If it's crap ... We'll tell you
What's the most famed or respected director that you have seen NO films from? Also, why is it that you haven't got around to them yet?
For me, it's Derek Jarman. I can't really explain why, perhaps because his work is apparently so divisive. One person recommends it, and the next tells me not to bother.
I am ashamed to admit this in public but...Akira Kurosawa. Yes, you may take away my Asian card now.
Oh dang, get on that!
He's like entry-level Japanese cinema; taut genre pictures that are really easy to understand without prior knowledge of Japanese history.
Jean Renoir is one whose movies I haven't seen either.
dear o dear, I thought you called yourself a cinephile?
Hey, what can I say? I'm currently waiting until I have all the films of each director in my possession/within my means to watch before I can check them out, hitting each film in the order that the director made it. I did that with Stanley Kubrick (excluding Fear And Desire, which wasn't available for a long time), Akira Kurosawa, Sam Peckinpah, and Guillermo Del Toro, finding much more to admire and excite me than I would've if I'd just seen their films randomly.
You're going to have a pretty rough time finding the entirety of Bergman's and Renoir's early works. Their availabilities are spotty at best.
Chronological viewing can be an asset (I would recommend it for Lynch, the guy's trajectory is really interesting), but as a huge fan of both Renoir and Bergman, you could sort of just do it with what works are available. Waiting around for It Rains on Our Love or This Can't Happen Here totally isn't worth it, trust me.
I figure I start at the earliest available works, like I did with Kubrick's Killer's Kiss or Kurosawa's Stray Dog. Just waitin'...
Bergman has a such a body of work I suggest starting with one of his better known 'great' works then going back to the start. He has a shit ton of depressing films. Get Persona watched then do the chronological thing, that's my advice anyhow...
I like the chronological idea though, tried it a few times with various folks but never had the patience to do it. My fickle tastes always change genre or film movement in a very short time so I jump from country to country, director to director, genre to genre... I seem to go on a never ending huge cycle. Last week was 50's sci-fi and John Carpenter, the week before, buddy cop and neo-realism, this week it's TV dramas and cartoons... next week? Who knows?!
I am curious to watch at least one David Lynch film but I just know I would hate it.