Okay, kids. Here are the rules of this one: You can choose one (1) director. Your analysis and selection of said director can only encompass his/her output in the last five (5) years. For instance, if you choose Spielberg, you can only talk about Bridge of Spies and Lincoln and not Jaws, Indiana Jones, etc. Deal?
  1. Sion Sono
    Ridiculously prolific Japanese director responsible for several of my favorite movies of the last few years: Cold Fish, Guilty of Romance, Tokyo Tribes, Why Don't You Play in Hell?, Himizu. His movies are full of style, but always in service of the plot and themes. He has no time for subtlety because subtlety's boring. His movies don't so much end as they have nervous breakdowns (in the best way possible). Check him out.
  2. Robert Eggers
    His fantastic horror film THE WITCH came out earlier this year. Eggers uses mood and natural locations brilliantly to create a world in which the characters are constantly surrounded by danger and evil. Of all the newer names in film, I'm most interested to see what Eggers does next.
    Suggested by   @roche
  3. Peter Strickland
    In his films BERBERIAN SOUND STUDIO and THE DUKE OF BURGUNDY, Stickland uses the language of 60s cult cinema to tell deeply personal stories about power dynamics.
    Suggested by   @roche
  4. Marielle Heller
    Her film DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL expanded the possibilities of the age-old "coming of age" movie. One of the most accomplished debuts I've seen in a long time.
    Suggested by   @roche
  5. Ulrich Seidl
    Austrian director who started in documentaries but found telling the "truth" too limiting. I love all of his movies (especially Import/ Export), but his "Paradise" trilogy of 2012-2013 earned him this nomination. He's one of the few modern directors who can do the whole "stare into the abyss" thing and emerge with humanity intact.
    Suggested by   @angusisley
  6. Gareth Edwards
    Monsters was imaginative and weirdly moving; the Godzilla reboot was underrated (and unexpectedly disturbing); and I suspect he's about to knock it out of the park with the "Rogue One" Star Wars movie!
    Suggested by   @angusisley
  7. Xavier Dolan.
    From the sweeping modern romance of LAURENCE ANYWAYS to the creepy tension of TOM AT THE FARM to the chaotic melodrama of MOMMY, his ambition and range are fairly spectacular. Oh, and he's 27.
    Suggested by   @sarahjlang