Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: Joaquin Phoenix Gets His Stoner Detective Groove On In Trailer For Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘Inherent Vice’ Watch: Joaquin Phoenix Gets His Stoner Detective Groove On In Trailer For Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘Inherent Vice’ David Fincher Will Direct The Entire First Season Of HBO's 'Utopia' In 2015 David Fincher Will Direct The Entire First Season Of HBO's 'Utopia' In 2015 Brad Pitt Says 'Fury' Co-Star Shia LaBeouf Is "One Of The Best Actors I've Ever Seen" Brad Pitt Says 'Fury' Co-Star Shia LaBeouf Is "One Of The Best Actors I've Ever Seen" First Look: Kristen Stewart & Nicholas Hoult In Drake Doremus’ Sci-Fi Film ‘Equals’ First Look: Kristen Stewart & Nicholas Hoult In Drake Doremus’ Sci-Fi Film ‘Equals’ John Cusack Says Hollywood Is A "Whorehouse" That "Eats Young Actors Up And Spits Them Out" John Cusack Says Hollywood Is A "Whorehouse" That "Eats Young Actors Up And Spits Them Out" New Image From 'Inherent Vice,' Paul Thomas Anderson Completely Changed The Ending From Thomas Pynchon's Book New Image From 'Inherent Vice,' Paul Thomas Anderson Completely Changed The Ending From Thomas Pynchon's Book Why 'You're The Worst' Turned Out To Be The Best TV Show Of The Summer Why 'You're The Worst' Turned Out To Be The Best TV Show Of The Summer Watch: Ellen Page And Kate Mara Are 'Tiny Detectives' In Hilarious 'True Detective' Parody Watch: Ellen Page And Kate Mara Are 'Tiny Detectives' In Hilarious 'True Detective' Parody New Look: Reese Witherspoon And Joaquin Phoenix In Paul Thomas Anderson's 'Inherent Vice' New Look: Reese Witherspoon And Joaquin Phoenix In Paul Thomas Anderson's 'Inherent Vice' Review: David Fincher's 'Gone Girl' Starring Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Tyler Perry, Neil Patrick Harris, Kim Dickens & More Review: David Fincher's 'Gone Girl' Starring Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Tyler Perry, Neil Patrick Harris, Kim Dickens & More 10 Female Directors Who Deserve More Attention From Hollywood 10 Female Directors Who Deserve More Attention From Hollywood Miles Teller Says Role In 'Divergent' Made Him Feel "Dead Inside," And He Took Movie "For Business Reasons" Miles Teller Says Role In 'Divergent' Made Him Feel "Dead Inside," And He Took Movie "For Business Reasons" While You're Waiting For 'Interstellar,' Here's Over 100 Behind-The-Scenes Photos From 'The Dark Knight' Trilogy While You're Waiting For 'Interstellar,' Here's Over 100 Behind-The-Scenes Photos From 'The Dark Knight' Trilogy First Look At 'The Dying Of The Light,' Paul Schrader Quits Film Over What Nicolas Winding Refn Calls "Artistic Disrespect" First Look At 'The Dying Of The Light,' Paul Schrader Quits Film Over What Nicolas Winding Refn Calls "Artistic Disrespect" New Images From 'Interstellar' Arrive, Christopher Nolan Says The Film Is A "Mirror" Of 'Inception' New Images From 'Interstellar' Arrive, Christopher Nolan Says The Film Is A "Mirror" Of 'Inception' Watch: Have A Threesome With Very NSFW Clip From 'Maps To The Stars' With Julianne Moore & John Cusack Watch: Have A Threesome With Very NSFW Clip From 'Maps To The Stars' With Julianne Moore & John Cusack The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes

On The Rise 2012: 10 Directors Who Look To Be Bright Sparks Of The Future

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com May 15, 2012 at 2:33PM

Like it or not, filmmaking is undeniably a director's medium. It wasn't always like that, of course: it was only the coming of the auteur theory in the 1950s and 1960s that popularized the idea of the director as the person responsible for all that was great and terrible about a picture. And while anyone who's worked in film knows that it's a collaborative medium, there's still no better way of seeing where the form might be going in the next few years than by looking at the directors who've been making splashes of late.
14
On The Rise Directors

Like it or not, filmmaking is undeniably a director's medium. It wasn't always like that, of course: it was only the coming of the auteur theory in the 1950s and 1960s that popularized the idea of the director as the person responsible for all that was great and terrible about a picture. And while anyone who's worked in film knows that it's a collaborative medium, there's still no better way of seeing where the form might be going in the next few years than by looking at the directors who've been making splashes of late.

