There are some film artists so accomplished that, as amazing as it is to see their winning streaks continue, you can almost take their ongoing accomplishment for granted. The Canadian director David Cronenberg and Taiwanese filmmaker Hou Hsiao-hsien are two such greats. Other filmmakers are so original and locked into their particular sensibility that, however talented, they are clearly not for every taste, and so one all but knows in advance whether to see their movies. (Hello, David Lynch and no thanks, Joel and Ethan Coen.) Still other directors have achieved the status of household names and accrued so much cultural cache that every new movie is something like an Event: Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, and most recently, Kathryn Bigelow.
And then there are those filmmakers who seem to do just what they want to do and make movies to please themselves, who often appear oblivious of commercial considerations, who may swerve and stumble and, even after as many as a dozen movies, remain unpredictable. For these men and women, each project is an existential adventure -- not just for them but the audience as well. One does not just look forward to watching their films unspool but their careers unfold.
Here are 10 such mid-career directors, all in their 40s or younger. Some are still obscure, others are pretty famous -- but only a few are as well-known as they deserve to be.
-J. Hoberman, BLOUIN ARTINFO
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