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Other Directors and Films to Consider

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    I am always curious what other directors people find great, with Kurosawa being the giving, I thought I list a few of my personal favorites along their movies that are good to start with.

    This was very helpful and successful in other forums I hope the same for this one.

    In no specific order and not far from complete.

    Kon Ichikawa — The Burmese Harp; Fires on the Plain

    Masaki Kobayashi — Samurai Rebellion; Harakiri

    Mikio Naruse — When a Woman Ascends the Stairs

    Kaneto Shindo — Onibaba

    Federico Fellini — 8 1/2; LA Dolce Vita

    Fritz Lang — M

    Ingmar Bergman — The Seventh Seal; Fanny and Alexander

    Alfred Hitchcock — Rear Window, Vertigo, North by Northwest, Psycho

    Martin Scorsese — Mean Streets, Raging Bull, Goodfellas, Kundun, Aviator

    Francis Ford Coppola — Apocalypse Now, Godfather I&II

    Bernardo Bertolucci — The Conformist

    Stanley Kubrick — A very versatile director all works should be consider separate



    Kobayashi, Lang, and Hitchcock are in my top five. Off the top of my head I really like Ridley Scott and Billy Wilder. Your list is wonderful, great directors all.



    My other major influences/ favorite directors besides AK, are…

    Ingmar Bergman — Persona, The Seventh Seal

    Tom Tykwer — Run Lola Run, Perfume

    Hayao Miyazaki — Nausicaa, Castle in the Sky

    Steven Spielberg — Raiders of the Lost Ark, ET

    Richard Linklater — Slacker, Before Sunrise

    Peter Weir — Picnic at Hanging Rock, Galipoli

    Masaki Kobayashi — Samurai Rebellion, Harakiri

    Other film to mention… Come and See, Zerkalo, Zappa, My Life as a Dog, Closely Watched Trains, Ratcatcher, George Washington, 28 Days Later, Ghostbusters…

    I could go on and on about all sorts of things and look forward to at some point.



    Some excellent directors here. Especially Bergman, Kubrick, Coppola, Ridley Scott, Miyazaki and Linklater are directors whose careers I have followed closely.

    With Ridley Scott I must qualify this by saying that it is has recently been a bit of a rollercoaster ride with him: I was indifferent towards Gladiator (2000), liked Hannibal (2001), didn’t like Black Hawk Down (2001), loved Matchstick Men (2003), found Kingdom of Heaven (2005) terribly boring, and really enjoyed A Good Year (2006). But maybe it’s always been like this — there are Scott films I absolutely worship (The Duellists, Blade Runner, 1492), as well as those that I really don’t like at all (Alien, Legend, G.I. Jane). There are very few in between these two extremes. Although even with films that I don’t like, I must admit that Scott probably has the best eye for composition in the film business today.

    There are also some directors on your lists that I can’t really stand: I for example never quite saw what was so great about Spielberg or Hitchcock. It gives me the same feeling as my not liking Citizen Kane or John Ford that greatly — I just feel that I’m missing something!

    Although I must say that Spielberg’s “Raiders” trilogy is good fun, which is what I think he can make pretty well. (Jaws wasn’t that bad, either.)

    Some other directors who I would recommend to anyone (I won’t mention individual films here, as that would be far too many):

    Charlie Chaplin — Really among my huge favourites, I especially love “City Lights” and “Modern Times”. Provides a similar overdoze of sentimentality as what Kurosawa is sometimes on the verge of doing, although through completely different means.

    David Lynch — Lost Highway and Mulholland Drive are my favourites. Really looking forward to Inland Empire, not least so because it has divided people so strongly.

    David Cronenberg — Almost all of his films are about the same thing (dubbed “body horror”), but it is a fascinating subject. It is also really interesting to follow how he has developed this topic over the years, just like his skills as a film maker have widened.

    Atom Egoyan — Another Canadian director like Cronenberg, and an absolute master of cinema I feel. Although his latest Where The Truth Lies was something of a question mark, everyone who loves film should see at least Ararat and Exotica, two very different works that are both brilliant.

