Many qualities bind the eclectic films of Danny Boyle: highly stylized aesthetics, great soundtracks, the introduction of future stars (Ewan McGregor, Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Dev Patel), and, perhaps above all, constant pulses of energy. Boyle had a heap of U.K. theater productions and TV movies to his credit when he attained international acclaim with the 1994 black comedy-thriller Shallow Grave. While the Hitchcockian murder tale (which Boyle admitted was “stolen from the Coen brothers'” breakout Blood Simple) put him on the map, it was the 1996 adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s novel Trainspotting — about a group of heroin addicts living the high life in Edinburgh — that truly established the director’s style.
It’s hard to say which is more impressive: how many great films Ron Howard has directed over the past three-plus decades, or how eclectic his filmography has been. He’s dabbled in the supernatural (Splash, Cocoon, Willow) and the historical (Far and Away, Apollo 13, Frost/Nixon). He’s directed a Best Picture-winning biopic (A Beautiful Mind) and a box office-reigning kiddie flick (How the Grinch Stole Christmas). He’s captured the American family in its everyday quirks (Parenthoood) and during extreme duress (Ransom). ...
While promoting his new Yoga Hosers, Kevin Smith came into our studios to shoot an episode of Director’s Reel — Yahoo Movies’ series where filmmakers talk us through their career highlights. But if you’re a fan of Smith you already know the man can outtalk the talkiest talkers in Talk Land, and we only slightly regret to tell you that our attempt at moving through the director’s filmography failed miserably.
George Miller was a working ER doctor when he set off on making his first movie, the independently financed Mad Max. The actioner became of the most profitable films of all time, launched Mel Gibson’s career, and lead to three sequels, including last year’s box-office hit Mad Max: Fury Road, which earned Miller his first Best Director Oscar nomination. In between his work on the original Mad Max trilogy (which also included 1981’s Road Warrior and 1983’s Beyond Thunderdome) and Fury Road, Miller helmed a couple adult dramas (1987’s Witches of Eastwick and 1992’s Lorenzo’s Oil) and a few projects that couldn’t be further from the bloodbaths of apocalyptic Max-land: the family flicks Babe: Pig in the City (1998), Happy Feet (2006), and Happy Feet 2 (2011). Highlights: Related: Director’s Reel: Spike Lee on the Prescience of ‘Do the Right Thing,’ the 'Mockery’ of Denzel’s 'Malcolm X’ Oscar Loss, and More Mad Max (1979) Miller is the first to admit that he didn’t have a tight grip on what filmmaking entailed when he shot his debut.
Spike Lee’s public persona — as an activist, as a provocateur, as a mouthpiece against injustice, and as New York’s No. 1 Knicks fan — sometimes threatens to overshadow his tremendous accomplishments as a filmmaker. Remarkably, Lee — who was awarded an honorary Oscar in November for his considerable career achievements — has never been nominated for a Best Director Academy Award, nor has ever had a Best Picture contender (he was nominated for Best Screenplay for Do the Right Thing, and for Best Documentary for 4 Little Girls). Lee has garnered his best reviews in years for his film, Chi-Raq (on Blu-ray and DVD Jan. 26), a drama that remixes Aristophanes’s Lysistrata with modern-day gang warfare in Chicago.
The 68-year-old filmmaker has had a colorful filmmaking career in the past several decades, directing creatures and humans in such favorites as Gremlins (and its beloved sequel), Innerspace, The 'Burbs, Explorers, and Piranha.