Jena-Luc Godard was inextricably linked to Paris. Michael Mann is film’s foremost photographer of the LA skyline, Wong Kar-wai is forever intwined with Hong Kong and Paul Thomas Anderson is the bard of the San Fernando Valley. True, not every filmmaker is synonymous with their favourite city, but the creative set frequently finds its muse amid the hum of big cities.
When asked some of the world’s coolest filmmakers which cities inspire them, we assumed it would be a globe-trotting affair. We weren’t disappointed. Yet their replies were far from predictable: We never would have imagined an artist whose worked is steeped in Celtic lore to be so inspired by Paris, or that Australia’s foremost chroniclers of human suffering finds inspiration in the mellow vibes of Amsterdam.
Then again, filmmakers like Nia DaCosta, Sean Baker, Robert Eggers, Mia Hansen-Løve, Barry Jenkins, Edgar Wright and Luca Guadagnino didn’t make our list of the world’s 50 coolest filmmakers for being predictable. Here are the cities modern cinema’s most compelling voices visit to find their muse.
Read on: The 50 coolest filmmakers in the world right now.
Interviews by Kaleem Aftab, Anna Smith, Ashanti Omkar, David Hughes, Sophie Monks Kaufman, Michael Juliano, Dave Calhoun and Phil de Semlyen