So, hot on the heels of our On The Rise pieces focusing on actors, actresses and screenwriters, we've picked out ten directors who've arrived in a big way in the last year or so, and look set for even greater things in the near future. Any tips of your own? Let us know in the comments section below.

Zal Batmanglij
Zal Batmanglij
One of the best films of the year so far is one that first appeared right at the beginning of 2011: Zal Batmanglij's "Sound Of My Voice." The film premiered at Sundance in January 2011, part of a double-header with "Another Earth," both co-written by and starring new indie darling Brit Marling. The box office has been pretty disappointing, but the few who have seen the film, which follows a pair of amateur documentary filmmakers investigating a mysterious cult run by a woman who claims to be from the future, know that it marks Batmanglij as a serious talent. The son of famous Persian food writer Najmieh Batmanglij (and brother of Vampire Weekend member Rostam, who scored "Sound Of My Voice"), he met Marling and "Another Earth" director Mike Cahill at Georgetown, before going on to AFI film school, where he graduated in 2006. Marling and Batmanglij started writing their project in 2008, and when financing fell through, they decided to make it with what little resources they had. You wouldn't know it to watch the film: it's a remarkably confident and complex debut, with a script that's not quite like anything you've seen, and focused, taut direction. The film landed the duo on radars in a big way, and Fox Searchlight soon snapped up their next project, "The East" (a film that they'd tried to get made before "Sound Of My Voice," with a cast including Andrew Garfield and Rooney Mara, names that financiers felt weren't big enough at the time. Oops...) Starring Marling as a woman who infiltrates an anarchist terrorist group, and with Alexander Skarsgard, Ellen Page, Toby Kebbell and Patricia Clarkson among the cast, the film is being edited, and we're guessing will hit festivals by the end of the year. From there, the sky's the limit.

Gareth Evans
Bradford Harrison/Playmaker Magazine
Gareth Evans
As far as saviors of action cinema go, Gareth Evans is an unlikely one. The 31-year-old hails from the tiny Welsh village of Hirwaun, and only five years ago was teaching Welsh as a foreign language over the internet while trying to get his micro-budget debut "Footsteps" completed. Unable to get any traction in the British film industry, the director moved with his wife to her original home of Indonesia, and found work making a documentary about the country's martial art pencak silat, which was virtually unknown outside the nation. It was there that he met Iko Uwais, a diminuitive practicioner who was working as a driver for a telecom company at the time. The duo teamed up for 2009's "Merantau," an actioner that proved to be a hit at home and on the festival circuit, but it was nothing compared to the sensation caused by their follow-up "The Raid," which premiered at TIFF last year. The film, made for a relatively meager budget, is a tight-as-a-drum actioner starring Uwais as a SWAT team member stranded in a tower block full of drug lord henchmen that are ready to murder the hell out of him, and it sent genre fans ballistic immediately, with comparisons to "Die Hard" and "Hard Boiled" flowing freely. And they're entirely justified: the film isn't just brilliantly choreographed, but thrillingly shot, the camera ever moving, but always keeping the ass-kicking clear as day. It's made Evans an overnight star, and while he's prepping a sequel to "The Raid" with Uwais, "Berental," he's starting to make inroads into Hollywood, signing on to direct former Darren Aronofsky heist project "Breaking The Bank" at Universal

This article is related to: Features, Benh Zeitlin, Justin Kurzel, Lucy Mulloy, Adam Wingard, Colin Trevorrow, Will Sharpe & Tom Kingsley, Alan Taylor, Dee Rees, Gareth Evans, Zal Batmanglij, On The Rise Features


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates