Top 10 Most Influential Asian Directors Of All Time
How would you define a Director?. Well, A film director is a person who gives a film creative direction by guiding actors through each scene. First of all, it's not the easiest job in the world. As a director, you have to be creative, open-minded and a very good dreamer. What Dreamer?. Silly, isn't it?. Yes. I know. But trust me it's one of the most common thing among all directors. Man is a genius when he is dreaming. A director must see things as audience and have ability to put thoughts together in such way that it reaches audience in simplistic and realistic way. It's really hard to rank them because each one of these filmmakers are fantastic and brilliant in their own ways.
"Film directors, or should I say people who create things, are very greedy and they can never be satisfied... That's why they can keep on working. I've been able to work for so long because I think next time, I'll make something good." - Akira Kurosawa.
1. Akira Kurosawa (1910 - 1998)
***Akira Kurosawa Is The Greatest Director Ever Lived***
"In a mad world only the mad are sane." - Akira Kurosawa
"For me, film-making combines everything. That`s the reason I`ve made cinema my life`s work. In films painting and literature, theater and music come together. But a film is still a film." - Akira Kurosawa
Akira Kurosawa did what other great directors tried to do. To make an action/drama/love-story/martial-arts/historical correct and so much more film, making it last for almost 4hours,without us ever getting bored. The way Kurosawa films had lots of influence on later filmmakers. He inspired many prominent and acclaimed film directors, such as Steven Spielberg, Ingmar Bergman, John Frankenheimer, Stanley Kubrick, Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, and many, many, more. To say that Kurosawa was a great director is an understatement, he was more than a director, he was one of the figures who defined the meaning of the word director.
2. Hayao Miyazaki (1941)
***Most Acclaimed Animated Movie Director Ever***
“I'm not going to make movies that tell children, "You should despair and run away".” ― Hayao Miyazaki
“Is someone different at age 18 or 60? I believe one stays the same.” ― Hayao Miyazaki
Hayao Miyazaki, Japanese director had a fantastic flair for animated film, and the uncanny ability to engross his audiences beyond the normal movie-experience that makes him the King of Escapism. The motion picture is splendidly realized by Hayao Miyazaki and his movies accompanied by sensible music score composed by his usual music. Miyazaki directed excellent cartoon movies as ¨Howl's moving castle, Chihiro, Porco Rosso and My neighbor Tororo¨.
3. Satyajit Ray (1921 - 1992)
***Unquestionably, The Best Indian Director Of All Time***
"The director is the only person who knows what the film is about." - Satyajit Ray
"I think they quite like me when I work because I'm one of the safer directors to back, because even if my films don't bring their costs in back home, once they're shown outside of India they manage to cover the costs." - Satyajit Ray.
Kurosawa said of Ray's work, "To have not seen the films of Ray is to have lived in the world without ever having seen the moon and the sun."
Satyajit Ray was an unpretentious filmmaker. He was genuinely uninterested in commercial considerations. His films were life-affirming, authentic and honest; gentle and poetic- truthful observations on human behavior that employed simple but strong themes. Satyajit Ray took Indian cinema to the world stage, not through the hollow men and women at Bollywood, but through the Berlin Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival, etc. The sensitivity of his films makes watching them the best cinematic experience.
Satyajit Ray, who died in 1992, was still around to know that his film was yet influencing more people in the positive way all great art does, but realize, as he surely did, that he need not be, for great art always and eventually fills out the places the human body gives way to.
4. Ang Lee (1954)
***One Of The Greatest Contemporary Filmmakers***
"I did a women's movie, and I'm not a woman. I did a gay movie, and I'm not gay. I learned as I went along." - Ang Lee
"Directing, I get all kinds of inspiration. It's working with people. It's a lot more fun." - Ang Lee
You have to concede to the fact that Ang Lee is undoubtedly a visionary and amazing director. Ang Lee has a straightforward approach to human suffering that can appeal to anyone, anywhere, as well as a sense of humor that gives the audience just the right degree of distance without any feeling of estrangement. Ang Lee has done some remarkable work: Sense and Sensibility, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, and Brokeback Mountain. The variety of genres he has tackled is evidence for an enlightened director, versatile and daring.
