Rouben Mamoulian's direction of Love Me Tonight is so incredibly inventive and continues to influence other directors even today. The opening segment of the In the Heights film is an homage to Mamoulian's use of street sounds not only in Love Me Tonight, but also in the play Porgy and in the musical Porgy and Bess.
Mamoulian had an interesting career in both theatre and film. His notable works on Broadway included Porgy and Bess, Oklahoma!, Carousel, and Lost in the Stars. Some of his best films are Queen Christina, Golden Boy, The Mark of Zorro, Blood and Sand, and Silk Stockings.
The scenic design in his best works is particularly striking. There is also a fluidity and a look in many of his films which is highly stylized, even poetic.
He was born in the Georgian area of the old Soviet empire. His family was of Armenian descent so I imagine he would be considered Asian-American.