    Andrei Tarkovsky — All Tarkovsky is good, but I tend to prefer his earlier, somewhat less existential works. “Ivan’s Childhood” and “Andrei Rublev” are probably my favourites, although later works like “Mirror” and “Stalker” have their own attraction to me as well.

    Peter Greenaway — I love and hate this man at the same time. While some of his works, especially the shorter ones, are definitely beyond my patience and/or understanding, there are some excellent pieces as well. Do check out at least “Prospero’s Books” and “The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover”.

    Nagisa Oshima — Really worth watching and rewatching, although there is something about his editing and pacing that sometimes puts me off. “Gohatto” (aka Taboo) is, however, among my absolutely favourites, which is a shame knowing that it will probably be his last film. His 1960s works are also well worth discovering.

    Alejandro Jodorowsky — I am probably still more familiar with his graphic novels than movies, but he is another film maker well worth getting to know, especially now that his most famous films (The Holy Mountain, El Topo, and Santa Sangre) are finally going to be released on DVD this year.

    Hmm. These are the names that popped into my head first. There are probably dozens more directors whom I could recommend, but I think this will do for now. There are also numerous films I should mention, but that will have to wait until another time.



    Your assessment of Ridley Scott mirrors mine. I always say though that if all he did that was great was Blade Runner, it would have been enough to make him a great director. Matchstick Men was his best work in a while. He and his son are currently doing television (Numbers) and it seems to be a medium that suits them. I am a heretic when it comes to Chaplin, not someone I ever enjoyed, though I find some of his later talkies interesting. Harold Lloyd, Buster Keaton and Sergei Mikhailovich Eisenstein have always intrigued me with their work in early cinema.



    With silent cinema, I can’t go wrong with the works of F.W. Murnau. I adore The Last Laugh and find Sunrise to be a marvel of a film.

    It is really a shame he died so young (car accident). His American career was just starting and unlike a lot of the other European directers who immigrated to Hollywood he was doing fairly different things. Take his last film Tabu, for instance. A psuedo documentary with non actors in the Polynisian islands…

    Everyone has mentioned so many great filmmakers. All people I respect if I do not ultimatly like as an audience member (David Lynch I am looking at you).



    I see how someone might not see the talent of Hitchcock. The stories he directs are nothing amazing, he is more of a character director. He is hard to explain why I find him good, I just like his techniques and camera tricks in later movies that are very stylized but dont become distracting. He maintain suspense though the entire movie, but read the script and would find very little suspense or interest.

    I dont have very many modern directors that I like but I am beginning to enjoy the works of

    Jean-Pierre Jeunet — Amelie, The Very Long Engagement.

    He is very stylized and even breaks a few rules, but it all flows perfectly and the rules are broken for a specific purpose.

    My biggest complaint with more recent directors is that they dont leave the camera alone, they feel its always has to be doing something. I personally like the concepts of directing the classic directors use, the more modern approach doesnt appeal to me often. Though their are a few great ones.

    More recent films I really enjoy, but the directors havent yet made a impact on me.

    In America, City of God, Downfall, and OldBoy



    Welcome to the post modern world of cinema, Jeremy. Having the camera sit still seems so hard for dirctors now a days. At least many American and European ones… granted we are not generally supposed to be watching a stage play but there are lines to be drawn, when the camera is intrusive and does not help the audience enter the world and/or the mindset/emotions of the characters or keeps us out for that matter 😉

    One of my favorite filmmakers is Tom Tykwer, who gets a lot of critiscm for his supposed “MTV gen” like style… I find these comments to hold some weight but are totally blown out of proportion and the people making them I feel do not fully understand what he seems to be doing. It also seems like they have only seen his film, Run Lola Run, wherein is experimenting with excessive camera tricks and “gimicks” that ultimatly (I feel) support the story and world of the film.

    His other films are much more meditative and calm.

    And now I realzie I am babbling.

    Back to Hitchcock… Veyr much like Jeremy, I enjoy his films because of the suspense he injects into the seemingly simple and bland stories. There is some sort of fear, some sort of paranoia in him that makes it all worth while as an audience member.

