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10 Great Movie Directors Whose Styles Can’t Be Imitated

09 February 2019 | Features, People Lists | by Marillie Damoulianou

5. Emir Kusturica

Exuberant and deeply simple, noisy and silent, Emir Kusturica’s cinema stands for a significative chapter of the modern European history, always translated into the evasive humane codes that can’t be captured in words.

Kusturica’s people and individual characters are made with sweat and toil. You can lay your hands on them and feel their skin, their yearning, their wearing down. And then, if you distance yourself, their story and their quality in its wholeness becomes obvious.

The biggest part of Kusturica’s filmography is dedicated to the simple people of Balkans. His films record their folk traditions, their maladies, and essentially, their most humane ingredients. Somewhere, a mob of musicians follows a bride. Somewhere else, a mother dies and a veil hovers. The pain of a poor boy, of a betrayed man, or of an abandoned mother always strikes the viewer. The majesty and the exiguity of our kind always emerge, simultaneously and competitively.

Obviously influenced by Theo Angelopoulos, Emir Kusturica has molded a sadly beautiful and detailed cinematic sculpture of his own raw materials. His work is of unmatched artistic and idealistic value, as he engages insightful content and picturesque interpretations. Symbolic and prompt, acting on a blood-stained canvas of cosmic tragedy, Kusturica is a maestro of a dazed yet brilliant orchestra.

 

4. Pedro Almodóvar

When we talk about style and character in films, we talk about Pedro Almodóvar. It’s impossible not to recognize one of his films, even from the first sight. On the flashy costumes, on the distinctive female styles, on the warm color pallets, even on a dispersed theatrical mood, Almodóvar’s absolutely genuine fashions glare.

The most famous modern Spanish director used to be quite divisive during his first steps, as he dealt with the taboo subject of sexuality in a way both uncommitted and artistic. Since his first colorful explorations into the world of sexual freedom until his recent dramas, Almodóvar has touched all of the soulful surfaces of his creatures, drawing their textures, from the roughest to the most delicate, on the iconic images of his films.

It’s not easy to be simultaneously amusing and profound. It’s not easy to express the most ordinary and the most injured components of our kind’s psychological structures. It’s not easy to be completely exposed and ultra-stylized at the same time. Pedro Almodóvar effortlessly has done all those. His work has a plastic, self-sarcastic cover and a very soft, very pure carnal core. This combination is just one-and-only.

 

3. Orson Welles

One of the most luminous names in cinema history and definitely one of the most influential creators as regards the cinematic language and form, Orson Welles has signed some of the most beautiful and well-executed films ever made. His notorious first feature film “Citizen Kane” sustains an insuperable grace in every level, while his subsequent works never were less than technically sophisticated.

The motion pictures of Welles comprise perfectly synthesized moving frames of every visual parameter. The use of light, distance, aspect ratio, camera movement, relative depth, and even sound portray static mental states, as well as contextual evolution and character relationship. No element is randomly placed in the theatrical stage of Welles’s baroque, gloriously lighted cinematic sphere.

Revolutionary in his era and timelessly admirable, the classic American filmmaker renders a thick idealistic and sentimental backdrop into a polymorphic object of unmeasured beauty and pictorial accuracy. Among Andrei Tarkovsky and Federico Fellini, Orson Welles captured the most nostalgic pictures of a past in the moving lines and shades of cinema in a unique way.

 

2. Luis Buñuel

Day-dreamers love to perceive films as projectors of dreams and subliminal aspects. Indeed, cinema provides unlimited abilities to portray fractured and swirling stories that bend the boundaries of the material and move within an intoxicating cloud of fantasy. Perhaps, no one else has ever brought this cloud closer than Luis Buñuel.

Carrying out a diverse career which has survived through the desert of time and through the storm of the political misery, Buñuel moved from the surrealist movement to postmodernism, always remaining loyal to a personal experimentalism of style and conceptional rawness. His interest on the bourgeoisie, on religion and on sexuality established his thematic orientation, as it always appears interwoven with an avant-garde artistic mood.

Buñuel’s styles balance somewhere between the classy and the paradoxical, somewhere between the distorted and the surreal. Dark and witty, his decadent settings are stained by the tragicomic veins that carve his characters.

 

1. Jean-Luc Godard

He’s the French New Wave. He introduced the jump-cuts. He studied the melancholy in the eyes of the outlaws. He is Jean-Luc Godard. Who else could ever be considered more stylish, more iconic and more innovative in relation to the visual coquetry of his films?

Apart from daring a chaotic step between a former and a brand new cinematic language and even apart from changing the way we perceive film in general, Godard has been one of the most influential filmmakers as regards the style of settings, heroes and narratives. From his black-and-white pictures to his colorful ones, he always experimented with colors and shapes, providing subtle frames that satisfy both the eyes of mind and soul.

In a semiology abstract form and in a minimalist aesthetic approach, Godard created iconic looks, characters and moments. His black-and-white movies entail the vintage sophisticated flare of France, whereas his colorful syntheses always seem to float over a white background, highlighting the antithesis between his evasively battling figures.

Whether or not you love Jean-Luc Godard’s jazzy fashions and unconventional cinema, he is one of the most groundbreaking and fearless figures of the seventh art.

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