Emmanuel Lubezki Morgenstern, A.S.C., A.M.C. (1964 – present)
He sometimes goes by the nickname Chivo, which means “goat” in Spanish
Lubezki has worked with many acclaimed directors, including Mike Nichols, Martin Scorsese, Michael Mann, Joel and Ethan Coen, and frequent collaborators Terrence Malick, Alfonso Cuarón, and Alejandro González Iñárritu.
Lubezki is known for achieving many groundbreaking cinematography techniques, and his work has been praised by audiences and critics alike, earning him multiple awards, including eight Academy Award nominations for Best Cinematography. He won in this category three times, becoming the first person to do so in three consecutive years, Gravity (2013), Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014), and The Revenant (2015).
Films of Note: Sólo Con Tu Pareja (1991), Como agua para chocolate (1992), A Little Princess (1995), The Birdcage (1996), Meet Joe Black (1998), Great Expectations (1998), Sleepy Hollow (1999), Y Tu Mamá También (2001), Ali (2001), Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004), The New World (2005), Children of Men (2006), The Tree of Life (2011), Gravity (2013), Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014), The Revenant (2015)
The Cinema encyclopaedia is so vast, that just naming 10 extraordinary films under any category is likely to cause serious fights, even among close cinephile friends. Nevertheless, take a look at these classics mentioned in this list of films with some great use of light to enhance the film, featuring works of Terence Malick, Francis Ford Coppola, Roman Polanski, Alfred Hitchcock, and even David Fincher. Despite missing many names, this list is a good place to start studying the effect of lighting on cinema.
Find the list here: 10 Films with Inspirational Lightning
Paolo Sorrentino (1970 – present)
Italian film director and screenwriter
Sorrentino is considered among the most audacious contemporary filmmakers today. His work has been critically acclaimed across international film festivals and the global film community. The themes he depicts in his cinema have led him to be compared to Frederico Fellini, Ettore Scola and Michaelangelo Antonioni.
His film The Great Beauty scored a hat-trick, when in 2014 it won the Academy Award for the Best Foreign Language Film, BAFTA award for Best Film Not in the English Language, and the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film, after being nominated for the Palme d’Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.
Akira Kurosawa (1910 – 1998)
Japanese painter, sriptwriter and filmmaker
Regarded as one of the most important and influential filmmakers in the history of cinema, Kurosawa directed 30 films in a career spanning 57 years. His last few films were made using his paintings as storyboards after he had lost his eyesight.
Entered the Japanese film industry in 1936, following a brief stint as a painter. He most frequently collaborated with actor Toshiro Mifune with whom he has made 15 films. His film , Rashomon, was first to open up Western film markets for Japanese films, leading to the popularity of many Japanese filmmakers.
In 1990, Kurosawa accepted the Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement. Posthumously, he was named “Asian of the Century” in the “Arts, Literature, and Culture” category by AsianWeek magazine and CNN, cited as “one of the [five] people who contributed most to the betterment of Asia in the past 100 years”.
Films of Note: Sanshiro Sugata (1943), Drunken Angel (1948), The Quiet Duel (1949), Stray Dog (1949), Rashomon (1950), Ikiru (1952), Seven Samurai (1954), Record of a Living Being (1954), Throne of Blood (1957), The Lower Depths (1957), The Hidden Fortress (1958), Yojimbo (1961), Sanjuro (1962), High and Low (1963), Red Beard(1965), Dersu Uzala (1975), Kagemusha (1980), Ran (1985)
Dustin Lee Hoffman (1937 – present)
American actor and film director, with a career in film, television, and theatre since 1960.
Hoffman has been known for his versatile portrayals of anti-heroes and vulnerable characters. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1980 for Kramer vs. Kramer, and in 1988 for Rain Man. Widely considered one of the finest actors in history, Hoffman first drew critical praise for starring in the play, Eh?, for which he won a Theatre World Award and a Drama Desk Award. This achievement was soon followed by his breakthrough 1967 film role as Benjamin Braddock, the title character in The Graduate. Since that time, Hoffman’s career has largely been focused on the cinema, with sporadic returns to television and to the stage.
Along with 2 Academy Award wins, Hoffman has been nominated for 5 additional Academy Awards, and he was nominated for 13 Golden Globes, winning 6 (including an honorary award). He has won 4 BAFTAs, 3 Drama Desk Awards, a Genie Award, and an Emmy Award.
Films of Note: The Graduate (1967), Midnight Cowboy (1969), John and Mary (1969), Little Big Man (1970), Straw Dogs (1971), Papillon (1973), Lenny (1974), All the President’s Men (1976), Marathon Man (1976), Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), Tootsie (1982), Rain Man (1988), Hook (1991), Outbreak (1995) and Wag the Dog (1997), Meet the Fockers (2004), Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006), Kung Fu Panda 1, 2 and 3 (2008, 2011 and 2016/voice of Master Shifu)
Ernst Ingmar Bergman (1918 – 2007)
Swedish director, writer and producer who worked in film, television, and theatre.
Recognised as one of the most accomplished and influential auteurs of all time, having directed over sixty films and documentaries for cinematic release and for television, most of which he also wrote. He also directed over 170 plays. His work often dealt with death, illness, faith, betrayal, bleakness and insanity.
From 1953 he forged a powerful creative partnership with his full-time cinematographer Sven Nykvist. Among his company of actors were Harriet and Bibi Andersson, Liv Ullmann, Gunnar Björnstrand, Erland Josephson, Ingrid Thulin and Max von Sydow. Most of his films were set in Sweden, and numerous films from Through a Glass Darkly (1961) onward were filmed on the island of Fårö.
Films of Note: Smiles of a Summer Night (1953), Wild Strawberries (1957), The Seventh Seal (1957) The Magician (1958), Brink of Life (1958), The Virgin Spring (1960), Through a Glass Darkly (1961), The Silence (1963), Shame (1968), Cries and Whispers (1972), Scenes from a Marriage (1973), The Magic Flute (1975), Face to Face (1976), Autumn Sonata (1978) Fanny and Alexander (1982), The Best Intentions (1992), Saraband (2003)
Michael Haneke (1942 – present)
Austrian film director and screenwriter
His work often examines social issues, and depicts the feelings of estrangement experienced by individuals in modern society.
Has worked in television‚theatre and cinema. Besides working as a filmmaker, Haneke also teaches film direction at the Film Academy Vienna.
His films have been appreciated worldwide and awarded the Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival, Golden Globe and Academy Award, among others. He is the only Austrian director and the seventh in the world to have received the Palme d’Or twice. In 2013 Haneke won the Prince of Asturias Award for the arts.
Michel Gondry (1963 – present)
French independent film director, screenwriter and producer, he is noted for his inventive visual style and distinctive manipulation of mise en scène. He is well known for his music video collaborations with The Chemical Brothers, Björk and The White Stripes.
He won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay as one of the writers of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), which is often ranked one of the greatest films of the 2000s.
Films of Note: Human Nature (2001), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), The Science of Sleep (2006), The Green Hornet (2011), The We and the I (2012), Mood Indigo (2013), Microbe & Gasoline (2015)