10 Non-American Directors Who Directed Hollywood Movies
The heart of the film industry is located in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California. If someone wants to succeed in the film industry, Hollywood is the place to be. Naturally, many directors and screenwriters have been American for geographic and cultural reasons, however, Hollywood has become an international sensation that has attracted people who speak different languages and come from different backgrounds, but ultimately share one thing in common: a passion for cinema. .
Cinema icons such as Alfred Hitchcock, Ang Lee, Nicolas Winding Refnand Baz Luhrmann are just a handful of non-American directors who came to Hollywood to launch their careers and make a name for themselves.
Born in London, UK, Christopher Nolan developed an interest in the world of cinema from an early age. After earning a BA in English Literature from University College London, he practiced various tradesas a script player, camera operator, and corporate video making.
In 1998, Nolan made his directorial debut through an independent neo-noir thriller, Next. The film garnered positive reviews and was recognized as one of most notable no-budget films of his time. Two years later, in 2000, Nolan directed a film still considered a classic to this day, Memento. Although he has only directed twelve feature films since 1998, each film he directs becomes an instant box office success.
Alfonso Cuaron Orozco was born and raised in Mexico City, Mexico. Since 1991, Cuarón has directed eight feature films, namely Solo con tu pareja, A little princess, great expectations, Y tu mamá también, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, children of men, Gravityand Rome, and excelled each of them.
Gravityfor example, earned seven out of ten Oscar nominations and Rome earned three of ten Oscar nominations. His other films, like children of men and Y tu mamá también also received nominations for the BAFTA Awards and the Golden Globe Awards.
Ang Lee is a multi-talented director, screenwriter and producer, born and raised in Taiwan. To his father’s disappointment, he attended a three-year college at the National School of Arts (now expanded to National Taiwan University of the Arts). Later, Lee moved to the United States to study acting at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Although Lee was initially interested in acting, his limited command of English transformed him. steer instead.
Released in 1991, push hands became Lee’s first writing and directing feature film. His breakthrough film would come in 1995, when he made a film adaptation of the classic Jane Austen book, Sense and sensitivity. The film featured big names in cinema such as Emma Thompson (who also wrote the screenplay), Kate Winslet, Alan Rickmanand Hugh Grant. Lee would direct more acclaimed Hollywood films such as Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Brokeback Mountainand Pi’s life. He has certainly become an inspirational figure as one of the few renowned Asian directors in Hollywood.
Jan Tomas “Milos” For menotherwise known as Milos Forman, was a director of Czech origin. In 1964, Forman made his directorial debut on Black stone, a Czech black-and-white film that won the top Golden Leopard award at the Locarno International Film Festival. Years later, in 1971, Forman made his first American film, titled To take off.
1975, however, was when Forman made his breakthrough as a director. He directed the movie Flight over a cuckoo’s nestwhich featured actors, Jack Nicholson and Danny DeVito. The film, which earned five of nine Oscar nominations, was a Hollywood hit and also became the second highest-grossing film of 1975. He would go on to direct more critically acclaimed Hollywood films such as Amedee, The People Vs. Larry Flyntand Man on the Moon.
Alfred Hitchcock, born in Leytonstone in 1899 in England, first showed interest in the field of engineering, but later developed a deeper interest in creative writing, and this was the start of his path to the movie theater. After making his directorial debut with the 1925 film The Pleasure Gardenhe followed that with The Lodger: A History of the London Fogwhich becomes his first commercial success.
A few years later, in 1929, he would direct Blackmail, his first sound film. In 1940, Hitchcock moved on to directing films in Hollywood and eventually received his first Oscar nomination in the category of best director for psychological thriller. Rebecca, who played Laurence Olivier and Jane Fontaine. Hitchcock would direct at least 50 feature films, with some notables like Strangers on a train, rear window, vertigo, psychology, The birdsand much more.
Born in Wellington, New Zealand, Dame Elizabeth Jane Campion has been directing short films since 1980. Her directorial debut was an Australian feature film in 1989 titled My darling. With his critically acclaimed third film The pianoshe earned her first Oscar nominations, including lead actress, holly hunterwon the Oscar for Best Actress.
With six appearances, Genevieve Lemon was Campion’s most frequent collaborator, Nicole Kidman play in The portrait of a lady, In the Cupand the second season of top of the lake. His last feature film, The power of the dog (2021), was perhaps his most successful film to date. With Campion as director and an impressive set of Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, jesse plemonsand more, the film received twelve Oscar nominations, with a win for Best Director Jane Campion.
Nicolas Winding Refn
Nicolas Winding Refn is a Danish director, screenwriter and producer, who has frequently collaborated with actors Mads Mikkelsen, Tom Hardyand Ryan Gosling. Refn started his career with the Pusher trilogy (1996 – 2005), which explored the violent criminal underworld of Copenhagen.
In 2009, he directed the adventure film Rise of Valhalla, which also featured Mikkelsen who played the lead role of One-Eye. Two years later, in 2011, Conduct, which starred Ryan Gosling, was released. The neo-noir, arthouse feel and style drew many viewers to Refn – the haunting yet aesthetically pleasing film, backed by ambient electronic music, set the film apart from many others.
Guillermo del Toro
Born and raised in Guadalajara, Mexico, Guillermo del Toro developed an early interest in films at age eight. His first venture into the film industry was makeup and special effects, which he learned from a special effects artist. Dick Smith. After ten years as a special effects make-up artist, Del Toro founded his company, Necropia (1985). In 1993, he made his debut as a feature film director with the film Chronosan independent Mexican horror drama film that was well received and appreciated by critics and audiences.
Del Toro’s work is primarily inspired and characterized by fairy tales and horror folklore while simultaneously instilling “visual or poetic beauty in the grotesque.” Over the years, he would direct films that many now consider cinematic classics: Hellboy and Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Pan’s Labyrinth, The shape of water, and more. His next feature will be a stop motion animated adaptation of Pinocchiowhich will be released on Netflix on December 22 this year.
Ridley Scott was born and raised in County Durham, England. He graduated from the Royal College of Art in London. He began working as a trainee set designer at the BBC and at one point was assigned to design series such as Doctor Who and The Dalekswhich involved the design of many alien creatures.
He founded a film and commercial production company with his brother Tony Scott called Ridley Scott Associates (RSA). At the end of the 1970s, he was commissioned by Paramount Pictures to direct his first feature film, The Duelists. Two years later, in 1979, he made Extraterrestrial with 20th Century Fox, and in 1982, blade runner with Warner Bros. Pictures. Some of his other notable works include Thelma and Louise, Gladiator, Prometheusand The Martian.
Baz Luhrmann made his directorial debut with the 1992 Australian romantic comedy Ballroom strictlywhich received numerous nominations and won awards for the film’s respective departments, such as costume design, editing, production design, script direction, and more.
In 1996, Luhrmann made his second film, a modernized adaptation of the classic william shakespeare the tragedy, Romeo + Juliet. The movie played Leonardo DiCaprio like Romeo and Claire Danish like Juliet. In 2013, he produced an adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald classic, Gatsby the magnificent. Nine years later, in 2022, he announced the release of the biographical film, Elvisbased on the life of the rock and roll icon, Elvis Presley (played by Austin Butler).
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