5. Masaki Kobayashi (1916 - 1996)
***A Perfectionist And Brilliant Story Teller***
Known For: The Human Condition Trilogy, Harakiri (1962), Samurai Rebellion (1967)
Masaki Kobayashi is certainly the second greatest period director following Akira Kurosawa. Samurai Rebellion, along with Harakiri, are two of the best samurai films ever made, belonging to the small group that includes the masterpiece Seven Samurai. Unlike Kurosawa, director Masaki Kobayashi doesn't add much Western-style "flair" to his movies; instead, his films are more starkly beautiful and gradually paced. With films like "Hara-Kiri" and "Kwaidan", he came to be feted in the 1960's as a master of both the samurai movie and the supernatural genre. I truly appreciate Masaki Kobayashi for the respect he shows to his viewer's intelligence, for intelligently presenting the true heroism of a human standing up against impossible odds.
6. Abbas Kiarostami (1940)
***Soulful Writer And A Great Iranian Director***
"Before the revolution we had 300 for six million people in Tehran, but now we have less than 200 for 16 million people." - Abbas Kiarostami
"This is a real problem because people are interested to watch more movies but there is no opportunity." - Abbas Kiarostami
Abbas Kiarostami: Legendary Iranian filmmaker world renowned for making artistic cinema. What do you expect from somebody of that calibre when you watch a movie of his for the first time? Certainly something cinematic ally classy and encyclopaedic, and inspiring for an aspiring filmmaker. Abbas Kiarostami has not only been critically lauded by film critics and theorists, but also by some of the greatest directors, from the late Akira Kurosawa and Atom Egoyan to the legendary 'Film God' Jean-Luc Godard. This is probably of his fresh use of ideas and spiritual/humanism way to directing and writing his films. His methods of rubbing the line between fiction and nonfiction is an excellent way, a common theme in his films.
7. Yimou Zhang (1951)
***One Of The Most Acclaimed Chinese Director***
"Only people have been through that miserable time will recall the pass from their deep memory." - Zhang Yimou
"To do art, one thing should always remember - subjects of people in misery have deep meanings." - Zhang Yimou
Yimou Zhang, once-photographer-turned-director, knows how to conjure up magic in celluloid and pulls absolutely no punches. Zhang Yimou, one of China's greatest directors, first ventured into the realm of the martial arts film with his classic "Hero". "Hero" was a stylistic triumph; here, Zhang aims even higher, and he succeeds. Yimou Zhang produces a work that retains his position as one of the master builders of contemporary cinema. His ability to capture an intricate story historically based in a setting of splendor is up there with the great filmmakers.
8. Majid Majidi (1959)
***A Passionate And Brilliant Iranian Writer-Filmmaker***
Known For: Children of Heaven (1997), The Color of Paradise (1999), Baran (2001)
Majid Majidi, director and writer of the much-acclaimed "The Children of Heaven" has proven to the world that he is able to demonstrate weighty ideas through simple depictions of everyday life in Iran. He shows audiences that his country is not just a place where reform movements, revolutions, and embassy seizing take place; but also where beautiful films are made. His ability to let the audience experience both the visually impaired and visually unimpaired worlds without ever abandoning one for the other is simply remarkable.
Majid Majidi has the ability to make every frame and every shot beautiful and enigmatic. Nobody like Majid Majidi has recreated poverty and suffering of millions of people all over the world. His films show in a very natural, but dramatic way how poverty and culture and domination, both work together to cause social pain.
9. Kar Wai Wong (1958)
***A Highly Imaginative Writer Director***
Known For: In the Mood for Love (2000), Chungking Express (1994), Fallen Angels (1995), Happy Together (1997), 2046 (2004).
Kar Wai Wong is more than a film director. He is a visual, poetic, creative and daring artist capable of more cinematic miracles in one isolated film than most directors achieve in a lifetime. They are visually stunning, intellectually challenging, emotionally charged view of love and lust in today's kinetically dysfunctional society. Kar Wai Wong, the writer, director, choreographer, colorist, visionary that makes this excursion into the interstices of the mind/imagination so overwhelmingly satisfying.
10. Chan-wook Park (1963)
***No One Portrayed Revenge Films Like Chan-woo Park***
"Living without hate for people is almost impossible. There is nothing wrong with fantasizing about revenge. You can have that feeling. You just shouldn't act on it." - Chan-wook Park
"In my films, I focus on pain and fear. The fear just before an act of violence and the pain after. This applies to the perpetrators as well as the victims." - Chan-wook Park
Chan-wook Park is a very skilled filmmaker; he has created a signature visual style that is present in most of his works – a morbid coldness that gives viewers a sense of unease through odd color tones, unorthodox shots, and numbing violence that seem almost too nonchalant. he is specializes in incredible stylistic camera work and artistic cinematography within a carefully constructed narrative. He is well known for his work such as "Vengeance Trilogy", "Oldboy", "Thirst".
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