"That noise you heard near the start of the new millennium was the creative din of a brash new breed of filmmakers tearing down the traditions of mainstream moviemaking. Their motion picture mission statements -- including the ones featured on this list -- remain the rulebook for new generations of anxious film artists."
Popmatters.com has published a fantastic read on the 50 films they consider "every motion picture aficionado should have as part of their own aesthetic assemblage". It is a 5-part series of articles, ranging from Movie Classics, films that revolutionized the way film was perceived, and the milestone-films of the 70s to the most influencial movies and directors of the last decade.
Part 5 of the series is titled "The Return of the Auteur" and features some well-chosen examples of great movies and ingenious directors: Paul Thomas Anderson for "Boogie Nights", the Coen Brothers' "The Big Lebowski", Larry and Andy Wachowski and "The Matrix", Christopher Nolan for "Memento", Brad Bird's "The Incredibles" and of course -- David Fincher's cult-masterpiece "Fight Club"!
I find it especially interesting that FIGHT CLUB, which was adapted from a pre-existing property and written for the screen by Jim Uhls, is considered the work of an "auteur". And I do not disagree with that statement at all: While Fincher might not have conjured up the original concept of the story or written the screenplay, the result is a very clear, uniquely powerful and expressive vision of a genius director.
The series is very informative and has youtube-trailers for every movie they have picked. -- Oh, and of course it makes you want to go out and finally buy the DVD for "Double Indemnity"; so be warned!
PopMatters Picks: The 50 DVDs Every Film Fan Should Own
Pt.1: Pure Classicism
Pt.2: The Changing Face of Filmmaking
Pt.3: The Stellar ‘70s
Pt.4: Challenging Convention
Pt.5: The Return of the Auteur