos Lanthimos
4. Steve McQueen 
5. Cristian Mungiu (7th on the team list)
6. Sylvain Chomet

7. Andrew Dominik
8. Joachim Trier (10th on the team list)
9. Jonathan Glazer

10. Sean Durkin
Runners-up: Corneliu Proumboiu and Kenneth Lonergan (1st on the team list)

Coming up with a list like this is never easy. I can't believe I didn't find room for any of the brilliant women who have started their careers this century. Sarah Polley, for example, who has shown impressive range across her three films or Andrea Arnold, who has produced rough-edged and emotionally involving films. What about Joe Wright who has turned costume dramas on their heads and blessed them with a magic touch? Or Edgar Wright, whose rapid-fire brand of humor has given us four of the very best comedies of this century?

The list doesn't end there, of course, but I feel confident about that top twelve. I'm certain that I will follow them anywhere even if they fail to impress entirely with a film or two, like Farhadi did with The Past or Chomet with Attila Marcel. They've shown enough promise at their peak to suggest there's more brilliance to come. In fact, proof of that was on display at this year's Toronto Film Festival, where McQueen's 12 Years a Slave, Gomes's Redemption, Glazer's Under the Skin and Porumboiu's When Evening Falls on Bucharest or Metabolism all were among the highlights of a very strong festival.

If you missed our post at the time, here's your chance to have a look at it and share your own top ten; and come back for my next list in a couple of days.


  1. For my money...

    Rian Johnson
    Sarah Polley
    Edgar Wright
    Jason Reitman
    John Cameron Mitchell
    Steve McQueen
    Michel Gondry
    Martin McDonagh
    Duncan Jones
    Joe Wright

    1. As you can see by our final top ten, a lot of people were with you on Polley, Gondry and Mitchell.
      McQueen, Johnson and Wright had a LOT of votes too.

  2. My top ten, in alphabetical order: Arnold, Farhadi, Glazer, Joanna Hogg, Kaufman, Lanthimos, Lonergan, McQueen, Mungiu, Trier.

    I hadn't realized before that both Sofia Coppola's and Spike Jonze's first film premiered the same year they were married, in 1999. Had it happened a year later, I'm sure they would've been on many lists, including mine.


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