    That is why I find his films satisfying.

    I haven’t seen Oldboy but have seen some other films that have come out of S. Korea- namely Brotherhood of War and Memories of Murder, both of which I found to be greatly entertaining and well crafted.

    I am also extremly excited to see The Host. It opens here in Tucson, AZ next Friday!



    Oldboy is a very mesmerizing film. I found it disturbing and riveting.



    Ben, you make a good point about Tom Tykwer, there nothing wrong with camera tricks if the movie supports that style. Movies like Run Lola Run would not be as effective leaving the camera still. Quentin Tarantino movies wouldnt be as good if he keep the camera still, but like Run Lola Run, the movie is paced and styles befitting of such obvious camera moves. Those situations add to the movie, and take great skill to pull off correctly. The problem is rarely are they appropriate and appears to me done for nothing more then let people know there are people behind the camera.

    I agree with BMWRider about OldBoy, a neat film to watch, go enough for me to buy the now out of print tin box with the film cell and original manga it was based upon. Also it has one of my favorite fight scenes ever, the hallway scene for those who have seen it, was so action packed, realistic, amazingly choreographed and filmed-brilliant



    Ben wrote 19 hours earlier  » 

    With silent cinema, I can’t go wrong with the works of F.W. Murnau.

    I must admit that I have never watched a Murnau film, although Sunrise has for years been on my “must watch soon” list. I really need to do something about it!



    Jeremy Quintanilla wrote 12 hours earlier  » 

    My biggest complaint with more recent directors is that they dont leave the camera alone, they feel its always has to be doing something.

    They say that it is something that the introduction of music videos and video games in the 80s has done to the film industry as a whole. Apparently, the attention span of the average movie-goer is so much shorter than it used to be that cuts need to be more frequent.

    I’m not entirely sure if this is true, though. Perhaps we should test it with Hitchcock’s Rope, where single cuts run for minutes, I think the longest being around 10 minutes or so. I would be ready to bet that more than half of today’s viewers wouldn’t have problems with the film.

    (Rope, by the way, is one Hitchcock film that I quite like.)

    Or maybe we should just replace MTV with a 24/7 channel of Yasujiro Ozu’s films, and the younger generation would learn to appreciate films where cuts are rare, and camera movement almost non-existent. 😉



    Vili wrote 1 day earlier  » 

    Or maybe we should just replace MTV with a 24/7 channel of Yasujiro Ozu’s films, and the younger generation would learn to appreciate films where cuts are rare, and camera movement almost non-existent. 😉

    We could only hope, wouldn’t that be nice?



    Another contemporary director came to my mind who I thought is well worth mentioning.

    Hal Hartley may not have much in common with Kurosawa, but anyone who enjoys witty and well-crafted dialogue (more in the manner of Tom Stoppard than Quentin Tarantino) should definitely check out films like Amateur (1994) and Henry Fool (1997) among others.

    Hartley’s recent work has been somewhat different from his earlier stuff, as he has experimentally forayed into science fiction and whatnot, and many fans regard his earlier work to be of higher quality. However, his latest film Fay Grim, which is currently making the film festival rounds, is a sequel of sorts to the excellent Henry Fool, so my expectations are high. (And anyway, I found his later films pretty interesting as well, although they certainly were different from his earlier ones.)



    Never could resist an Other Favourite Directors thread…

    Apart from Kurosan, and in addition to the many excellent directors already listed, I’m also a fan of the following:

    Orson Welles – especially his indepent films, such as The Trial, The Immortal Story, F for Fake and the hard-as-Hades-to-find-any-copy-of-let-alone-a-really-good-print Falstaff (Chimes at Midnight.) What Welles could do with a camera reminds me very much of AK.

    Terry Gilliam – I think he’s really gotten great as he’s matured. My faves are Twelve Monkeys, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and Tideland.

