Bong Joon-ho[a] (Korean: 봉준호, Korean pronunciation: [poːŋ tɕuːnho → poːŋdʑunɦo]; born September 14, 1969) is a South Korean filmmaker. His films feature social themes, genre-mixing, black humor, and sudden tone shifts. In 2017, Metacritic ranked Bong 13th on its list of the 25 best film directors of the 21st century.
He first gained recognition for his second feature film, the crime drama Memories of Murder (2003), before achieving commercial success with his subsequent films; the monster film The Host (2006), the science fiction action film Snowpiercer (2013), and the black comedy thriller Parasite (2019), which are among the highest-grossing films in South Korea.
Two of his films have screened in competition at the Cannes Film Festival—Okja in 2017 and Parasite in 2019; the latter earned the Palme d’Or, which was a first for a South Korean film. For Parasite, Bong received Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best International Feature Film.
Before embarking on a career as a film director, Kore-eda worked as an assistant director on documentaries for television. In 1995, at the Venice Film Festival, his first fiction feature film Maborosi won a Golden Osella Award for Best Cinematography. At the 1999 Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema, he won awards for Best Film and Best Screenplay for his film After Life.
In 2005, he won the Blue Ribbon Awards for Best Film and Best Director for his film Nobody Knows. His 2008 film, Still Walking, also earned accolades, including Best Director at the 2009 Asian Film Awards.His 2013 film, Like Father, Like Son, premiered and was nominated for the Palme d’Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.
Kore-eda’s 2015 film, Our Little Sister, was selected to compete for the Palme d’Or at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, though it did not win. His 2016 film, After the Storm, debuted to critical acclaim at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival in the Un Certain Regard category. For his work on the film, he won the award for Best Director at the Yokohama Film Festival. Kore-eda won Best Film and Best Director Japan Academy Prizes for his film The Third Murder (2017), which also screened in the main competition of the 74th Venice International Film Festival. In 2018, his film, titled Shoplifters, about a young girl that is welcomed in by a family of shoplifters, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Palme d’Or. It was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
Kōji Fukada (深田 晃司, Fukada Kōji, born 1980, in Koganei, Tokyo) is a Japanese film director and screenwriter. Born in Tokyo, Fukada had a father who was a film aficionado and he watched many films on VHS when he was young. It was when he was 19 years old studying at Taisho University and discovered the Film School of Tokyo that he began taking evening classes in filmmaking. One of his teachers was Kiyoshi Kurosawa. He made his first feature length film, The Chair, in 2002. He joined the Seinendan theater troupe, headed by Oriza Hirata, in 2005, and has often used their work and their actors in his films.
Jia Zhangke (born 24 May 1970) is a Chinese film director and screenwriter. He is generally regarded as a leading figure of the “Sixth Generation” movement of Chinese cinema, a group that also includes such figures as Wang Xiaoshuai, Lou Ye, Wang Quan’an and Zhang Yuan.Jia’s early films, a loose trilogy based in his home province of Shanxi, were made outside of China’s state-run film bureaucracy, and therefore are considered “underground” films. Beginning in 2004, Jia’s status in his own country rose when he was allowed to direct his fourth feature film, The World, with state approval.Jia’s films have received critical praise and have been recognized internationally, notably winning the Venice Film Festival’s top award Golden Lion for Still Life. NPR critic John Powers praised him as “(perhaps) the most important filmmaker working in the world today.”
Read a post from our blog on Jia Zhankg featuring a fantastic collection of photos.
Read our blog article on great movies in recent years from Japan, China, and South Korea.