District 9

District 9

Over the last decade we have seen a whole host of filmmakers make their directorial debuts; but only a handful really make you sit up and take notice.

In the last ten years some wonderful filmmakers have been uncovered, and it all started with their debut film.

So we take a look at some of the best directorial debuts of the last ten years and the directors that were behind them.

District 9 - Neill Blomkamp

If there is one debut that really stand out for me in the last ten years, then it has to be District 9 by Neill Blomkamp.

It was 2009 when Blomkamp made the leap from shorts to feature film - and with Peter Jackson on board to produce, how could the movie fail?

District 9 breathed new life into the sci-fi genre as there was a wonder to it that we hadn't seen for some time.

It was technically magnificent as well as action packed and politically and emotionally engaging.

Blomkamp immediately showed that he was a director to get excited about; cementing that status last week with the release of his second movie Elysium.

Moon - Duncan Jones

I don't know what it is with sci-fi films but we really have been treated to some wonderful debuts in this genre.

Another one came our way in 2009 as Duncan Jones introduced himself with his movie Moon, a scrip that he also penned.

The movie followed astronaut Sam Bell, who is coming to the end of a three year solo stint on the moon. But as his health deteriorates he realises that everything isn't what it seems.

So many science fiction movies rely so heavily on CGI but Moon has moved in the opposite direction set almost completely in the moon base it gives the film a claustrophobic and restricted feel that’s incredibly powerful and gripping.

But journeys onto the moon surface are incredibly beautiful and it’s hard to believe that Jones is a first time filmmaker.

Moon is beautifully crafted movie with the desire to live, love and family at it’s core it never gets lost in science fiction and holds on tight to these values. Thrown in a wonderful central performance from Sam Rockwell and you have a cracking film.

Jones went on to direct Source Code and will now helm the movie that is based on the computer game World of Warcraft.

Hunger - Steve McQueen

Steve McQueen kicked off his film career in 1993 making shorts, and it wasn't until 2088 that he made his feature film directorial debut.

The movie saw him team up with Michael Fassbender to tell the true story of Bobby Sands; a member of the Provisional Irish Republican Army who led the 1989 prison hunger strike.

Hunger is an intense and powerful movie as McQueen depicts, with unflinching determination, the horror conditions and degrading treatment that these men were forced to endure on a daily basis.

This movie also sees Fassbender deliver a captivating and yet harrowing central performance as a man who is willing to lay his life on the line for the cause. Fassbender's dramatic weight loss for the role only adds to the dramatic effect.

It's a very original and powerful movie that break through all of the cliches of prison movies to create something completely new, unique and in a very odd way beautiful.

McQueen has gone on to direct Shame, while his new film Twelve Years A Slave is one of the most anticipated releases of the new year.

Gone Baby Gone - Ben Affleck

It was back in 2007 that Ben Affleck moved into the director's chair for the first time, as he adapted Dennis Lehane's novel for the big screen.

Affleck teamed up with Aaron Stockard to pen the screenplay for what turned out to be a fantastic debut directing effort.

Gone Baby Gone is a powerful and provocative movie from start to finish as it follows a police investigation into the kidnapping of a young girl.

It's fair to say that by the time Affleck took up the director's chair his career was starting to wobble. But with one swoop he turned everything around to become one of the most sought after directors in Hollywood at the moment.

With Gone Baby Gone he delivered a movie that was tense, dramatic and harrowing and yet made with a real sensitivity to the subject matter.

Since then Affleck has gone on to direct The Town and Argo; the latter winning the Best Picture Oscar earlier this year.

Pride & Prejudice - Joe Wright

Joe Wright is one of my favourite British directors at the moment as he has made a string of wonderful films in recent years.

It was 2005 when he made his directorial debut as he brought a new adaptation of Pride & Prejudice to the big screen.

And it was a triumph as Wright seemed to invest more into the emotional side of the story than ever before.

This is a movie where you felt engaged from start to finish, and they really were characters that you cared about.

Keira Knightley delivered a fantastic performance in the central role of Elizabeth; she was suitably rewarded with a Best Actress Oscar nomination for her work.

Since then Wright has gone on to direct Atonement, The Soloist, Hanna and Anna Karenina - cementing himself as one of the best British directors around at the moment.

Monster - Patty Jenkins

Patty Jenkins made her directorial debut back in 2004 when she brought the story of Aileen Wuornos to the big screen in Monster.

The biopic film told the story of Wuornos; a prostitute who become one of America's most famous serial killers.

Monster is a powerful film that is driven by a tour de force central performance from Charlize Theron; who went on to win the Best Actress Oscar for this role.

This is a movie that really gets under the skin of this character and shows how sad and miserable Wuornos' life must have been.

Jenkins delivered a wonderfully rich script that was brought to life by the performances from Theron and Christina Ricci - they are performances that you will never forget.


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  1. by Susan 29th Aug 2013 13:09

    District 9 has to be up there for me as I thought it was just a wonderful. I am a big sci-fi fan and so I loved Moon as well. But Neill Blomkamp really is someone to keep an eye on.

  2. by Kelli 29th Aug 2013 13:09

    Hunger was just terrific and Steve McQueen followed it up with the fantastic Shame. I am really looking forward to 12 Years A Slave

  3. by Julie 29th Aug 2013 13:10

    I really liked George Clooney's debut Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, and he has gone on to make a string of great films including Good Night and Good Luck