Alongside the photographers who shot them, the contributors to W magazine’s Directors IssueQuentin Tarantino, Noah Baumbach, and Bong Joon Ho, who made history on Sunday, February 9, when he swept the Academy Awards with the first foreign-language film ever to win Best Picture—answer rapid-fire questions about their influences, favorite films, and more.

From left: Angelo Pennetta and Quentin Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino, director:

Is there anyone who has had a major influence on you as a filmmaker?

The late New Yorker film critic Pauline Kael. I look at her as the arbiter of film writing. Whenever I used to watch movies and characters quoted Aristotle or Camus, I never believed that people walked around with that stuff in their head. I always thought it was a silly movie affectation. Now, I’m in my 50s and all of a sudden I’m spouting Pauline Kael like it’s Confucius. 

What were your earliest attempts at filmmaking?

Watch

I started writing scripts when I was 16 or 17, but I never got past page 30. It was always a fragment of a movie I had just seen. And I was trying to think of a way to make it a Quentin vehicle.

Angelo Pennetta, photographer:

What is your favorite film of all time, and why?

I’m too indecisive to answer this. Restricting myself to Tarantino films, and being a ’90s teen, I’d have to go with Pulp Fiction. 

Did you ever stage photo shoots as a kid?

I would always have a camera with me, relentlessly annoying my friends at any available opportunity—something I still do on a regular basis. 

If you could remake any film in history, what would it be, and how would you do it differently?

I would give Drew Barrymore her memory back at the end of 50 First Dates. 

From left: Noah Baumbach and Stephen Shore

Noah Baumbach, director:

What is your favorite film of all time, and why?

E.T. I saw it nine times in the theater, breaking the record of six I had with Star Wars. 

What were your earliest attempts at filmmaking?

I made movies on a camcorder and edited them using two top-loader VCRs. The edits would all have that rainbow running through them. Anyone familiar with pausing a VHS recording will know what I’m talking about.

If you could work with anyone, alive or dead, who would it be?

It would have been great to direct Carole Lombard.

Stephen Shore, photographer:

If you could remake any film in history, what would it be, and how would you do it differently?

I never understood why people would want to remake a great film. I think it would be more productive to remake an interesting but flawed movie. The film I’ve always hoped would be remade is Forbidden Planet. The acting and dialogue are often crude. And the special effects, while they were ahead of their time, are not what could be achieved today. But the story has a lot of potential.

What was the first image you remember seeing that served as a source of inspiration for you?

For my 10th birthday, I was given a copy of American Photographs by Walker Evans. One image in particular—of a roadside gas station and miners’ houses in Lewisburg, Alabama—left an impression on me. 

From left: Lee Jae Hyuk and Bong Joon Ho
Photographed by Bong Hyo Min

Bong Joon Ho, director:

Who is the most original filmmaker in history, and why?

Alfred Hitchcock. He invented a genre of his own while creating works closest to pure cinema in which the images speak for themselves. 

What were your earliest attempts at filmmaking?

When I was in high school, I created a short stop-motion animation film with dolls I had at home. I was devastated by the fact that the dolls couldn’t move a single inch on their own, so I switched to creating live-action films. 

If you could remake any film in history, what would it be, and how would you do it differently?

I would remake Sidney Lumet’s Dog Day Afternoon and help Al Pacino and John Cazale succeed in escaping after robbing the bank.

Lee Jae Hyuk, photographer:

What is your favorite film of all time? 

Mother, by Bong Joon Ho. It surpassed all expectations—genre, stereotype of maternal instinct, and so on. I’m so sorry I missed the chance to join this filming. Mother was Director Bong’s fourth feature film, and I’ve worked with him since his fifth, Snowpiercer.

If you could work with anyone, alive or dead, who would it be? 

Prince. He was a hero of mine when I was in my teens. 

What was the first image you remember seeing that served as a source of inspiration for you? 

Sebastião Salgado’s photos in Gold, of the mines in Serra Pelada, Brazil. Documentary is my favorite genre.