Visionary Directors To Keep An Eye On

by Tito W. James

Guillermo Del Toro, Quentin Tarantino, Wes Anderson, and Darren Aronofsky, were just some of the people I covered in my two-part article about visionary filmmakers last year. This year, I wanted to highlight a series of new visionary directors to keep an eye on because I believe they will be shaping cinema for years to come.

Taika Waititi

Taika Waititi became a more recognizable name after directing Thor: Ragnarok. However, Waititi has a top-notch track record in independent film. What We Do In The Shadows, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, and JoJo Rabbit are just three films that couldn’t have been made by any other director.

Panos Cosmatos

While I don’t really care for the slow pace of his films, Panos Cosmatos remains a director that’s hard to forget. With stylized lighting, over-the-top gore, and low-tech special effects, he has created a universe all his own.

Ari Aster

Ari Aster has garnered much attention in the horror community for his films Hereditary and Midsommar. Horror has always been the breeding ground for subversive content and Aster appears to be subverting horror itself.

Bong Joon Ho

Known for Parasite, Snowpiercer, and Okja, Bong Joon Ho manages to ground bizarre premises in believable reality. The films aren’t exclusively one genre or tone, and it’s refreshing to get more than you bargained for going into a theater.

Mike Diva

Mike Diva is a content creator known for his short films and ads on his YouTube channel. Diva’s mix of low-poly graphics and slick editing makes all his films stand out. I hope to see him direct a feature some time in the future.

Ilya Naishuller

Ilya Naishuller is a director who will show the audience a story from a new perspective. Whether it’s an action film in the first person like Hardcore Henry or a circus fire played in reverse, you can always count on Naishuller to blow your mind.

Boots Riley

Few films are truly unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. Sorry To Bother You is one of those films. Boots Riley has a vision that depicts African American characters in ways that defy traditional description. Whatever Riley’s next project is, be sure to expect the unexpected.

Jordan Peele

From his success in the comedic duo of Key and Peele, Jordan Peele has taken a 180-degree turn into horror. Cinematic horror, with a few exceptions, has been in a rut of cheap teen thrillers with jump-scares. Peele’s horror films are refreshing due to the intelligence of the protagonists and his satirical take on the subject matter. Peele is treating horror as a genre for adults; fully committing to the R-rating without resorting to excessive gore.

Genndy Tartakovsky

Genndy Tartakovsky has had a 25-year long career in animation and has refined his directorial voice like no other. Tartakovsky’s use of non-verbal storytelling is a technique that more filmmakers should emulate. With Primal, Tartakovsky, is able to depict visceral emotion, beauty, and terror without dialogue. Filmmakers of animation and live action alike can learn a lot from Tartakovsky’s work.

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