The Directors That Netflix Forgot…


For cinephiles, Netflix can be somewhat disappointing. Although you’re told your interests will be catered to, the library of titles is alarmingly small and many of cinema’s most prolific director have no films featured at all.

With more than 48 million subscribers around the world, the importance of screening cinematic gems is paramount. That’s why we’ve decided to highlight just a few of the gaping holes in the Netflix film library. The list of neglected directors is staggering, but here are 10 of the most surprising (Netflix, take note):

1. Alexander Payne

The Oscar-winning director behind Nebraska, Sideways, The Descendants and About Schmidt has firmly established himself a place as one of America’s most interesting filmmakers working today.

2. David Fincher

In the past 20 years Oscar-nominated director David Fincher has released Se7en, Fight Club, Zodiac, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Social Network and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Now a major player in Hollywood, we reckon he has a lot more right to be featured on Netflix than say, whoever directed Movie 43, a film that holds a 4% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. One critic even claimed that “Being punched in the face was easier that watching this movie.”

3. Stanley Kubrick

Easily one of the most important film directors of, well, ever, Stanley Kubrick dedicated his lifetime to creating wonderful film. Under his belt are titles such as A Clockwork Orange, The Shining, Full Metal Jacket and 2001: A Space Odyssey.

4. Orson Welles

Another one for the hall of fame. Or not. Widely credited for his Oscar win with Citizen Kane, Welles directed over 40 titles including Don Quixote, The Lady from Shanghai and Touch of Evil.

5. Pedro Almodovar

The world’s favourite Spanish director since Bunuel (who coincidentally also doesn’t appear on the list), Almodovar is known for Volver, The Skin I Live In, All About My Mother, Broken Embraces and Talk to Her.

6. Mike Leigh

One of Britain’s best exports (surely), Leigh has had a 40-year career in directing, in which he’s gained 7 Oscar nominations. From his 90s classics Life is Sweet and Secrets and Lies to his 00s box office successes Vera Drake, Happy-Go-Lucky, Another Year and most recently, Mr Turner, Leigh’s legacy will be long-felt (just not on Netflix).

7. Hayao Miyazaki

The Japanese master that dreamed up anime classics Spirited Away, Ponyo, Princess Mononoke and Howl’s Moving Castle is loved by children and adults all over the world. Did we mention that he’s an Oscar winner too?

8. Lana and Andy Wachowski

The siblings behind some of modern sci-fi’s most treasured films: The Matrix (franchise), V for Vendetta and Cloud Atlas. Without them and Ridley Scott (who has escaped this list with just 1 of his 32 films on Netflix – and it’s not Blade Runner) the sci-fi film scene would be a much duller place.

9. Harmony Korine & Larry Clark

Although not a partnership per se, director Harmony Korine and writer/photographer Larry Clark have worked together on several film projects (Kids, Ken Park), and both have their place in this pool of directors. Though controversy doesn’t seem to put off Netflix programmers/acquisition team (Lars Von Trier has 1 title – Melancholia) Korine’s Spring Breakers and Clark’s Bully don’t make the cut this time.

10. Todd Haynes

The Oscar-nominated director responsible for Velvet Goldmine, Safe, I’m Not There and Far From Heaven sadly doesn’t get a look in to the Netflix library, despite being named as one of The Guardian’s top 40 directors in the world. Too bad, Todd.

Notable mentions also go out to Akira Kurasawa, Yasujirô Ozu, Ingmar Bergman, Michael Powell, Frank Capra, Joanna Hogg, Lynne Ramsay and all the other brilliant directors that Netflix forgot, but the world will remember.

Flossie Topping is the former Editor-in-Chief of Critics Associated (2013-2015). She has an MA in Film Theory and an MA in Online Journalism. She has written for Screen International, Grolsch Film Works, Universal Film Magazine, The London Film Review, Best for Film, Next Projection, Metropolitan, Don't Panic and The Ealing Gazette.