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The 10 Best Generation X Directors

14 August 2013 | Features, People Lists | by Sam Silbert

gen x directors

Alfred Hitchcock. Stanley Kubrick. Steven Spielberg. There are plenty of the great directors to choose from. But even the greatest of the greats will not live on forever. Someday we’ll have to choose a new director to be the greatest, so why not now? In this list, you will see younger up and coming directors, as well as directors who have already soldered themselves into Hollywood stardom.

Most of these directors have just released movies in the past two years. All of them are great peices of work. The directors on this list are probably already planning on a new movie. I would suggest you rent out some of their work. Until then, here are the 10 best generation X born directors.


10. Wes Anderson


Best Of: Rushmore, Moonrise Kingdom, The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Why He’s Huge: Wes Anderson is famous in his own way. Not Oscar famous, as I don’t think I can recall any Oscars that he has won. But Wes Anderson sure deserves an Oscar as much as Madonna doesn’t deserve to live with the fact that she covered American Pie. Wes brought Bill Murray’s career back to life, and single-handedly created Owen Wilson’s. As his fans know, each of his movies have that ‘Wes Anderson’ niche to it.

The camera pans, slow motion shots, and some amazing music moments happen in almost all of his films. He is sure to be iconic as his career progresses, and who knows if he’ll get that long deserved Oscar? He can only get better through time, as far as we know.


9. Guillermo Del Toro


Best Of: Pan’s Labyrinth, The Devil’s Backbone.

Why He’s Huge: ‘Famous’ is a disclaimer. Guillermo Del Toro is on his way to becoming a legend. He’s a badass, and he knows it. Rumor has it that Del Toro was watching a screening of Pan’s Labyrinth with author Stephen King. The pale man chase sequence apparently gave Stephen the chills. Now if you know Stephen King, the King of horror, this is quite extraordinary.

There are plenty of stories about the great Guillermo, how he saved modern cinema, about how he just doesn’t give a crap about anything. Guillermo knows what it takes to be a legend, and that’s where he’s going.


8. Quentin Tarantino


Best Of: Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill.

Why He’s Huge: 1992 was an especially important year for Quentin Tarantino. That was the year he released a little independent movie called Reservoir Dogs. Quentin was a small time actor, wannabe director, and was working his ass off to make it into the showbiz. ‘Dogs’ was his ticket there. He became an overnight sensation.

Unfortunately, the critics were looking past the hard work he put into his movies (although they acknowledged it) and focused on the extreme violence, not necessarily pushing boundaries, but still a little too violent. But Quentin was successful. He went on to make a whole bunch of acclaimed work. Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, he was huge and had famous Hollywood actors at his disposal. Quentin has withstood the test of time, more than 20 years since his debut, and that is why he is on the list.


7. Christopher Nolan


Best Of: Memento, The Dark Knight, Inception.

Why He’s Huge: I don’t think I am the first person to say this, but Christopher Nolan has yet to make a bad movie. All of his movies are significant. Whether it be Insomnia, The Prestige, or his lesser known debut Following, all of them are just beautiful. I mean, it takes some skill to make Heath Ledger as The Joker to outshine Christian Bale in The Machinist. Or even some of Daniel Day Lewis’s work, I don’t know. But what I do know is that the next Christopher Nolan movie will not be disappointing.


6. David O. Russell


Best Of: Silver Linings Playbook, The Fighter.

Why He’s Huge: David O. Russell has been rumored to be a pretty mean person. He gets in fights with his cast members, even once got in a fist fight with George Clooney. However, this isn’t the nicest directors list, this is the best directors list, and if that means you have to get into a fist fight with George Clooney to prove a point, so be it.

David is still a talented individual. His first film, Spank The Monkey, garnered several Sundance and was made on grant money. His film Three Kings pushed the boundaries for anti-war films. He got Jennifer Lawrence her first and well deserved Oscar win. David is a mean guy, sure, but if being mean helps you focus on making a movie, David’s got the technique mastered.



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