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by Paula Bernstein
October 8, 2013 3:38 PM
26 Comments
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12 Rebel and Renegade Directors (According to iTunes), and None of Them Are Women

They're bold. They're daring. And, according to iTunes, they're rebel, renegade directors. The iTunes store lists 12 "Rebel, and Renegade Directors" as part of their "iTunes Essentials: Independent Films." We recently wrote about the 10 Directors to Watch according to iTunes and that list was much more diverse than this one (are there no rebellious, renegade women directors?).

Check out the list below (along with the film that landed them on the list):

1. Quentin Tarantino ("Inglourious Basterds")

2. Nicolas Winding Refn ("Drive")

3. Darren Aronofsky ("Black Swan")

4. Michel Gondry ("Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind")

5. Christopher Nolan ("Memento")

6. David O. Russell ("Flirting with Disaster")

7. Gus Van Sant ("Drugstore Cowboy")

8. David Lynch ("Blue Velvet")

9. Spike Jonze ("Being John Malkovich")

10. Alex Cox ("Repo Man")

11. Gregg Araki ("Mysterious Skin")

12. David Cronenberg ("Videodrome")

No Jane Campion, Catherine Hardwicke, Andrea Arnold, Sofia Coppola, Mary Harron, Patty Jenkins, Miranda July, Kimberly Peirce or Kathryn Bigelow? Who else would you like to see on this list?

26 Comments

  • Criticiser | October 9, 2013 8:33 PMReply

    If we go by the actual definition of rebels and renegades, then Lynne Ramsey and Shane Carruth should top the list. But since this is iTune's definition, I guess it's alright. They lost me at Christopher Nolan. Great director, but a rebel and a renegade?

  • Mark | October 9, 2013 4:53 PMReply

    Only Cronenberg and Lych are deservedly here. This mostly shows how laughable people's ideas of a rebel are.

  • rebbie | October 9, 2013 3:37 PMReply

    List should be called, "12 Rebel and Renegade Male Directors". Let us not fall into trench of defaulting to white male because there's no descriptive in front of "Director". If it's all men on the list (however questionable it's gauge of talent), it ought NAME the discreet identity of those it name checks. That "women" or "black" typically need be placed before an identity to clarify the cultural script --- it's time the same be done for "white man".

  • rebbie | October 9, 2013 3:36 PMReply

    List should be called, "12 Rebel and Renegade Male Directors". Let us not fall into trench of defaulting to white male because there's no descriptive in front of "Director". If it's all men on the list (however questionable it's gauge of talent), it ought NAME the discreet identity of those it name checks. That "women" or "black" typically need be placed before an identity to clarify the cultural script --- it's time the same be done for "white man".

  • rebbie | October 9, 2013 3:36 PMReply

    List should be called, "12 Rebel and Renegade Male Directors". Let us not fall into trench of defaulting to white male because there's no descriptive in front of "Director". If it's all men on the list (however questionable it's gauge of talent), it ought NAME the discreet identity of those it name checks. That "women" or "black" typically need be placed before an identity to clarify the cultural script --- it's time the same be done for "white man".

  • rebbie | October 9, 2013 3:36 PMReply

    List should be called, "12 Rebel and Renegade Male Directors". Let us not fall into trench of defaulting to white male because there's no descriptive in front of "Director". If it's all men on the list (however questionable it's gauge of talent), it ought NAME the discreet identity of those it name checks. That "women" or "black" typically need be placed before an identity to clarify the cultural script --- it's time the same be done for "white man".

  • JMaciek | October 9, 2013 10:23 AMReply

    Alex Cox? I think Hunter S. Thompson would disagree, strongly.

  • Paula Bernstein | October 9, 2013 10:08 AMReply

    Thanks for all of your feedback. As with any list like this, it's very subjective. And I agree that it's unclear what their criteria were for "renegade" and "rebel." "Repo Man" is one of my all-time faves, so thanks for weighing in, Alex Cox. And your point about these mostly being Hollywood-approved directors is spot on. But, of course, this is an iTunes list, so it's all relative. To some non-Indiewire readers, these may be considered "rebel" and "renegade" directors. If it gets people to rent some of these films, it's not a bad thing.

  • LMR | October 9, 2013 3:53 AMReply

    Andrea Arnold, Lynne Ramsay, Suzanne Bier, Steve McQueen should all have made that list.

