British cinema does not always get the best deal – the French have been notoriously snobbish over the British film industry in the past, despite their own being long gone from the glory days of the Nouvelle Vague. Directors such as Ken Loach, Mike Leigh, Sam Mendes, Ken Russel, Nicolas Roeg, Paul Greengrass, Christopher Nolan, Ridley Scott, David Yates and Matthew Vaughn all have lofty worldwide reputations and have regularly produced some of the finest cinema over the last decades.
There have of course been promising British directors that have somewhat bombed out, most notably Guy Ritchie, who’s career was somehow resurrected when he was asked to direct an updated version of Sherlock Holmes. Ritchie did leave a black mark on British cinema as after the huge success of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, everybody wanted to make a crime comedy with strong visuals and and quotable dialogue.
The endless stream of Lock Stock rip-offs is still continuing as they flood the straight-to-DVD market but the British crime genre was rescued in 2004 by Matthew Vaughn and debut movie Layer Cake, which Ritchie was originally going to direct. Ritchie is perfect proof that a director with the world at his feet can implode with a few bad decisions. In his case, they were two abominations in the form of Revolver and Swept Away.
The 10 directors on this list have shown promise and potential and if wise could go on to conquer the world, or just stay in Britain making superb independent films if that’s what they wish. The directors on this list are responsible for some of the world’s best films over the last decade including Shame, We Need to Talk About Kevin, Moon, Kill List, Hunger and Shifty and are vital to the evolution and progress of British cinema, which is in a very good place right now.
And if these directors carry on making brilliance then British cinema is only going to continue excelling…
This article was first posted on March 7, 2013