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The Film Directors Who Made It Before 30

January 2017Words by Mr Ed Cripps

Director Mr Damien Chazelle and Mr Ryan Gosling on the set of La La Land, 2017. Photograph by Mr Dale Robinette

Whiplash, a lean, feverish diptych about a jazz drummer and his abusive teacher, came out three years ago when its writer-director Mr Damien Chazelle was, bafflingly, only 29. Mr Chazelle’s new film La La Land, a musical with Mr Ryan Gosling and Ms Emma Stone, is released in the UK this Friday and has just won a record seven Golden Globes: no difficult second album, it is even more assured and hypnotic than his first. As Forbes publish their annual 30 Under 30 and make the rest of us wonder what the hell we’ve been doing with our lives, here are five other writer-director prodigies in whose footsteps Mr Chazelle follows. Patterns that emerge in the debuts of young auteurs include anger, hyper-eloquence, brashness, underappreciated artists, imaginative casting and the deft use of music.

Mr Orson Welles