  • jnkj | October 9, 2013 8:45 AM

    Susanne Bier is definitely NOT a renegade, although a good director nonetheless

  • arshadfilms | October 8, 2013 10:35 PMReply

    French third wave feminist filmmakers Virginie Despentes and Catherine Breillat kick all their macho asses!

  • Ahsoka23 | October 10, 2013 10:39 AM

    I agree with you there.

  • Alex Cox | October 8, 2013 9:40 PMReply

    It's always wonderful to be remembered, but if you look at the names on that list the vast majority are Hollywood studio-approved, mainstream directors. Including women directors who are also Hollyw00d studio-approved, mainstream directors just adds to the bogusness of such a list. Where is Charles Burnett? Where is Mary Lambert? Killer of Sheep and Siesta are far better films than most of those mentioned (including Repo Man).

  • Dan Mirvish | October 9, 2013 10:07 AM

    It's a silly list, sure - but I also love that they included Alex Cox. "Repo Man" is still my favorite movie and one of my main inspirations for being a filmmaker. Growing up in Omaha, it was one of the only independent movies in the 80s that we saw. In film school, I remember seeing the actual screenplay and being blown away by the storyboards on the first few pages - absolutely brilliant: Film is a visual medium; of course it makes sense to have visuals in the script! Alex, yes, you are very fondly remembered by many of us, and please consider yourself a spiritual godfather to those of us who started the Slamdance Film Festival - let us know if you ever want to come visit!

  • Holly Bynoe | October 8, 2013 9:35 PMReply

    Who makes these lists?

  • Miranda Bailey | October 8, 2013 7:53 PMReply

    HELLO... Jill Soloway should be on there! with Catherine Hardwicke, Miranda July, Lynn Shelton, Andrea Arnold....I could list at least 5 more but I wont bore you.

  • clem | October 8, 2013 6:26 PMReply

    Kathryn Bigelow? What are you smoking?

  • Denny | October 8, 2013 5:31 PMReply

    What the hell is "rebel and renegade" even supposed to mean anyways...? As MP has point out, most of these guys are making pretty safe, corporate, Hollywood films. The vastly overrated Nolan is already stretching it, but DAVID O' RUSSELL? QT is on here because of INGLORIOUS BASTARDS, quite possibly his most self-indulgent movie of his career? I love the creativity of Gondry's Eternal Sunshine of A Spotless Mind, but calling it "renegade and rebellious"? Again, I still don't know what that vague term means.

    Look, I know it's the hip thing to do nowadays to abuse and misuse the terms "misogynist" and "sexist" nowadays to the point where they lose all their meaning (and patronize REAL cases of sexism and misogyny), but at least overreact over something that makes some sort of SENSE.

  • Nick DeRuve | October 8, 2013 5:09 PMReply

    How is Jim Jarmusch not on this list? Gondry, Nolan, Russell are great directors but are not at all rebels.

    Sofia Coppola, Kathryn Bigelow?? That's a joke... right?

  • db | October 8, 2013 4:34 PMReply

    none of them are black either. who cares.

  • James | October 8, 2013 7:13 PM

    People who love film care, but then again lists like this ultimately mean nothing, and they're totally subjective, but it does say a lot who actually gets to be experimental and rebellious when it comes to filmmaking (or who we consider such). I mean if we're not talking about current filmmakers Melvin Van Peeples would be a no brainer.

  • mp | October 8, 2013 4:18 PMReply

    Not exactly sure what defines a "rebel or renegade" considering most of the above directors were making a corporate product valued around a million dollars . . . but in terms of sensibilities and use of cinema - let's just add to the very good suggestions of Andrea Arnold, and Mary Harron - Agnes Varda (Vagabond, much?) Claire Denis (Have you seen Bastards? Beau Travail? Trouble Every Day?) Julia Loktev . . .

  • gigi | October 8, 2013 4:14 PMReply

    none of these directors make serious or romantic movies - female directors do.

  • Clemence | October 8, 2013 4:14 PMReply

    I don't know about Jane Campion, Catherine Hardwicke, Andrea Arnold, Sofia Coppola, Mary Harron, Patty Jenkins, Miranda July, Kimberly Peirce or Kathryn Bigelow. None of those directors really push the form. MAYBE Andrea Arnold.

    I would have liked to see Catherine Breillat, Claire Denis, Song Fang or Laura Poitras (doesn't really get more daring than that).

  • clem | October 8, 2013 6:27 PM

    Yes it does - Athina Rachel Tsengari

  • Theo | October 8, 2013 4:03 PMReply

    David O. Russell makes the list but not Gaspar Noe. Makes sense.