DUNGEON DIRECTOR PROJECT: My 50 Favourite Directors #35 – #31

My 50 Favourite Directors #35 – #31

*NOTE: I did not include any made for TV movies in the numbers I used for each director’s full-length feature films.*

Here is a quintet of directors I don’t think get nearly the love they should! I’m getting down to the nitty gritty here; the next list I post will bring me to the mid-point of this project!


#35. Hiroshi Teshigahara

What I’ve Seen: Pitfall (1962), Woman in the Dunes (1964), The Face of Another (1966), Man without a Map (1968), Rikyu (1989), Gô-hime (1992)

Japanese director Hiroshi Teshigahara sadly only made 11 films! I have seen six of his 11 films and they are all magnificent! Absolute masterpieces! I had borrowed Woman in the Dunes from the library and was waiting in the queue far too long for Teshigahara’s Pitfall and The Face of Another. I couldn’t bare it any longer so I actually bought a used copy of the Criterion 4-disc set from a guy on Craigslist. I had already seen Woman in the Dunes which I gave perfect marks so I felt confident I would at least enjoy the other two. Enjoy them I did! They blew my mind actually! I am so pleased to own this set, which evidently was in absolute mint condition! I have already watched the trio twice! Perfectly constructed films full of striking visuals and intriguing richly drawn characters that make me drool they are so freaking good! In addition to his directing he also became the Grand Master of the School his father founded that taught ikebana (Japanese style of flower arranging). This dude was multi-talented! Hiroshi Teshigahara died on April 14, 2001 at the age of 74, and should be celebrated as one of the great masters of Japanese cinema!


#34. James Whale

What I’ve Seen: Frankenstein (1931), The Old Dark House (1932), The Invisible Man (1933), Bride of Frankenstein (1935), The Man in the Iron Mask (1939)

I have seen just five of the 21 full length feature films directed by James Whale. Four of five of these are the best that classic horror has to offer! Frankenstein, The Old Dark House and Bride of Frankenstein are his trio of pure gold I gave a perfect score to. Fantastic sets and costumes, beautifully acted, unique and inventive visuals and effects made these delicious gothic fairytales come alive. Whale had commercial successes with several titles but apparently all good things must come to an end and Whale’s career in the movie industry petered out. James Whale left an indelible mark on film and the horror genre in particular. His 1931 Frankenstein and its sequel Bride of Frankenstein have been the inspiration for multiple decades of filmmakers. James Whale committed suicide on May 29, 1957 at the age of 67 after a long, troubling bout with his health. James Whale is a legend. Word.


#33. Jacques Tourneur

What I’ve Seen: Cat People (1942), I Walked with a Zombie (1943), The Leopard Man (1943), Days of Glory (1944), Out of the Past (1947), The Flame and the Arrow (1950), Nightfall (1957), Night of the Demon (1957), The Comedy of Terrors (1963)

I have given four of French-American director Jacques Tourneur’s films a perfect score. Cat People, I Walked with a Zombie, Out of the Past, and Night of the Demon are all magnificent. Be warned, Out of the Past is the only one of the four that is not a horror film; but it is one of my very favourite film noirs. Cat People, I Walked with a Zombie and The Leopard Man were all produced by the immensely talented Val Lewton whose films have given me copious amounts of enjoyment since starting this blog! Tourneur and Lewton were a quality team; I wish they had collaborated more! Tourneur made 36 full length feature films and was an amazing creative talent who’s extraordinary, moody and beautifully filmed masterpieces should be given the ample respect they deserve! Jacques Tourneur died December 19, 1977 at the age of 73 and is one of Goregirl’s Gods!


#32. Takashi Miike

What I’ve Seen: Audition (1999), Dead or Alive: Hanzaisha (1999), Dead or Alive 2: Tôbôsha (2000), Visitor Q (2001), Ichi the Killer (2001), The Happiness of the Katakuris (2001), Deadly Outlaw: Rekka (2002), Gozu (2003), One Missed Call (2003), Izo (2004), The Great Yokai War (2005), Big Bang Love, Juvenile A (2006), Sukiyaki Western Django (2007), Detective Story (2007), 13 Assassins (2010)

Japanese Director Takashi Miike is one interesting cat. He covers a variety of genres in each one of his 74 full length feature films. Okay, I have not seen nearly that many of his films, I’m basing that on the 15 I have seen. The man is a movie making machine! This is certainly an eclectic list of flicks! One of my favourite horror films from the past couple decades has been Miike’s intense Audition. Most of Miike’s films are not straight up horror but do contain elements. The ultra-violent weirdfest Ichi the Killer, the disturbing family drama Visitor Q, the bizarre horror musical The Happiness of the Kutakuris and the samurai epic 13 Assassins are all films I have given high marks to. I could recommend checking out any of the fifteen films on this list, but I was a little mediocre on Deadly Outlaw: Rekka and Sukiyaki Western Django but otherwise a quality library. Miike is one of the most talented and original filmmakers working today.


