24. Luis Buñuel (1900 – 1983)
Though he chose moviemaking as opposed to fine art, Luis Buñuel’s kinship with Salvador Dalí was evidenced in his work, as he elevated surrealism in film to a new level. In fact, it was this same friendship that would ultimately jumpstart Buñuel’s career. With assistance from Dalí, he made his first film, the short Un Chien Andalou. Praised for its surrealistic attributes, it was with the support of various art patrons that Buñuel would go on to make his feature debut with the scathing L’Age d’Or.
Unlike many other directors on this list, Buñuel’s career would make its deepest impression in its latter part, beginning with 1964’s Diary of Chambermaid, a film he made at the age of 64. It would be followed by his most renowned—and austere—surrealistic undertakings, including Belle de Jour, The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisieand That Obscure Object of Desire, films that combined the worlds of fantasy and reality, always leaving viewers to anticipate the unexpected.