    Erich von Stroheim – and we thought AK had studio interference on The Idiot! Of course he did, and I’m sure Von manufactured his own problems by ignoring such nuisances as having a budget and shooting schedule, but most of his films suffered big cuts made by the studios. My faves are the reconstructed Greed (superb job, Rick Schmidlin,) The Merry Widow and The Wedding March.

    Sergei Eisenstein – even though he was curtailed by the Soviet government as to what he could film and what content and slant he could include, Eisenstein is pretty stunning. Faves: Ivan the Terrible Parts 1 and 2, Que Viva Mexico (reconstructed with bizarre 70s music which actually works very well,) and Alexander Nevsky (hard to go far wrong when Prokofiev scores your film!)

    Lots of others. The Herzog/Kinski collaborations (Aguirre – The Wrath of God and Fitzcarraldo,) Wolfgang Petersen’s Das Boot (in both the director’s cut and the 5-1/2 hour television version)… The list goes on and on.


    Lewis Saul

    StoreHadji — we have a great deal in common in our tastes in directors!

    Everything you mentioned is superb.

    I would add the non-Kinski Herzog stuff (the midget film, Dieter, etc.)

    Greed is one of my favorite films. It takes — what? endurance? — to sit all the way through in one viewing — but it’s SO worth it! What a film!

    My list wouldn’t be truly reflective of my passions if I didn’t add (in no particular order):





    Sanjyit Ray

    Ang Lee

    Chen Kaige







    Bergman (Fanny & Alexander — TV version!!!)


    P&P (Tales of Hoffman, etc.)


    and on and on


    Jon Hooper

    My own favourites include rather fewer foreign directors than I’d wish but I have a major problem getting hold of foreign films where I live. Here’s a quick list:

    Andrei Tarkovsky, especially Andrei Rublev and Nostlagia. The latter, which of course was made in Italy while Tarkovsky was in exile, has got more poignant for me as my own years in exile pass (I have lived away from my country for ten years). The former is a contender for my favourite film – it has, for me, one of the great epiphanies in cinema, the scene in the cathedral at the end of part one.

    John Ford. I’d seen a lot of Ford pictures and really enjoyed them, not as art but as great entertainment, but it was not until I finally “got” The Searchers that I realised how great he truly was. It took about three or four viewings to really appreciate The Searchers, and to date I must have seen it about ten, perhaps fifteen times, and each time it seems to yield some new insight. It’s one of the very few films that, for me, can stand alongside Seven Samurai as being endlessly rich but also hugely enjoyable.

    Clint Eastwood. I’m a fan of Clint, both as an actor and as a director. Even the bad movies are interesting for me, so I guess I long ago lost my objectivity. Still, whatever pleasures the likes of the Dirty Harry films provide, I think there’s no denying that Clint’s best films as a director, including Play Misty for Me, High Plains Drifter, Unforgiven, and his masterpiece The Outlaw Josey Wales deserve to be taken very seriously indeed.

    Sergio Leone. Is A Fist Full of Dollars a better film than Yojimbo? Well, it’s a different film. I think Kurosawa’s film is more accomplished, and that Leone was still finding his feet, but I don’t think that Kurosawa was right to say that Leone had made his film. Of course he stole much from Yojimbo but there is also much that is uniquely Leone. Favourites: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Once Upon a Time in the West.

    Howard Hawks. As everyone says, the remarkable thing about Hawks was that he was a master in so many different genres: Bringing Up Baby, The Big Sleep, Red River, Rio Bravo. Great entertainment and great art, my favourites are the westerns.

    Mizoguchi. I’ve so far seen only three of his films, so perhaps I shouldn’t list him among my favourite directors, but the three I have seen put him on almost equal footing with Kurosawa. Sansho Dayu is simply one of the greatest films.

    Satyajit Ray’s The Apu Trilogy. Pather Panchali, particularly.

    And more briefly: Hitchcock (I do think he deserves the reputation), the Spielberg of Jaws and Raiders, Frank Capra, Anthony Mann, Murnau, some Bergman and lots more obviously.


    Lewis Saul

    Andrei Tarkovsky, especially Andrei Rublev and Nostlagia.

