Films That Inspired Other Directors

The power of cinema is endless. Each film provides audiences with a new story to dazzle and inspire us. These are the films that inspired a generation of directors to pick up a camera and continue their work.

Danny Boyle – Apocalypse Now

Danny Boyle

It’s hard to believe that the director responsible for films such as Trainspotting and 28 Days Later almost became a priest instead of a film maker. But in his early 20’s he sat through a viewing of Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now with his father and the rest was history. The 1979 war epic inspired a young Boyle to begin working in theatre and television as a producer, which would later lead to him releasing Trainspotting in 1996.

Apocalypse Now is more than a war epic, it has influenced the director’s way of storytelling, with his films blurring the line between reality and imagination. Boyle has managed to create movies that dig deep into the mind of its characters with tense and gritty atmospheres.

Christopher Nolan – Blade Runner

Christopher Nolan

Christopher Nolan will always be known as the man who saved Batman. Before rebuilding the franchise in 2005, audiences were uninterested in the character of Bruce Wayne and his alter ego. All that changed as Nolan brought the character to new heights with Batman Begins, focusing more on the journey and transformation of Bruce Wayne.

The director has spoken about how Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982) inspired his approach to film making. Blade Runner’s constant theme of identity was the main source of inspiration for Nolan’s Batman reboot and has been the foundation for some of his other films such as Memento (2000) and Inception (2010).

Wes Anderson – The Graduate

Wes Anderson

The director of The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) and Moonrise Kingdom (2012) wouldn’t have found his sense of style and humour in film without Mike Nichols’ The Graduate (1967). This coming of age classic spoke to a generation of youths and inspired the director’s editing and cinematography throughout his films.

Anderson has admitted to using certain shots and angles from The Graduate in his films, with the film’s soundtrack influencing the director’s love of music from the 1950’s to the 70’s.

Quentin Tarantino – Carrie

Quentin Tarantino

Love him or hate him, with hits like Pulp Fiction (1994) and Kill Bill (2003) under his belt it is undeniable that the man is a movie making genius. But the film responsible for Tarantino’s use of artistic violence was none other than the screen adaptation of Stephen King’s novel Carrie (1976).

Brian De Palma’s adaptation was the perfect blend of wholehearted cinema and gore, making it the reference point for many of Tarantino’s films.

David Fincher – Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

David Fincher

The director started his career making adverts and music videos after graduating high school, but it was a close call with the infamous Zodiac Killer and watching a documentary about George Roy Hill’s 1969 Western that Fincher realized he wanted a career in film making.

Known for murder mysteries such as Seven and Gone Girl, it seems that Fincher will continue to create films that will keep us guessing.

Which films brings out the director in you?


Text: Nate Nikles

Images: Time, JustWatch, Quartz, The Independent, The Film Stage, Conversations About Her, Movie Mingler, AMC, Film Forecaster.

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