Ten Best Japanese Directors

Alexander Jacoby a_p_jacoby
Wed Jul 26 01:23:32 EDT 2006

Seems like no one else has bothered yet to reply to this one! I tend to think ranking directors is necessarily a bit crude, but what the hell - it's fun. I would say, my Top Eight (all from the classical period - probably a matter of my personal bias) are as follows:
  1) Mizoguchi
  2) Ozu
  3) Shimizu (who tragically doesn't make it into any of the lists below)
  4) Yoshimura (nor does he!)
  5) Uchida
  6) Naruse
  7) Gosho
  8) Ichikawa
  Not sure where I'd go next - not wishing to be too controversial, but I'm not sure Kurosawa makes it into my Top Ten. I wonder about Kawashima, but maybe he doesn't quite, either. Not yet seen enough Shindo or Imai to know how I rate them. If I was going to put a New Wave director on the list it would probably be Oshima rather than Imamura, but then he made so many substandard films! I can forgive him a lot for Boy and Ceremonies, though.
  The reason I think ranking directors is problematic is because it means you can't mention all the wonderful individual films like "The Maid's Kid" and "Fallen Blossoms". I don't suppose Tasaka or Ishida will be on anyone's list overall, but their great films ought to be.

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