Some directors leave their marks more distinctly than others on the movie industry, stunning critics, dominating the box office or claiming countless awards. People talk about their movies, and anticipate their upcoming releases.
Here's what we can look forward to from five noteworthy directors:
1 Christopher Nolan
Nolan's films offer philosophical elements and nonlinear storytelling techniques that have become trademarks of his summer blockbusters. From Memento to The Dark Knight to Inception, his stories present interesting concepts and strong, overarching themes. Nolan's newest endeavor, Interstellar, is his first project without Wally Pfister's cinematography since his directorial debut, Following, in 1999. It is also his first attempt at space travel sci-fi, and between the new genre and new cinematography, Interstellar has potential to be something vastly different from Nolan's previous films. Sci-fi can be an excellent medium for philosophy, so the idea of Nolan tackling the genre is intriguing. Interstellar, set to hit theaters in November 2014, has an impressive cast that includes Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Matt Damon, Matthew McConaughey, Michael Caine, Topher Grace and Casey Affleck.
2 David O. Russell
With 2010's The Fighter and 2012's Silver Linings Playbook, David O. Russell has become a common name during awards season. His next film, American Hustle, opens at Christmas, and the title alone shows promise. A clever con artist is forced to work with an FBI agent to bust crimes, and the trailer displays some cool '70s aesthetics set to Led Zeppelin's Good Times Bad Times. Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper and Jeremy Renner, American Hustle looks like one of the most exciting films of the year.
3 M. Night Shyamalan
His career began with masterpieces such as The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable, but more recently he has plagued theaters with atrocities such as The Happening and The Last Airbender. This year's After Earth was shunned by critics and failed miserably at the box office. Shyamalan has been caught in a downward spiral since 2006's Lady in the Water, and his fans have been waiting a long time for a comeback that can restore his career's legitimacy. Shyamalan is now directing a new television series called Wayward Pines that is set to release in 2014. The series is about a man in the Secret Service who gets stuck in a town where two federal agents have disappeared. We can hope this series will get Shyamalan back on the right track so he can make more movies with the acclaim of The Sixth Sense.
4 Wes Anderson
Ever since his debut film, 1996's Bottle Rocket, Wes Anderson has been making quirky comedies such as The Darjeeling Limited and Moonrise Kingdom with a style that is easier to witness than it is to describe. His trademarks, including offbeat characters and mid-shot shifts into slow motion, have won him one of the industry's biggest cult followings. His next film is called The Grand Budapest Hotel, and it tells the story of a famous concierge and his friendship with a young employee he takes under his wing. Hotels are some of the most interesting places, bringing people from all over the world together, and they are therefore some of the most interesting settings in films. Wes Anderson has a knack for creating cozy settings, so a hotel is perfect for him. The project's ensemble cast comprises Saoirse Ronan, Ralph Fiennes, Edward Norton, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Willem Dafoe, Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel and Jason Schwartzman.
5 Quentin Tarantino
What do Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, the Kill Bill movies, Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained have in common? They were all directed by Quentin Tarantino, tackling a different genre with each one. Tarantino knows a lot about movies because he has watched so many, turning him into an encyclopedia of genres and styles. Famous for his witty dialogue, his chaotic shootouts and his use of B-movie aesthetics, he embraces each genre, accentuating its characteristics in homage. Django Unchained is his most recent film, and he is yet to announce his next project. What should moviegoers expect from Tarantino next? The unexpected.
Mark Mukherjee is the tb-two* movie critic.