States of Independence
Dazed's ultimate guide to US creativity

Ten filmmakers whose names you need to know

David Gordon Green cherry picks a mixed bag of up-and-coming filmmakers making some ‘hard shit’

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Still from "Family Nightmare" Courtesy of Dustin Defa

As part of our new summer US project States of Independence we've invited our favourite 30 American curators, magazines, creatives and institutions to takeover Dazed for a day. 

David Gordon Green is best known for his work on HBO's Eastbound & Down and Pineapple Express. However, he has amassed an impressive back catalogue of indie film credits with films like All the Real Girls, George Washington and upcoming thriller Joe. Today on Dazed, he imparts some key career know-how, selects a roster of fresh talent and gives us a sneak peek at his upcoming film.

Ever wish you could see what was on Hemingway's reading list? Or what art Basquiat would raise a paddle for? Behold: David Gordon Green's buffed up list of nascent talent taking independent film by the horns. For someone who spends a majority of time making films, it's jaw-dropping how much free time he devotes to devouring even more. These stories and the talents behind them are flirting with factotum – a spate of killing sprees, family dysfunction, and just plain 'weird shit' – all of which is giving Green a cinema boner.

JEREMY SAULNIER – BLUE RUIN (2013)

"I thought that this was a great movie, and Jeremy Saulnier is a smart, cool kid – he’s going to make some awesome shit. He’s not just a young filmmaker making hard shit, I think he’s got some experience and artistry and brings a lot of skill and substance to back it up."

DAVID MICHÔD – THE ROVER (2014)

"I’m most excited for David Michôd, who did Animal Kingdom and this new movie The Rover. It’s just nice when you see a voice and you can’t wait to see what’s happening next with that guy."

JOHN MAGARY – THE MEND (2014)

"I saw a few things in SXSW this year which I thought were really cool. This guy John Magary made a movie called The Mend, and it’s just a great boozy movie with Josh Lucas in it. It’s kind of bizarre and beautiful and organic, and you couldn’t get away with this at a formative financial level – he made it down and dirty. I met with him a few weeks ago and was hearing how he did it – because sometimes you watched a movie that obviously didn’t cost much but you still don’t really know how they made it, and I really was impressed with his work and that film."

TODD ROHAL – RAT PACK RAT (2014)

"Todd Rohal’s a fucking genius. He’s done a number of shorts and three features. You have to watch The Guatemalan Handshake, and The Catechism Cataclysm is another movie that he made that’s fantastic. He just finished this short that he’s turning into a feature called Sweet Cheeks – this short blew my mind, it’s just astonishing. I don’t know what to compare it to, just visionary weird shit that somebody who’s thinking on another level is making."

HAFSTEINN GUNNAR SIGURDSSON – PARIS OF THE NORTH (2014)

"Sigurdsson is an Icelandic filmmaker whose work I made a remake of, Prince Avalanche, and he has a great new movie called Paris of the North. It’s one of those ones where you see it and you just get caught up into it and you’re really locked in and engaged. I think that’s a really good filmmaker that has a very distinctive sense of humour and tone. It’s very down to earth but stylised somehow, I really admire that. He finds that balance where its not overly clever or cute with his camera moves, but it’s got a real rhythm and intelligence to it and sense of humour. My pet peeve is cute, so I like movies that have a little attitude and a little toughness to them."

PAOLO SORRENTINI – THE GREAT BEAUTY (2013)

"I think I may be a bit late in this but Paolo Sorrentino – who made The Great Beauty – is the shit. I think he won an Oscar this year so maybe I’m a few beats late but when I saw This Must Be The Place… Dude, watch it. Nobody talks about it, but that guy, he can explode if he needs to. That’s my favourite movie of last year."

DUSTIN GUY DEFA – FAMILY NIGHTMARE (2011)

"I saw Bad Fever and got really freaked out by that movie. He just did another short that was at Sundance this year; he’s done some very personal work. There’s a short called Family Nightmare – it’s just a perfect, strange, haunting movie. Dustin’s great."

ANDREW DOMINIK – KILLING THEM SOFTLY (2012)

"This was a movie that I was really disappointed wasn’t embraced because I loved it. Andrew’s another friend of mine who has his own peculiar way of looking at the world. He makes great movies. I like to go visit him on set."

AARON KATZ & MARTHA STEVENS – LAND HO! (2014)

"There’s this movie coming out called Land Ho! that Aaron Katz and Martha Stephens directed together. It’s a really special movie and it’s just fun to be a part of something – when you get in on the ground floor of a new voice, you never know what’s going to happen."

PETER SATTLER – CAMP X-RAY (2014)

"Camp X-Ray is a real cool movie that my friend Peter Sattler did, and I’d worked with Kristen Stewart so I could introduce her to him and help that movie and kind of navigate it."

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