#31. Jim Jarmusch

What I’ve Seen: Permanent Vacation (1980), Stranger Than Paradise (1984), Down by Law (1986), Mystery Train (1989), Night on Earth (1991), Dead Man (1995), Year of the Horse (1997), Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999), Coffee and Cigarettes (2003), Broken Flowers (2005), The Limits of Control (2009)

I have seen all 11 full length feature films from American director Jim Jarmusch. He also has a film in pre-production; Only Lovers Left Alive (2013) which needless to say, I am anxious to see! I absolutely love the deadpan humour, the chance encounters, the great casting and the exceptionally likable no-good-nick characters he often features in his films. I love the black and white photography and the real-time lingering of his camera on his subjects. The man is not afraid to show someone chewing on a piece of toast and reading the newspaper. It is superb how he mixes languages in films; like in Night on Earth which is about the adventures of various cab drivers on one particular night in various cities around the world; each segment is subtitled appropriately. There is something charming yet bleak about the way Jarmusch looks at his own culture that is very appealing to me. I gave Stranger Than Paradise, Down by Law, Night on Earth and Dead Man perfect marks! And Mystery Train and Ghost Dog would not be too far behind. Jim Jarmusch is a true American original whose films I eagerly anticipate.


16 Responses to “DUNGEON DIRECTOR PROJECT: My 50 Favourite Directors #35 – #31”

  1. Hiroshi Teshigahara is not listed, as I’ve seen none of his films, sadly.

    James Whale is my number 25 director in my personal list, He’s one of the true masters of cinema, horror or not, and one of the best horror masters from the golden Universal Horror Age, I just love the work of this man from heads to toes, and i still have some to look forward to. My favorite of the films he’s directed and that I’ve seen is “The Invisible Man” (1933) which I rated 10/10.

    Jacques Tourneur is in number 171 in my personal list, and I know how loved this horror director is, but I just haven’t fallen in love with his style, but still, I’ve only seen two of his films, so maybe I just need to see more and more of his films. My favorite of the films he’s directed and that I’ve seen is “Cat People” (1942) which I rated 8/10.

    Takashi Miike is in the number 107 in my personal list, but there’s nothing short of love in my statement and placing, because I do think he’s one of the greatest japanese directors working right now, the thing is that he makes so much and with so much varying quality that it brings his overall image and score a bit down in retrospective, but still good watching any of his movies, you’re bound for surprise.. My favorite of the films he’s directed is “Audition” (1999) which I rated 10/10.

    Jim Jarmusch is not listed, as I’ve only seen one of his films

    My 5:

    35. Lars von Trier (Melancholia, Dogville, Dancer in the Dark, Riget, Europa) *Europa 10/10
    34. John Carpenter (Big Trouble in Little China, The Thing, Escape from New York, Halloween, Dark Star) *Halloween 10/10
    33. Joss Whedon (The Avengers, Thor, Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog) *Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog 10/10
    32. Wong Kar Waii (2046, In the Mood for Love, Hua yang de nian hua, Ashes of Time) *Ashes of Time 10/10
    31. Terry Gilliam (The Legend of Hallowdega, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Twelve Monkeys, Brazil, The Crimson Permanent Assurance, Monty Python and the Holy Grail) *Brazil 10/10

    • goregirl Says:

      You definitely should check out Teshigahara trilogy Pitfall, Woman in the Dunes and Face of Another…just amazing!

      I have only really discovered Tourneur in the last 3 years I’ve started this blog. My library has a Val Lewton boxset and I enjoyed every film in tne set (9 films total)…. a couple are the best films I’ve ever seen period (Body Snatcher is SUPERB!!). I love Tourneur’s style and was surprised to see his name on Night of the Demon and Out of the Past…both films I love!

      I can’t diagree, Miike is definitely inconsistent. But of the 15 films I’ve seen I didn’t outright hate any of them and considering I gave 3 of them a perfect rating I figured that more than made up for the lesser entries. Of course 15 is a small drop in the bucket in a resume that huge! I think it is fare to say that I will always be interested in what Miike is up to!

      OH NO!!! You have already seen Carpenter and you now have TWO MORE directors that will be making my upcoming lists!!

  2. I was weened on the Universal horror films in the 1960’s thanks to Chiller Theater. Love all of them, even the lesser known films like Mad Doctor of Market Street. James Whale is one of my favorites as well. I enjoy his Show Boat and The Great Gerrick a lot,too. What did you think of Gods and Monsters? Adore the Jacques Tourneur/Val Lewton fright films. Jim Jarmush? No argument from me. ; ) Hopefully,I will seek out some of the films from the Japanese directors you have listed. Most awesome list thus far,Goregirl,and I know I will enjoy the remaining entries!

