The Lesser Known Masterpieces From Famous Directors

There are plenty of talented and acclaimed directors out there whose most popular films have been seen by loads of people, but sometimes the lesser known gems of their repertoire is actually where their true magnum opus can be found. Thus, as a self-proclaimed film connoisseur with slight megalomania and over 670 ratings on IMDB,…

Felix Grimstedt Avatar

There are plenty of talented and acclaimed directors out there whose most popular films have been seen by loads of people, but sometimes the lesser known gems of their repertoire is actually where their true magnum opus can be found. Thus, as a self-proclaimed film connoisseur with slight megalomania and over 670 ratings on IMDB, I’ll provide you with my personal list of what I consider to be these acclaimed directors’ best work. You might not agree with me, which of course means that you’re wrong, and even if you don’t find a new favourite, it could still result in you finding a good film to watch. So without further ado, let’s dig in:

  1. Christopher Nolan, Memento:

Plenty of people have seen Inception, or at least listened to a dude rambling about how he actually understands it. The same goes for Interstellar and the Batman trilogy. But a film I believe many have missed out on in Nolan’s repertoire is Memento. Memento is his second film which was released in 2000 and I personally consider this to be his best work to date. The film stars Guy Pierce as Leonard, a man who suffers from short-term memory loss and who’s trying to track down his wife’s murderer. In order to remember the clues he discovers regarding his wife’s murderer, he makes notes and the most important details he tattoos on his body. The story isn’t overly complicated but you never understand it completely until the end, which is what makes it so good. The films he has made since have often been too complicated and that unfortunately doesn’t make them better, even though plenty of dudes seem to think so. This film is brilliant in its simplicity, which is a rare verdict when it comes to Nolan. His true Magnum Opus for sure.

  1. Wes Anderson, Rushmore:

Wes Anderson is loved for his silly, fairytale-like style of filmmaking that he uses to tackle heavy subjects in a lighter manner. The style is so popular it has even spawned a Tiktok trend where people turn often mundane, everyday activities into a Wes Anderson scene. With a roster including films such as Fantastic Mr Fox, The Royal Tenenbaums and The Grand Budapest Hotel, he definitely deserves all the praise he has received. But none of them quite captures the magic like his second film Rushmore, released in 1998. It stars Jason Schwartzmann as Max Fischer, a teenager who lives for the extracurricular activities at his school such as directing plays and being in the beekeeping society, but who is simultaneously incapable of graduating due to poor results in his actual classes. One day he falls in love with his much older teacher Rosemary, played by Olivia Williams, but stumbles into trouble when he realises that his best friend, the adult industrialist Herman Blume, played by Bill Murray, is also in love with her. This film was Wes Anderson’s breakthrough and it captures the naivety of being young in a wonderful way. He has not yet perfected his filmmaking style here, but it still has that typical Wes Anderson feel to it. I know it sounds like a silly premise for a film and I can’t explain exactly why this is my favourite of his, but it’s quirky, has stellar performances and a beautiful tone over it that can’t be described in text. You simply have to see it for yourselves. It’s phenomenal.

  1. Martin Scorcese, The Departed:

Okay, plenty of people might have seen this film. I’m not sure to be honest since it’s quite popular, but I thought it deserved a feature anyhow. Something that is certain though is that the movies that are most talked about when it comes to Martin Scorcese are The Wolf of Wall Street, Taxi Driver and Goodfellas. These are great movies, there is no denying that. But if you ask me, I consider The Departed to be grossly underrated, and often forgotten about, when rating his roster. The Departed was released in 2006 and in the leading roles it stars Leonardo Dicaprio as an undercover cop and Matt Damon as a high ranking officer who’s corrupt, and loyal to the mob that Leonardo Dicaprio is trying to infiltrate. Furthermore the mob boss is played by Jack Nicholson and even Martin Sheen and Mark Wahlberg have leading roles, so it’s definitely an all-star cast in every aspect. The acting from both Matt Damon and Leonardo Dicaprio are probably among their best performances to date and the cat-and-mouse game they play throughout the film will keep you on the edge of your seat. This is Martin Scorcese at an all-time high and all the skills he has accumulated during his career is boiled down into this picture, which is why I consider this to be his best work. I know it might be a controversial opinion, but this film is incredible and only grows on me the more I watch it. It’s simply impeccable.

Hopefully this list convinced you that there’s more to these directors than the lousy few that made it to the top 10 list on IMDB. Most of all though, I hope that you found a new great film to watch and that you can agree with me that these are their true masterpieces. Otherwise you’re free to apply to Nådiga Lundtan yourself and publish your own list.

About Nådiga Lundtan

Founded in 1948 and has since been an important part of student life in the economics program at Lund University. Nådiga Lundtan covers a wide range of topics related to economics, society, and politics, as well as careers, entrepreneurship, and innovation. It is a platform for students to share their ideas and opinions on economics and related fields.

View more articles
  • What’s the deal with sunscreen, really?

    As summer approaches and the weather warms up, the sun’s rays grow stronger and people are bringing out their sunscreen. I am too. This year, when the sun finally appeared, I immediately got sunburned on my shoulders. I soon realized I didn’t have any sunscreen at home, so I picked up my phone to research…

  • The EU Election 2024: Why Your Vote Matters and How to Make It Count

    If you are entitled to vote in the EU elections, you should have received a voting card in your mailbox. So get ready for the EU elections taking place on June 9! You might be wondering why your vote matters, what options you have if you can’t make it to the polls on the big…

  • My newest discovery: Discover Weekly on Spotify

    Like so many others, my passion for music runs deep. However, I often found it unnecessarily difficult to find new music that suits my taste. It is way too easy to get stuck in the same old playlists that you’ve had on repeat for years without broadening your horizons. I mean, Spotify grants you access to…