Skip to content


12 Directors I Explore in Criterion Collection

15 January 2012 | CC Lists | by David Zou

Watching Criterion Collection dvds is a process of exploring.Explore people,explore themes,explore the unknown.Without it,I can never get familiar with so many director’s work and fell in love with some of them.

Here is a list of directors whom I did not know well before I watched their works in Criterion and completely fell in love with after I finished all(most) of their spines in Criterion.Thanks,Criterion,for bringing them and their works to me and enlarge my cinema.

#1 Wes Anderson

bottle rocketI watched: Bottle Rocket,Rushmore, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou,The Darjeeling Limited,The Royal Tenenbaum

Watching Wes Anderson films is pure joy,music,art direction,cast,all pitch-perfect.I do hope Criterion will release his Mr Fantastic Fox to make it the first cartoon in this collection.

#2 Luis Bunuel

The Exterminating Angel

I watched:That Obscure Object of Desire,The Phantom of Liberty,The Exterminating Angel,  Simon of the Desert,Belle de jour,The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie

I can’t tell you how much I love his works,every film I watched is a spectacle of imagination.I watched his The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie and The Phantom of Liberty many many times,his films are definitely worth watching over and over again.

#3 Henri-Georges Cluzort


wages of fear

I watched:Diabolique,Le Corbeau,The Wages of Fear

Before watching his films I have never found any directors who can compete with Hitchcock in the suspense film genre.After that,I always wonder what if we pick 3 of Hitch’s best and compared them with the 3 I listed above,who will win?

#4 Jean Cocteau

blood of a poet

I watched:Beauty and the Beast,the Orphic Trilogy

Any of  his films can easily be listed in my “top 10 most beautiful films ever made” .How can a director made films with such poetic style and philosophical sense?Amazing.

#5 Jim Jamusch


I watched:Mystery Train,Down by Law,Stranger Than Paradise,Permanent Vacation,Night on Earth

I always find his films to be the most realistic and accurate in terms of presenting the relations among people in modern society.He is a alien American who made alien American movies.

#6 Louis Malle

dinner with andre

I watched:The Fire Within,Au revoir les enfants,Elevator to the Gallows,My Dinner with André,Zazie dans le métro,Black Moon

If Criterion did not release so many his films,I would never know he was so capable of making films in such wide range of genres.He is definitely the most underestimated filmmaker in the French New Wave and one of my fav during that period of French Cinema.

#7 Jean-Pierre Melville

army of shadows

I watched:Le cercle rouge,Army of Shadows,Le Samouraï

Since I’m big John Woo fan,I was  always wondering how he was influenced by Jean-Pierre Melville.After watching 3 films of his,I instantly became a Jean-Pierre Melville fan.Alain Delon is the ultimate cool gangster in my mind.

#8 Max Ophuls

Le plaisir

I watched:The Earrings of Madame de . . .,Le plaisir,Lola Montès 

Every time I watch a Max Ophuls film,I would pay so much attention to the camera movement,and always get puzzled about how those gorgeous shots were made.And I have to admit after watching The Earrings of Madame de . . ., I liked De Sica more.

#9 Micheal Powell & Emeric Pressburger

the red shoes

I watched:The Red Shoes,Black Narcissus,The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp,I Know Where I’m going,Peeping Tom

Their stories always fascinates me,they remind me of those fairy tales I read during my childhood.Thanks to Jack Cardiff,he made those great stories look fantastic.

#10 Douglas Sirk

magnificent obsession

I watched:Written on the Wind,Magnificent Obsession,All that Heaven Allows

I do not like family melodrama very much,I always have the impression of them being too corny,but Sirk’s films made me changed my mind.Rock Hudson and Jane Wyman is a perfect couple on screen of all time.

#11 Jacques Tati

mon oncle

I watched:M. Hulot’s Holiday,Mon Oncle,Play Time,Traffic

Not everyone gets Tati’s joke,it always takes great attention to notice the little gags in his films.I learned a great deal from his comedies,they taught me that as long as you pay attention,life is full of jokes all the time.

#12 Hiroshi Tashigahara

the pitfall

I watched:Antonio Gaudí,Pitfall,Woman in the Dunes,The Face of Another

I know other Japanese directors well in the collection,but him,I’ve never heard of him.His existentialism trilogy is something I’ve never seen or expected in Japanese Cinema.Besides,he made a doc about Antonio Gaudí,that’s also something I did not expect a Japanese director would do.

So which directors you explored in Criterion? Tell me as many as you can.


You can watch over 200 Criterion films on Hulu Plus for only $7.99/month,try 1 week for free NOW!





Other Brilliant Movie Posts On The Web

Like Our Facebook Page and Get Daily Updates