    • goregirl Says:

      There are so many Universal monster movies I had not seen when I started this blog. Or at least I did not remember seeing them. My dad was into the 50s and 60s stuff when I was growing up so that is what I got exposed to. Universal was still making horror (The Mole People, It Came from Outer Space, Tarantula etc), but their “hey day” was sort of past at this point.

      I’ve heard the filmmakers/writers took a lot of liberties with Whales story but I still liked Gods and Monsters, Ian McKellan does an excellent job. I would have recast Brendan Fraser’s role though (although he isn’t bad, I think they could have made a better choice).

      • I would like to see more of the oddball Universal titles that were part of the Shock and Son of Shock TV packages get a DVD release,but I’m not very optimistic. I haven’t seen those films in many moons. I love the heck out of the 50’s and 60’s Universal fright flicks,too. All three films featuring the Creature From The Black Lagoon are top notch. I enjoyed Gods and Monsters as well. Wish they would have not taken the liberties and,like you,cast someone else other than Brandon Fraser( he wasn’t awful,but his character is fictitious). I like the scenes with Boris Karloff and Elsa Lanchester.

  3. I have to admit that I have not seen a Hiroshi Teshigahara film but my library has a copy of Woman in the Dunes so I’ll pick it up.

    Takashi Miike can be very inconsistent. He swings from brilliant to mediocre and even dull (sometimes all within the same film!) but when he’s on form he’s brilliant.

    At his best: Audition is a classic horror film with so much thought and intellect gone into the making of it!

    At his most inconsistent: Gozu has a brilliant opening and ending but it meanders in the middle.

    At his worst: I hear Ninja Kids is awful.

    Jacques Tourneur’s Night of the Demon is a great film.

    • goregirl Says:

      Yep. You should absolutely go borrow Woman in the Dunes from the library post haste!

      It is true, Miike is inconsistent but that is all part of his charm! You never know what you are going to get from each film, it is like reaching into a box of bits and bites 😉

  4. Another great group. I’ve only seen that Criterion trilogy from Teshigahara but I went bananas for it.

    If John Cassavetes is the Godfather of indie cinema, then surely Jim Jarmusch is the… uncle… or something. Bad analogy, sorry. But the point stands- Jarmusch is a king of indie films.

    I love the reaction you can get out of slightly seasoned moviegoers when you bring up Miike’s name.

    • goregirl Says:

      I ended up buying 5 other DVDs from the guy I bought the Teshigahara set from and The Man Without a Map was one of them. Amazing film, as was Rikyu which i borrowed from the library. Nothing tops the outstanding trilogy though!

      I must admit I have seen only one Cassavetes film and that is A Woman Under the Influence…excellent film though. Will check out more eventually. I love Jarmusch’s movies and his crazy hair, I wish he was MY uncle.

      Lots of mixed feelings about my man Miike, he is a wonderfully talented weirdo!

  5. Your like a Energizer Bunny my dear with your reveiws and lists and blogs ….how do you find the time? ..I know you just went on vacation but I hope you don’t stay locked up inside to long….love your stuff..maybe one day I can find time to see even a tenth of what you have seen I will be a happy camper…thanks again for all your hard work for everything gore…cya GG

    • goregirl Says:

      Cheers Philip!! One day I intend on winning the lottery and making my Lucio Fulci documentary (I want to travel to every place in Italy where Fulci filmed) and after that I will write about movies every single day for ever and ever! I have no backup plan so I really hope this one works out. 😉

  6. Gonnhorreus Syphilititus Says:

    This is a very ambitious project indeed!

    I can’t name many favourite directors, because I’ve usually only seen one or two of their movies (like Takashi Miike, who I can tell I would love, if I saw more of his movies). Or, in the case of mainstream Hollywood filmmakers, I’ve seen a lot of their movies, but haven’t been impressed by a lot of their films (Tim Burton might have to be taken off my list of favourite directors, after I eventually watch movies like Alice in Wonderland and Dark Shadows).

    Ghost Dog is one of my all-time fave movies – but I wasn’t impressed with Broken Flowers (it certainly wasn’t crap, but I expected to enjoy it a lot more).

    • goregirl Says:

      There have always been certain directors I’ve followed, but since the internet I have expanded my director rouster considerably! Chances are if you really enjoyed one movie from the director you are bound to enjoy another. Of course there are a few one hit wonders out there.

      I was a bigger fan of Tim Burton’s older films myself. Haven’t seen Dark Shadows, and probably won’t even bother.

  7. […] Jarmusch is number 31 on my 50 favourite directors […]

  8. “DUNGEON DIRECTOR PROJECT: My 50 Favourite Directors #35 – #31 GOREGIRL’S DUNGEON” ended up being genuinely compelling and instructive! Within the present day society honestly, that is quite hard to carry out. Thank you, Cherie

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: