title. but i must clarify. when i say, of the new era, i mean i am only taking into account the films these directors made in the last 10 years. additionally, i must have seen at least 2 movies of theirs in the last 10 years, and they are judged off of those. this is why people like korine and godard will not make this list as i think their earlier work is what makes them exciting (in korine it’s his space between projects, and in godard it’s his inconsistency). anywho. here they are alphabetically:
paul w.s. anderson
works seen: Resident Evil: Afterlife, Resident Evil: Retribution, Pompeii, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
notable omissions: Death Race, The Three Musketeers
future projects: Monster Hunter
the face of vulgar auteurism in the 2010s cinemascape seems to no longer be snyder, verhoeven, or even neveldine/taylor really, but instead looks increasingly more and more like pwsa. playing strictly a numbers game, only his most recent film has been masterful to me – but in all of the others there’s a gradual maturation of his themes and aesthetics that is very exciting to behold. the apocalyptic transcendence of Pompeii and the slick infinite implications of Retribution build to his finest work as a director in The Final Chapter, a work which seems to conclude a career of someone who has finally managed to play all of his cards right. no idea where his next one will end up going.
works seen: Melancholia, Norte: The End of History, From What is Before
notable omissions: Century of Birthing, Florentina Hubaldo CTE, Storm Children: Book One, A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery, The Woman Who Left
future projects: Season of the Devil
you can tell by the omissions that i’ve missed out on a fairly large amount of his filmo in the last ten years, over 20 hours of material. i confess that he is one of the rare directors who makes so much work that it is hard to physically track down and consume all of it in any reasonable way, but this ultimately makes his films more fulfilling – it is impossible to speed through diaz’s calm, meditative, political filmmaking. ultimately i believe his earlier work here that i’ve seen is superior to the later stuff (Melancholia is my favorite diaz joint, From What is Before the least), but given the films that he’s been making range from low fantasy films to standard more realistically lengthed dramas to even a rock film of sorts, his versatility could bring a new flash of brilliance in the filipino’s filmography. always a face to look forward to.
works seen: Gran Torino, American Sniper, Sully, The 15:17 to Paris
notable omissions: Changeling, Invictus, Hereafter, J. Edgar, Jersey Boys
upcoming works: The Mule
eastwood’s a bit of a weird pick here; while there are directors who could maybe fill his spot in terms of making better films in the last few years, what gives each eastwood film additional weight is, similar to snyder and straub, the way that his work builds atop each other in such surprising ways. conceptually and cinematically, Sully is a standard above average biopic of sorts, but when placed into context about eastwood’s trilogy (and probably more) of modern heroism it gains surprising dramatic weight. American Sniper more than likely will go down with the best of his films, and 15:17 and Gran Torino are both more than worthy endeavors that tread through a changing political landscape attempting to rectify and heal damages. there are several of his films i have not seen from this new era, should change that sometime as well.
works seen: Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals, O.J.: Made in America
notable omissions: Requiem for the Big East, The Opposition
upcoming works: untitled roberto clemente film
edelman is surely among the most exciting documentary filmmakers out there, able to command a strong sense of history, politics, and genuine joy in his documents that excel at everything that great conventional docs should. Magic & Bird is an underrated basketball doc that would be interesting enough as an exploration of race and the perception of STDs in america, but O.J. is without a doubt the film that he will be known for. a towering shockwave of an achievement, time will only tell if this grandiose exploration is a taste of things to come or ultimately a peak that maybe only a few people in history can live up to.
works seen: Lourdes, Amour fou
upcoming works: Little Joe
already one of the unsung heroes of a generation, hausner’s diversity in themes, moods, and genres is already clear within the three features of hers i have seen (Hotel came out in 2005, a slow cinema horror film which extracts the mere concept of horror to its most basic fundamentals). her newer films are outstanding – Lourdes is a dreyer inspired religious drama, equipped with its own sense of faith and patience, and a film that ultimately offers a unique combination of sorrow and relief, whereas Amour fou is a hilarious black comedy that poses as a romantic period drama and is my pick for her strongest project. her upcoming work appears to be an ironic scifi of sorts. i cannot wait to see what she does next.
works seen: Edge of Tomorrow, American Made
notable omissions: Jumper, Fair Game, The Wall
upcoming works: Chaos Walking, The Canonnball Run, Live Die Repeat and Repeat, Luna Park, Splinter Cell
liman is a bit of an odd choice here; although he is strongly at 2 for 2 for me right now, i think he seems to be more of a journeyman director a la curtiz than a bonafide always interesting auteur. Edge of Tomorrow is without a doubt the best non-vulgar action film of the decade, and American Made is one of the best drug films of our times as well, yet i can see no discerning traits that connect these movies other than their tight editing and balance of dramatic and comedic. while i’m not really super interested in seeing the other works he’s done in the last few years, i believe at least one of his planned five films will reach near those two films in terms of execution, and that in itself is an exciting prospect.
works seen: The Tree of Life, To the Wonder, Knight of Cups, Song to Song
notable omissions: Voyage of Time
upcoming works: Radegund
malick’s career at this point is one of the most exciting ones i’ve ever personally followed. The Tree of Life is up there with the highest masterpieces of the medium, and Knight of Cups and Song to Song both excel in beautiful yet diverse ways, each awakening things in malick that i didn’t know he had in him. even To the Wonder which is in many ways his weakest film has enough pleasures and potentials to get me pumped, and i still have yet to see either of his Voyage of Time cuts. malick would likely be #1 on this list if it were to be ranked in terms of how excited i am for his future work.
works seen: The Low Storm, Inter View, 2012, Ghost of OT301
notable omissions: The Seasons, The World, Still in Cosmos, Generator, Deorbit, Phantom Nebula, Space Noise, Cinema Concert, On Generation and Corruption
soo many avant-garde directors want to be as good as makino. what he’s doing isn’t anything exceptionally new (except with how his work reckons with the digital era, but even still that’s been a narrative pursuit for a while too) but makino simply makes his films have this aesthetic brooding and power that few other directors in history can match. 2012 is more than likely his masterpiece, though i’ve only seen a small portion of his films and i’m sure that this isn’t the last we’ll see of the progressive filmmaker.
works seen: Warwick, The Lonesome, Pacific Angels
notable omissions: The Vaughn Sister, Shakespeare’s Pets, Cleaners, Snake, Black Rain White Rain, Pazuzu, Nessa, Maysville, Nikki Alice Nessa, Concepts of Duality, Blue Guitar, The Trash, Cincinatti Storm, Caity and Paul Get High, Migraine, Other Side
reese, one of the members at the forefront of the loosely defined letterboxd new wave, has already matured quickly across the 3 loose features of his that i’ve seen. Warwick presents itself as a remake of Je tu il elle of sorts, The Lonesome is exactly the sort of slice-of-life material i expect from a generation of people making films with their phones, but Pacific Angels represents a type of progression i hadn’t entirely expected; a malaise of narrative and experimental filmmaking that many filmmakers lose a handle on. i hope this trend continues.
works seen: Love Exposure, Himizu, Antiporno
notable omissions: Be Sure to Share, Cold Fish, Guilty of Romance, Bad Film, The Land of Hope, Why Don’t You Play in Hell?, Tokyo Tribe, Minna!, Shinjuku Swan, Love & Peace, Tag, The Virgin Psychics, The Whispering Star, Madly, Shinjuku Swan 2, Tokyo Vampire Hotel, The Bastard and the Beautiful World
upcoming works: Prisoners of the Ghostland
sono’s filmography is intimidating; he has so many works and nearly all of them have at least a few prominent passionate supporters. knowing where to start and how to navigate his themes is difficult enough, but so much of sono’s films are about straight genre pleasures, delicate melodrama, and, of course, incredible visuals that it’s not extraordinarily hard to get into sono’s mode of cinema. he has a film with nicolas cage coming out and i’m sure we’ll get another 5 movies of his by 2020, and though i may not end up seeing all of them until decades from now, i eagerly await what this man has to offer.