Great Asian Directors

by npacheco-854-331173 | created - 23 Aug 2016 | updated - 29 Nov 2016 | Public

1. Akira Kurosawa

Writer | Ran

After training as a painter (he storyboards his films as full-scale paintings), Kurosawa entered the film industry in 1936 as an assistant director, eventually making his directorial debut with Sanshiro Sugata (1943). Within a few years, Kurosawa had achieved sufficient stature to allow him greater...

2. Yasujirô Ozu

Director | Tôkyô monogatari

Tokyo-born Yasujiro Ozu was a movie buff from childhood, often playing hooky from school in order to see Hollywood movies in his local theatre. In 1923 he landed a job as a camera assistant at Shochiku Studios in Tokyo. Three years later, he was made an assistant director and directed his first ...

3. Joon-ho Bong

Writer | Okja

Joon-ho Bong was born on September 14, 1969 in Daegu, South Korea. He is a writer and director, known for Okja (2017), Snowpiercer (2013) and Memories of Murder (2003).

4. Chan-wook Park

Director | Ah-ga-ssi

Chan-wook Park was born on August 23, 1963 in Seoul, South Korea. He is a director and writer, known for The Handmaiden (2016), Thirst (2009) and Oldboy (2003).

5. Takeshi Kitano

Actor | Zatôichi

Takeshi Kitano originally studied to become an engineer, but was thrown out of school for rebellious behavior. He learned comedy, singing and dancing from famed comedian Senzaburô Fukami. Working as a lift boy on a nightclub with such features as comic sketches and striptease dancing, Kitano saw ...

6. Jee-woon Kim

Director | Joheunnom nabbeunnom isanghannom

Jee-woon Kim was born on May 27, 1964 in Seoul, South Korea. He is a director and writer, known for The Good the Bad the Weird (2008), I Saw the Devil (2010) and A Tale of Two Sisters (2003).

7. Hong-jin Na

Writer | Chugyeogja

Na Hong-jin born in 1974 is a South Korean film director and screenwriter. His debut film The Chaser (2008) won Best Director at the 45th Grand Bell Awards in 2008. The film also won the award for Best Film. His follow up film, The Yellow Sea, was released in South Korea on December 15, 2010. It is...

8. Ki-duk Kim

Writer | Bin-jip

He studied fine arts in Paris in 1990-1992. In 1993 he won the award for Best Screenplay from the Educational Institute of Screenwriting with "A Painter and A Criminal Condemned to Death". After two more screenplay awards, he made his directorial debut with Crocodile (1996). Then he went on to ...

9. Chang-dong Lee

Writer | Beoning

Lee Chang-Dong was born in 1954 in Daegu, which some consider the most right-wing city in South Korea. Lee is a former high-school teacher and an acclaimed novelist. He turned to cinema when he was over 40 years old. His debut film "Green Fish" (1997) brought immediate success and critical acclaim....

10. Jackie Chan

Actor | Ngo si seoi

Hong Kong's cheeky, lovable and best known film star, Jackie Chan endured many years of long, hard work and multiple injuries to establish international success after his start in Hong Kong's manic martial arts cinema industry.

Jackie was born Kong-sang Chan on April 7, 1954, on Hong Kong's famous ...

11. Sammo Kam-Bo Hung

Stunts | Yip Man

Born in Hong Kong, Sammo Hung's acting career began while he was training in acrobatics, martial arts and dance as a child at the China Drama Academy, and he received acclaim for his performance with a troupe called "The Seven Little Fortunes." He made his feature film debut as an actor at the age ...

12. Kar-Wai Wong

Writer | Yi dai zong shi

Wong Kar-wai (born 17 July 1956) is a Hong Kong Second Wave filmmaker, internationally renowned as an auteur for his visually unique, highly stylised, emotionally resonant work, including Ah fei zing zyun (1990), Dung che sai duk (1994), Chung Hing sam lam (1994), Do lok tin si (1995), Chun gwong ...

13. Hark Tsui

Producer | Wong Fei Hung

Tsui Hark recently became the fourth Chinese film director to join the board of judges for the 57th Cannes Film Festival in the feature films category this year.

An internationally acclaimed visionary director, Hark started making experimental movies with 8mm film when he was only 13. After ...

14. Stephen Chow

Actor | Kung fu

Stephen Chow was the only boy of his family, and has grown up as a Bruce Lee fan and a martial arts addict. His career started on TV, where he presented a children show ( "430 Space Shuttle" (1983)) and started becoming popular. He got some supporting roles, after that, and won the Taiwanese Golden...

15. Kinji Fukasaku

Director | Batoru rowaiaru

Kinji Fukasaku was born on July 3, 1930 in Mito, Japan. He was a director and writer, known for Battle Royale (2000), Fall Guy (1982) and Crest of Betrayal (1994). He was married to Sanae Nakahara. He died on January 12, 2003 in Tokyo, Japan.

16. Shintarô Katsu

Actor | Zatôichi to Yôjinbô

Shintarô Katsu was born on November 29, 1931 in Fukagawa, Tokyo, Japan as Toshio Okumura. He was an actor and director, known for Zatoichi Meets Yojimbo (1970), Zatoichi and the One-Armed Swordsman (1971) and Kaoyaku (1971). He was married to Tamao Nakamura. He died on June 21, 1997 in Kashiwa, ...

17. Hideo Gosha

Director | Goyôkin

Hideo Gosha was born on February 26, 1929 in Akasaka, Tokyo, Japan. He was a director and writer, known for Goyokin (1969), The Geisha (1983) and Onimasa (1982). He died on August 30, 1992.

