Year 1999. A 28 year old British filmmaker travels to Sundance Film Festival in the hope that his little black and white film will get viewed and appreciated by a wider audience. The film was called ‘Following’ and the director, well, you already know now, Christopher Nolan. ‘Following’ became a sensation that year at Sundance and the rest as they say is history. Nolan went on to make better and bigger films. It is true that most of the directors don’t get as lucky with their first films as Nolan did. On the other hands, there are others who made even grander directorial debuts than Nolan. The below 10 films are examples of that. Here are the top directorial debuts ever.
10. Sex, Lies and Videotape (1989)
Dir: Steven Soderbergh
Steven Soderbergh kickstarted the independent film movement of the 1990s with this landmark drama about the tangled relationships among four people and a video camera. In his feature directorial debut, he demonstrates a mastery of his craft well beyond his years, pulling together an outstanding cast and an intelligent script for a nuanced, mature film about neurosis and human sexuality.
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9. Primer (2004)
Dir: Shane Carruth
Primer’ is not just a film; it is an elaborate science puzzle. To fully understand each and every aspect of ‘Primer’ requires multiple viewings — those who claim that they “got” the film in first viewing itself are either lying or are just being a smart-ass. When you finally “get” the film, don’t be surprised if you feel ecstatic and victorious, not very different from how you feel when you are able to solve a difficult puzzle. Why am I not surprised that it’s made by an ex-computer engineer.