Hollywood’s resident bad boy - Quentin Tarantino – celebrates his 50th birthday today. During the half a century he’s been on this planet, QT has managed to cause quite a bit of mayhem, while collecting numerous prestigious awards on the way. We, here at Jinni, wish him all the best (and advise him to stay away from acting), and since he’s gone and joined the cadre of elderly filmmakers, we’ve listed nine directors who haven’t reached their Jubilee yet. (And while we would love to have a stronger female presence on this list, it has, regrettably, remained mostly dominated by men.)
Quentin Tarantino (49+1)
Never shying away from controversy, Tarantino’s recent films have dealt with sensitive subjects such as slavery and racism in the least politically correct way imaginable. Luckily, he injects his rough films with generous amounts of dark humor.
Most Memorable Movie – Pulp Fiction
Guillermo del Toro (49)
Starting out as a makeup artist, it is hardly surprising the Del Toro films show a passionate interest in insects, monsters, and all kinds of deadly creatures. However, he does not limit himself to scary and gory affairs, as he sometimes chooses to take a more offbeat approach.
Most Memorable Movie – Pan’s Labyrinth
Directing a surreal coming of age film set in the 1940s war-torn Spain, just between directing two comic adaptations about an antisocial yet heroic huge demon, might seem like a radical divergence, but Del Toro managed to create a truly essential piece of dark fantasy.
Guy Ritchie (45)
What’s the link between fast and funny gangsters stories set in London and London-based fast period pieces about a hotshot hero fighting crime (aside from the locale and the pace, that is?) Well, it’s their director, who apart from a brief stint as Madonna’s husband/domestic moviemaker, had established himself as the UK’s premier boys’ night entertainment supplier.
Most Memorable Movie - Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
Lynne Ramsay – 44
This Scottish director doesn’t have the most extensive filmography – and recent developments suggest that it won’t grow anytime soon – but the handful of films she has directed have an exceptional elegiac quality to them.
Most Memorable Movie – We Need to Talk About Kevin
Wes Anderson (44)
Best known for his meticulous visual style (some would go even further and call it obsessive), this Texas native has gathered somewhat of a cult following for his quirky views of dysfunctional characters.
Most Memorable Movie – The Royal Tenenbaums
Paul Thomas Anderson (43)
Not related to Wes (and gladly, neither to Paul W.S. Anderson), PT Anderson’s films are also entirely different, focusing on tense, often destructive, human relationships. The only possible exception being Punch-Drunk Love, which, while being charmingly humorous, also dealt with an emotionally damaged protagonist.
Most Memorable Movie – There Will Be Blood
Christopher Nolan (43)
Without a doubt, the most commercially successful director on this list, with a lifetime gross of over $1.5 Billion, Christopher Nolan seems to have found the perfect middle ground between Hollywood tone and a more personal, often mind bending, style.
Most Memorable Movie – Memento
As tempting as it is to insert a nonlinear pun about this original film’s importance, we’ll just say that it catapulted Nolan’s career, and proved that clever and commercial aren’t mutually exclusive. Now, what was that memorable film by Christopher Nolan?…
Nicolas Winding Refn (43)
Offering a unique vision which is both rough and atmospheric, Winding Refn’s films may not be for everyone, since they often display strong violent content, but they also have have surprisingly quiet and reflective moments.
Most Memorable Movie – Drive
In this hyper stylized neo noir about a lone wolf cruising nocturnal Los Angeles, inflicting horrible violent comeuppance on various bad guys, Winding Refn pushes his signature style to its furthest, neon-lit limit.
Sofia Coppola (42)
Sofia Coppola’s films have a very distinct look & feel, concentrating on gloomy and atmospheric stories about young women, often in vulnerable emotional situations, surrounded by an unsympathetic world. Looking at her upcoming projects, it doesn’t seem like she’s going to stray too far away from her niche.
Most Memorable Movie – Lost in Translation
Not only did this stylized story about unfulfillment and alienation win an Oscar for its screenplay, it was also Scarlett Johansson’s breakout role and provided Bill Murray a much deserved Golden Globe.
Ben Affleck (41)
The youngest director on this list, Affleck probably had the most comprehensive makeover, transforming himself from an oft ridiculed actor (Gigli, anyone?) to a multiple awards winning director, dealing with historical events.
Most Memorable Movie – Argo
His most recent film, which was also his biggest commercial and critical success, really elevated Affleck from the status of an actor with a knack for directing into that of an accomplished director whose Oscar nomination snub raised more than a few eyebrows.
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