The 5: Twenty First Century Texas Film Directors

This Week on The Five:  Texas Film Directors of Today

With Richard Linklater’s latest just opening to critical acclaim and ’s anticipated return this Friday, what better time to look at 5 great Texas film directors of this century?  None of them have made a classic “Texas” film, but a lot more Texans live in cities than the west Texas desert. These diverse filmmakers understand that drama and humor can be found in the everyday and that humanity to be found in the grandiose. That’s Texas.

  • Catherine Hardwicke, born in Cameron.  Believe it or not, the movie about the teen girl choosing between vampire and werwolf lovers isn’t Hardwicke’s creepiest teen girl movie. She started her directing career with a fantastically uncomfortable little film called Thirteen. Don’t miss: Thirteen and Lords of Dogtown.
  • David Gordon Green, grew up in Richardson.   The only one on the list not born in Texas, David spent most of his childhood and teen years in the lone star state. fortunately he left again to go to college in N.C. where he met Danny McBride thankfully for all us Pineapple Express and Eastbound & Down fans. Don’t miss: All the Real Girls and George Washington.
  • Robert Rodriguez, born in San Antonio.  As the director of Machette and Sin City (sequels to both in the works) as well as the Spy Kids movies, Rodriguez definitely has the most diverse career of the 5. He probably has the best potential of the 5 to eventually make that classic Texas film. Don’t miss: El Mariachi and From Dusk Till Dawn.
  • Richard Linklater, born in Houston.   None of these filmmakers says “Texas” more than Linklater. That may be due in part to his commitment to the film industry in Texas and specifically Austin. While he films in Texas a lot, there is also a “could be happening anywhere” quality to his films, especially his most iconic film, Dazed and Confused. Don’t miss: Slacker and Before Sunrise.
  • Wes Anderson, born in Houston.  While only his first two features were filmed in Texas, Wes has brought more attention to Texas filmmaking than any director since Tobe Hooper. He is the one director from Texas who has fans who will set a date to see anything he directs. I’ve had my calendar marked for this Friday since last year. Don’t miss: any of them.
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  1. LizSetsFire

    May 22, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    solid list.

  2. Ants_Dad

    May 23, 2012 at 8:46 am

    I’m surprised they didn’t include Terrence Malick

    • Kendall in Texas

      May 23, 2012 at 10:12 am

       @Ants_Dad  The list creator went back and forth on him.  While he did go to high school in TX and still lives there, he isn’t really a contemporary of these other guys having made films since the 70s.  

      • Ants_Dad

        May 23, 2012 at 11:13 am

         @Kendall in Texas That makes sense, but the whole “21st century” theme kind of got screwed up because most of these guys made their best movies in the early -mid 90s.   

      • Ants_Dad

        May 24, 2012 at 2:28 pm

         @Kendall in Texas I guess the creator should have talked to Ron first

      • Bronzebomber

        May 24, 2012 at 3:15 pm

        Linklater hasnt made shit since the 90s.  At least Malick has had a noteworthy movie in the 21st century.

  3. Toin Coss

    May 23, 2012 at 9:04 am

    Sorry to say but between Galifianakis and McBride, I’m getting tired of both really fast !?/?!

  4. Toin Coss

    May 23, 2012 at 9:06 am

    Oh yeah…This is about the Directors…Kudos to all !?/?!

  5. FanBoy1

    May 23, 2012 at 11:21 am

    damn now I have a Clooney 2 fer this weekend. O brother and from Dusk till Dawn.

  6. pipeloader

    May 23, 2012 at 11:41 am

    i know he started in ca., but hasn’t tarantino been here in austin for a while, now?

  7. 1donut0ants

    May 23, 2012 at 11:48 am

    If you go the David Gordon Green route, then you have to include Julian Schnabel.  Born in NYC  but grew up in Brownsville, graduated from UH (Univ. of Houston).

    • Kendall in Texas

      May 23, 2012 at 1:09 pm

       @1donut0ants Yeah,  wanted to keep it Texas-born, but just couldn’t get the 5th.  And he lived here from like elementary school age and really grew up here.

      • 1donut0ants

        May 23, 2012 at 4:17 pm

        Still a good list, always glad to see Texas get some props in the arts.  (Wow, that one girl is from Cameron?  That’s mind-bottling…)

  8. yotaruvegeta

    May 23, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    You hear that? It’s the sound of The Drafthouse Kid licking his computer screen.

  9. Purpleguy

    May 23, 2012 at 4:25 pm Here is another Dusk till Dawn scene. 

  10. DelCoTrash

    May 24, 2012 at 7:15 am

    strong 5, gives me much more respect for what texas contributes culturally.  I mean besides this… 

  11. BadNewsJeff

    May 24, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    Fuck Texas!  Imagine if every state acted like Texans, “Don’t mess with Utah” bumper stickers and so on.  Pride is fine, but we’re trying to have UNITED States here!  It’s that stupid attitude that had some of their congress people talking cessation a few years back.  Good riddance dickholes!  How are you proud about  what state your mom was in when you fell out of her twat?

    • BadNewsJeff

      May 24, 2012 at 2:26 pm

      cessation?  That can’t be right.  They were talking about leaving the union, not quiting smoking.  My vocabulary is letting me down today…..

      • Ants_Dad

        May 24, 2012 at 2:30 pm

         @BadNewsJeff secession

      • BadNewsJeff

        May 24, 2012 at 2:30 pm

         nailed it.  thanks

      • deadheadproductions

        May 24, 2012 at 5:46 pm

         @BadNewsJeff Nothing you said had anything to do with filmmaking.

    • Bronzebomber

      May 24, 2012 at 3:12 pm

       @BadNewsJeff Texans arent nearly as annoying inside the state, as outside.  It is actually a pretty badass state.  Some good beaches, great music scene in austin, great motorcycle country, cheap land, thriving economy, no income tax, no helmet laws.  Its basically everything that New York isnt.

  12. Ants_Dad

    May 24, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    What about Joe Johnston director of the Wolfman

  13. Kendall in Texas

    May 24, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    I was gonna apologize for messing up the list, but I was really thinking of a younger set.  
    But screw that Malick worship.  I ain’t saying there isn’t an argument, but he’s directed 5 films.  And he didn’t move to Texas until I will give you the two from 45 years ago.  But Thin Red Line was a mess. And Tree of Life is great…for a niche audience.  This list is solid, dammit.

  14. tommy-o

    May 25, 2012 at 12:14 am

    This should have been called “Top 5 Filmmakers that grew up in the same state as Wes Anderson.”

  15. pokerface1947

    June 4, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    I have always been from the “What the hell were they thinking when they cast Jack Black?” school of thought until I had a chance to check out “Bernie” in downtown Austin the day after the premiere.  He nailed it.

  16. GulfCoastMysteries

    January 17, 2013 at 11:41 am