A list of prominent directors from East Asia. Basically trying to keep track of whose films I tend to like most often or most strongly.
The +1 list – A side
I’ve watched at least two films from these directors and they’ve made at least one film that I really enjoy.
The +1 list – B side
List of directors that I don’t really like but I’ve seen multiple films by them because they seem interesting and other people seem to appreciate their works a lot.
Kim Ki Duk
The 1 & done list
I’ve only seen one film by these directors but it was a film I liked a lot.
And here I list a few actors that I really like and will almost watch any film that they are cast in.
Tony Leung Chiu-wai
Notes about romanized names
Director and actor names on posts are copy-pasted from festival websites and other websites. Unfortunately, there are different spellings for many names often related to how old the actor is. For movies I watched at festivals, I take the cast name off the festival website. For other movies, I usually take it off either AsianWiki or Wikipedia, which use different spellings sometimes. On this list, I use whatever is on Wikipedia.
In general all Mandarin names of mainland China actors that you see on this blog follow Hanyu pinyin spelling but without tone diacritics.
Taiwan names are a bit tricky as they use a different romanization than mainland China and there are different systems. In the rare case an actor has multiple variations, I use what’s on Wikipedia (a prime example being Gwei Lun-mei).
Hong Kong Cantonese names don’t all seem to follow the same romanization system (since Cantonese itself has several competing systems without a clearly dominant one). But I have never seen an actor professionally credited with more than one variation of a Cantonese name so there’s generally no confusion. If an actor has a professional English name, I use it over the Cantonese one or a combo of both in cases where different actors have the same English name (Tony Leung Chiu-wai, being a prime example to differentiate him from Tony Leung Ka-fai).
In this list, I put the family name first in Japanese names, which is not the case in most of the posts on this website where the family name is last. Japanese words and names can have long vowels and on this list I ignore long vowels. In reviews on this website there is unfortunately a mix of different spellings used depending on the festival where I watched the movie. Often it’s ignored in the spelling (like in names such as Ryuhei, Ryohei, Kyoko and Ryoko, which would be Ryūhei, Ryōhei, Kyōko and Ryōko). But when it’s not, sometimes a “u” or “h” is added to the vowel “o” to make “ou” or “oh” or there is a doubling of the letter “uu” or “ii”. In Japanese romanization systems the correct way to represent long vowels is to add a diacritic to the vowel because for example a long “o” is different from “ou” in Japanese, where the former would be one character and the latter would be two characters. For long vowels, Wikipedia adds the macron (horizontal bar or line over the letter) like ō and ū based on modified Hepburn. IMDB uses the circumflex (which looks like a little hat or inverted v above the letter) like ô and û based on a system created by the Japanese government. Oddly, I’ve never seen a diacritic over i but I’ve seen “ii” often enough. Some older celebrities use non-standard romanization, I’ve seen Qusumi instead of Kusumi. But then there’s the popular young actor who has adopted a more English looking spelling of his Japanese name, Mackenyu instead of Makken’yū.
Korean names mostly follow the most recent revised Korean romanization established by the South Korean government but older actors use an older romanization system.