    Couldn’t agree more…

    but I don’t think that Kurosawa was right to say that Leone had made his film. Of course he stole much from Yojimbo but there is also much that is uniquely Leone.

    Agreed. But couldn’t he have channeled that uniqueness into an original script? Of course, at the time Yojimbo was not nearly as ingrained in Western, particularly American, filmic consciousness as it is today.

    Mizoguchi. I’ve so far seen only three of his films, so perhaps I shouldn’t list him among my favourite directors, but the three I have seen put him on almost equal footing with Kurosawa. Sansho Dayu is simply one of the greatest films.

    Separate, but equal …

    Such different styles — but I agree with you. Sansho is an undisputed masterpiece, which never fails to deeply move me.

    One of his most delightful films is hard to get and not well known: Utamaro and His Women — but is equally astonishing cinema!

    Of course, Ugetsu is really great, too.

    Satyajit Ray’s The Apu Trilogy. Pather Panchali, particularly.

    Yeah! I would never have bought this if it hadn’t been for Kurosawa’s recommendation! Fantastic filmmaker!


    Jon Hooper

    Yeah! I would never have bought this if it hadn’t been for Kurosawa’s recommendation! Fantastic filmmaker!

    And what a recommendation. Could one artist pay another artist a greater compliment than what Kurosawa said of Ray?

    “Not to have seen the cinema of Ray means existing in the world without seeing the sun or the moon.”

    In fact, reading that exact quote also sent me out to buy the Apu Trilogy and I wasn’t disappointed.



    A few to view you might have not yet seen:

    Masaki Kobayashi — “Kwaidan” – a series of Japanese ghost stories written by an Irish-Greek: Lefcadio Hearn-who is claimed by Dublin in the writer’s museum I visited a couple years ago, as well as in Athens….I saw some paper ephemera about his writing there, and I don’t know what Japan thinks of him. I like the whole Greek-Irish-Japanese thing-makes me feel welcomed. Most gorgeous opening credits of any film, ever. Nakadai is amazing.

    Kenji Mizoguchi — “Ugetsu” I saw this movie 20 years ago, the vhs lost by the local video store, the name lost by synapse misfire in my brain…until Criterion’s 2005 amazing reprint).

    Federico Fellini — “Amarcord”- hilarious, unsettling, sad, lovely, ephemeral, vulgar all at once. This is a poem-closest Fellini ever gets to capturing “mono-no-aware” and a profoundly loving and loveable film.

    Yasujiro Ozu– “A Story of Floating Weeds” and “Floating Weeds”-so nice he made it twice-! Watch the boy in the first film age 25 years and become a crafty, sly player. The re-make is filmed by Miyagawa! The music in the re-make sounds a lot like Nino Rota!

    Vittorio de Sica– “The Bicycle Thiefs”- of course! Ya gotta see it!

    Michelangelo Antonioni–“L’Avventura”-A classic-(talk amongst yourselves).

    George Cukor–“Philadelphia Story”-C’mon, Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn, AND Jimmy Stewart? Almost too delicious.

    Zhang Yimou–“To Live”-Deeply affecting historical drama covering the fate of a family from the end of empire through the revolution in China.

    Wim Wenders–“Tokyo Ga” and “Wings of Desire”.

    In my Netflix lineup to be seen:

    Satyajit Ray’s “Apu” trilogy (there’s a fair amount of Ray available on the site, and in my lineup) more Trufffaut (saw him when I was too young to appreciate, maybe he is better than I gave him credit for being…) more Ozu (I’ve seen quite a bit, but am filling in some of hte gaps).



    de Sica’s Bicycle Thieves is one of favorite movies of all time.



    Hi Jeremy, I agree…Bicycle Thieves is so amazing! Sometimes I am haunted by the scene in the restaurant. The shame, the pleasure intermingled.

    The film’s The cumulative power of one small little “bite” out of the man’s patience and dignity at a time, and another and another…until the culminating descion at the end-hence the plurality of the “thieves”.

    Oh, who can make films like this today?

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