50 Best Living Directors

  1. Ingmar Bergman
  2. Shohei Imamura
  3. Jean-Luc Godard
  4. Wernor Herzog
  5. Lars von Trier
  6. Martin Scorsese
  7. David Lynch
  8. Manoel de Oliveira
  9. Zhang Yimou
  10. Seijun Suzuki
  11. Errol Morris
  12. Nagisa Oshima
  13. Francis Ford Coppola
  14. Eric Rohmer
  15. Woody Allen
  16. Jacques Rivette
  17. Wim Wenders
  18. Stanley Donen
  19. Claude Chabrol
  20. John Waters
  21. Michaelangelo Antonioni
  22. Kon Ichikawa
  23. Jim Jarmusch
  24. Sidney Lumet
  25. David Cronenberg
  26. Robert Altman
  27. Kenneth Anger
  28. Hayao Miyazaki
  29. Roman Polanski
  30. Todd Solondz
  31. Steven Spielberg
  32. Alain Resnais
  33. Terrence Malick
  34. Clint Eastwood
  35. Abbas Kiarostami
  36. Takeshi Kitano
  37. Hal Hartley
  38. Gus van Sant
  39. Coen Brothers
  40. Brian DePalma
  41. James Ivory
  42. Neil Jordan
  43. Mike Leigh
  44. Bernardo Bertolucci
  45. Albert Brooks
  46. Lina Wertmuller
  47. Dario Argento
  48. Steve James
  49. John Sayles
  50. Mike Nichols
Author Comments: 

Removed from this list:
Robert Wise 9/14/05

Based on their entire career's output, not just on recent work, right?

Entire career, naturally.

I guessed at some weighted average to decide whether someone who made only a few great films (Malick) would outrank someone who made a lot of good and bad (Altman).

personally i don't see how you could decide it on career, if it's not based on their recent work then what difference does it make whether they are living or not?

It doesn't make a difference. It's a pointless list.

aren't they all... i was just thinking that if it were based on their recent work it would be a little less pointless.