5. Xavier Dolan
He’s just 30 years old. He has directed almost 10 motion pictures for the big screen, and he has won more than 70 prices for his work. Well, one thing is sure: that Canadian enfant terrible has got real talent.
Dolan’s interest is concentrated on coming-of-age cases, self-destructive youths, and unbalanced parental behaviorisms. His thematic landscapes occur in vision through a quite distinctive canvas of varied aspect ratios, deformed paces, and warm color pallets that engage every viewer. However, critics and viewers have suggested that Dolan’s spectacle in a measure glares at the expense of his work’s content.
Despite its divisive results, the filmography of this remarkable Canadian artist has exhibited a respectful study of sexual and spiritual investigating procedures, as he delineates complete and realistic characters of great emotional depths that perfectly fit in their environments’ shapes.
Dolan’s compassion to disoriented persons that are found in the middle of a search for identity reflects on a delicate soul, while his profound artistic approaches reveal a forthcoming maturation and a glorious career.
4. Gaspar Noé
Gaspar Noé owes his universal fame and infamy to the raw, blatant brutality of his 2002 “Irreversible.” Interwoven with stomach-turning violent circumstances, sexual explicitness, and ethical ambiguity, Noé’s scratched and bruised cinematic territories are rooted in a spoilt bedrock of tangible ashes. Yes, a volitional roaming in his bleeding alleys demands iron will, not only due to the undimmed ugliness of their wet pavements, but to do the bare questions he posts along the way all the same.
France’s most controversial auteur has focused on the beaten and the damned of his world, at an extent that few filmmakers have done and through a crystal-clear prism, providing an honest, descriptive and overbold image of the repulsing decadent figures that lamentably shiver in his pictures’ foregrounds. We aren’t meant to like these faded shadows of human minds, or hate them, or even pity them. We are just meant to understand them.
Behind the savage violence and vain splurge of physical and mental strengths that always stain the portraits of Noé’s both heroes and antiheroes, emerges an exasperating search for love and sharing. In cruel sexual intercourse, in remorse or depression, the sentimental atmosphere that only Noé knows how to create sickly lacks in love and acceptance.
3. Todd Solondz
If you want to challenge yourself about the way you perceive ethics in the limits of long-lasting and commonly accepted standards, then watch Todd Solondz’s “Happiness.” Representing the quintessence of his insightful worldview, his 1998 overbold flick over a dysfunctional, depressed, and reticent social group describes much more humane ingredients than we’d like to find out.
Solondz’s films mostly elaborate on excluded characters that find themselves abandoned under the entombing shadow of the grandiose American dream and its gigantic cities. Dressed in an eroded cloth of misery and hushed expression, the familiar nerdy-like figures that are found in the dark tales of the American director are progressively unfolded until they reveal a rotten, and yet sensitive core.
One of the most audacious American filmmakers, Solondz instantly divides his viewer in two pieces: the first is disgusted by the projected perverted quests for existential victories and carnal pleasures in disguise, whereas the other one follows a more curious, explorative path that steers clear from moral incitements.
Nevertheless, his black humor and intelligent portrayal of his society’s most grim aspects display an unprecedented discovery of the soft points which are found behind various emotional dysfunctions.
2. Bernardo Bertolucci
Exploring the sexual disjunctive borders, standing up for the absolute personal deliberation, and advocating an anti-fascist ideology, Bernardo Bertolucci’s artwork has been more than controversial.
The revolutionary quality of his filmography is highlighted in the sociopolitical comment of his 1970 masterpiece “The Conformist” and in the painful eroticism that overflows from his emblematic “Last Tango in Paris.” Yet, the legendary Italian director will always remain a mighty black sheep of the seventh art.
That being said, Bertolucci’s cinema would have been controversial, even without the presence of “Last Tango.” His homosexual references in an era of prevailing sexual taboos, his criticism on a severe political status, and a catholic approach toward the revolutionary act of France’s May 1968 would have been enough anyway.
But the sentimental desperation that he projected on Marlon Brando’s remnant of a tortured man was the icing on the cake— not only due to the disturbing intercourse between him and Maria Schneider, but essentially due to the primal sentimental nudity it involves.
Some audiences love Bertolucci’s whirl of repressed anger and emotional deprivation as it occurs in the shady, lonesome, and unforgettable Parisian decay of Brando and Schneider. Some others generally consider his esprit provocative and ethically unacceptable.
Yet, Bertolucci was an amazing filmmaker and artist that left behind numerous gems that his mind generated and his hands crafted. The seventh art will always be embracing the world’s view through the lens of his melancholic and hopeful eyes.
1. Pier Paolo Pasolini
Pier Paolo Pasolini was something more than a filmmaker. He was something more than an artist. He was a fighter of life. A Marxist and a homosexual, Pasolini fought for his right to be who he was and even, for his right to express it freely, unashamedly. His films comprised revelations for his era— an era plagued by prejudice, servility and frustrating social taboos.
Attempting a gigantic leap over his world’s comprehensible wire nettings, Pasolini questioned religion, accepted his own diversified sexuality, forgave the frailty and otherness around him, and deeply perceived the abusive behavior of the authoritative parameters toward the weak and the helpless members of the tangled social complexes.
In his simultaneous luck and disconformity, Pasolini owned two amazingly observing eyes that couldn’t ignore the ugliness and the bleakness of a tortured land. Due to this aspect of his artistic intelligence, he was never forgiven. Projecting the ugliness that most of us deny facing, he exposed the everlasting fraud of societies. The legend of Pasolini is arguably divisive even in our days, but his treasure survives unspoiled in the chamber of his films.
For his unbowed contribution to the seventh art, for his tender artistic soul, for his activist intellectual acts, and for his unfair demise, Pier Paolo Pasolini tops this list, as he tops the hearts of countless cinephiles.