Dropping Like Flies

Jeez, first Bergman and now Antonioni? Sad week for cineastes. I still have no idea what Zabriskie Point is about (then again, neither did he), but for my money, Michael Bay doesn’t hold a roman candle to Antonioni when it comes to blowing up stuff.

Are there any major directors who got their start in the ’40s who are still with us?


  1. I know he did documentary shorts in the '40s, but his first feature wasn't till 1959. Don't think it counts.

  2. I don't think Antonioni made a full-length until the 50s, either. And is any of his early output noteworthy? I'm not familiar with it.
    I know it's horrible, but I tend to think of post-WWII European art cinema through its myopic, self-important Yuppie definition: It all happened in the 60s, man, when campus culture asserted itself. Though it's a stupid viewpoint — the obvious formative touchstone for post-WWII Euro art cinema would be… WWII — it's a convenient one. And it certainly works for Antonioni, I think, who glommed on to mod/hippie culture, and only made one important film after 1970.
    Floyd soundtrack or no, I don't think I ever made it all the way through Zabriskie Point. That, or I kept confusing it with Red Desert.
    My first thought as to who might complete this triumverate was Wajda. Don't know why.

  3. While he's not known as a director, Karl Malden actually did direct a couple of films in the 50s and his career started in the '40s and he's still alive — as of this writing.

  4. Mickey Rooney directed "The Private Lives of Adam and Eve" starring Mamie Van Doren. His career started in the '20s!!! — I know, I know, these are both technicalities but they're still interesting.

  5. Here's your answer: Manoel de Oliveira, who's about to hit the century mark, started making films in 1931 and is still working. Though I don't believe I've ever seen anything by him.
    Also not-dead-yet: Jules Dassin, Kon Ichikawa.
    Movie City Indie has posted a running list of directors older than 60 (along with their most recent work).

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