While plenty of filmmakers have made solid careers out of being journeyman directors with no particular thematic focus, the best and most interesting artists do tend to focus in on a single piece of subject matter which interests them the most.
These ideas and themes can be extremely broad and all-encompassing or incredibly niche and singular, but in the case of these 10 filmmakers, they've all made it their consuming obsession over their cinematic tenures.
Whether 50-year veterans of the industry or rising filmmakers still making a name for themselves, these directors have a clear interest in one aspect of life or art above all else, one which has appeared again and again throughout their bodies of work.
In some cases they've pretty much beaten audiences over the head with it over the years, while in others it's a little more subtle and unassuming.
Either way, if you haven't clocked these filmmakers and their favourite talking points yet, look again. If nothing else, it's a great incentive to revisit their celebrated filmographies...
10. Steven Spielberg - Family
It won't be surprising to anyone who pays attention to the subtext of Steven Spielberg's movies that he had a strained relationship with his own late father, because family - especially fraught father-son relationships - are majorly apparent throughout his work.
From Indiana Jones' (Harrison Ford) tricky relationship with his own dad (Sean Connery), to Close Encounters' selfish father Roy Neary (Richard Dreyfuss), basically everything about Hook's Peter Banning (Robin Williams), the android child (Haley Joel Osment) craving his own family in A.I., John Anderton's (Tom Cruise) disappeared son in Minority Report, and the broken homes in both E.T. and War of the Worlds, it is by far the most prevalent thematic across his five-decade body of work.
Spielberg himself admits it as much, saying, "It's a nagging theme in my work, a family divided, a family united. It's a theme that also works into films that aren't as fantastic, like Empire of the Sun, The Color Purple, and Catch Me if You Can."
Though serving as the backbone to so many of his movies, it impressively doesn't feel overly repetitious across his filmography.