18. Kon Ichikawa

Director | Inugami-ke no ichizoku

Kon Ichikawa has been influenced by artists as diverse as Walt Disney and Jean Renoir, and his films cover a wide spectrum of moods, from the comic to the overwhelmingly ironic and even the perverse. Ichikawa began his career as a cartoonist, and this influence is apparent in his skillful use of ...

19. Kaneto Shindô

Writer | Ichimai no hagaki

Kaneto Shindô was born on April 22, 1912 in Hiroshima, Japan. He was a writer and director, known for Postcard (2010), A Last Note (1995) and The Naked Island (1960). He was married to Nobuko Otowa and Miyo Shindo. He died on May 29, 2012 in Hiroshima.

20. Takashi Miike

Director | Koroshiya 1

Takashi Miike was born in the small town of Yao on the outskirts of Osaka, Japan. His main interest growing up was motorbikes, and for a while he harbored ambitions to race professionally. At the age of 18 he went to study at the film school in Yokohama founded by renowned director Shôhei Imamura, ...

21. Stanley Tong

Director | Hung fan kui

Stanley Tong began his career in the film industry as a stunt man, but got his first crack at directing in 1983. About six years later he founded his own film company, Golden Gate. He wrote, directed, produced, and stunt-directed "Stone Age Warriors", which was so successful that Tong was given the...

22. Woo-Ping Yuen

Wo hu cang long

Woo-Ping Yuen was born on January 1, 1945 in Guangzhou, China as Yuen Woo Ping. He is known for his work on Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), Kung Fu Hustle (2004) and Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004).

23. Wei Lo

Director | Tang shan da xiong

Wei Lo was born in 1918 in Jiangsu Province, China. He was an actor and director, known for The Big Boss (1971), Fist of Fury (1972) and Slaughter in San Francisco (1974). He was married to Liang Hua Liu. He died on January 20, 1996 in Hong Kong.

24. Wilson Yip

Director | Yip Man

Wilson Yip was born as Yip Wai-Shun. He is a director and actor, known for Ip Man (2008), SPL: Kill Zone (2005) and Ip Man 2 (2010).

25. Hideo Nakata

Director | Honogurai mizu no soko kara

Hideo Nakata was born on July 19, 1961 in Okayama, Japan. He is a director and writer, known for Dark Water (2002), Ringu (1998) and Ringu 2 (1999).

26. Takashi Shimizu

Director | Ju-on

Takashi Shimizu was born on July 27, 1972 in Maebashi City, Gunma Prefecture, Japan. He is a director and writer, known for Ju-on: The Grudge (2002), The Grudge (2004) and The Grudge 2 (2006).

27. Hirokazu Koreeda

Director | Manbiki kazoku

Born in Tokyo in 1962. Originally intended to be a novelist, but after graduating from Waseda University in 1987 went on to become an assistant director at T.V. Man Union. Snuck off set to film Lessons from a Calf (1991). His first feature, Maborosi (1995), based on a Teru Miyamoto novel and drawn ...

28. Edward Yang

Writer | Yi yi

Born on November 6, 1947 in Shanghai, China, Edward Yang has become one of the most talented international filmmakers of his generation. Along with Hou Hsiao-Hsien and Tsai Ming-Liang, Yang ranks among the leading artists of the Taiwanese New Wave, and one of the world's most brilliant auteurs. ...

29. Jûzô Itami

Writer | Osôshiki

A tragic end belies a life led with purpose. The son of a successful filmmaker, Juzo Itami made his name acting in television and films before making a late career shift into screenwriting and directing at age 50. Known to choose the subjects of his films through everyday observations, he often ...

30. Ang Lee

Director | Wo hu cang long

Born in 1954 in Pingtung, Taiwan, Ang Lee has become one of today's greatest contemporary filmmakers. Ang graduated from the National Taiwan College of Arts in 1975 and then came to the U.S. to receive a B.F.A. Degree in Theatre/Theater Direction at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, ...

31. Prachya Pinkaew

Producer | Ong-bak

Prachya Pinkaew was born on September 2, 1962. He is a producer and director, known for Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior (2003), The Protector (2005) and Chocolate (2008).

32. Kiyoshi Kurosawa

Director | Kairo

Kiyoshi Kurosawa was born on July 19, 1955 in Kobe, Japan. He is a director and writer, known for Pulse (2001), Tokyo Sonata (2008) and Journey to the Shore (2015).

33. Shûsuke Kaneko

Director | Death Note

Shûsuke Kaneko was born on June 8, 1955 in Tokyo, Japan. He is a director and writer, known for Death Note (2006), Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995) and 1999 - Nen no natsu yasumi (1988).

34. Ishirô Honda

Director | Gojira

Influential Japanese film director born May 7th, 1911, often credited as being the father of Godzilla. His name is a combination of "I" (or Ino), meaning "boar" and "shirô," meaning fourth boy in the family. Originally, the young Honda had aspirations of becoming an artist. However, as he moved ...

35. Ryûhei Kitamura

Director | The Midnight Meat Train

Ryûhei Kitamura was born on May 30, 1969 in Osaka, Japan. He is a director and writer, known for The Midnight Meat Train (2008), Versus (2000) and Azumi (2003).

36. Yudai Yamaguchi

Director | The ABCs of Death

Yudai Yamaguchi is a director and writer, known for The ABCs of Death (2012), Yakuza Weapon (2011) and Meatball Machine (2005).



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