10 Great Movie Directors Who Haven’t Made a Film For a Long Time

5. Constantin Costa-Gavras

One of the most important political filmmakers of all time, Constantin Costa-Gavras was born in Greece in 1933 and is mostly known for his movies made in the 1960s and 1970s.

With fierceful political stories and a raw way of portraying the situations his characters are in, Costa-Gavras is definitely a filmmaker you should get to know and truly one of the most relevant political directors in the history of film.

Although not having directed a film since 2012, with the regular “The Capital,” there’s a movie named “Adults in the Room” that he is set to direct and that is now in pre-production, so we can expect a new Costa-Gavras film in upcoming years.

Constantin Costa-Gavras movies you should watch:

– Z (1969)
– State of Siege (1972)
– Special Section (1975)
– Missing (1982)


4. Leos Carax

Leos Carax is a French filmmaker who’s responsible for the masterpiece “Holy Motors,” not only one of the best movies from this decade, but one of the best of the century (at least so far).

Although not having many feature films in his filmography, Carax has been responsible for great movies since his directorial debut with “Boy Meets Girl,” released in 1984.

Since his film “Holy Motors” was released in 2012, Carax has not directed any other feature film to date. Praised by critics, his latest movie was considered number 16 on BBC’s list of The 21st Century’s 100 Greatest Films.

Currently in pre-production, his next project is a movie called “Annette,” about a comedian whose wife, an opera singer, passed and who is now alone with his two-year-old daughter. There’s no release date set yet.

Leos Carax films you should watch:

– Boy Meets Girl (1984)
– Mauvais Sang (1986)
– The Lovers on the Bridge (1991)
– Holy Motors (2012)


3. Kar-wai Wong

Kar-wai Wong is without a doubt one of the best directors working today. Always using striking imagery in his films, an astonishing production design, and some of the greatest scripts of the last decades, Wong is definitely a filmmaker who will always be remembered in cinema history.

His latest film, “The Grandmaster” (2013), told the story of Ip Man, a martial arts master who trained Bruce Lee. To date, he hasn’t released a new film since this one from 2013.

Lately, he has been working on an Amazon TV series called “Tong Wars” that will approach Chinese immigration to the U.S., and he also has a project adapting a novel written by Jin Yuchen called “Blossoms” that will follow the story of the people who lived in Shanghai in the second half of the 20th century, from China’s Cultural Revolution to the decades ahead, until the last years of that century.

Kar-wai Wong movies you should watch:

– Chungking Express (1994)
– Fallen Angels (1995)
– Happy Together (1997)
– In the Mood for Love (2000)


2. Francis Ford Coppola

Francis Ford Coppola is an American filmmaker responsible for four movies that are without a doubt among the best in the 1970s – and maybe among the best in film history: “The Godfather” (1972), “The Conversation” (1974), “The Godfather: Part II” (1974) and “Apocalypse Now” (1979). The two Godfather films won the Oscar for Best Picture and both “The Conversation” and “Apocalypse Now” won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes film festival.

After a 10-year hiatus, from “The Rainmaker” (1997) to “Youth Without Youth” (2007), Coppola, although working more as a producer, only released two feature films after this one from 2007.

Although being the director of a TV project called “Distant Vision” (2016), there is nothing planned for us to see Coppola at the director’s chair again anytime soon.

Francis Ford Coppola movies you should watch:

– The Godfather Trilogy (1972-1990)
– The Conversation (1974)
– Apocalypse Now (1979)
– Rumble Fish (1983)
– Tetro (2009)


1. David Lynch

Cahiers du Cinéma elected “Twin Peaks: The Return” as the best movie from 2017, even though it is a TV series. Still, since the masterpiece “Inland Empire” (2006), we haven’t seen a new feature film from one of the greatest American directors of all time.

With a very unique approach on surrealism and usually a sui generis way of bringing dreamy atmospheres to the screen, David Lynch is a master of the seventh art whose films should definitely be watched.

Since the release of “Inland Empire,” Lynch worked on short films, video clips, and brought back one of the best and most acclaimed TV shows of all time in 2017, being the director of all 18 episodes of this latest season of “Twin Peaks.” Still, there are no plans of Lynch releasing a new feature film anytime soon.

David Lynch works you should watch:

– Eraserhead (1977)
– The Elephant Man (1980)
– Blue Velvet (1986)
– Mulholland Drive (2001)
– Inland Empire (2006)
– Twin Peaks (1990-1991 & 2017)

Author bio: Vítor Guima is a filmmaker, writer and musician from São Paulo, Brazil. Every day he watches a movie, reads a few pages from a book, listens to an album and freaks out with the feeling of not having enough time to see everything. You can follow him on Instagram on @ovitorguima.