Film Directors: A sort-of A-Z: Z

The final entry in this latest A-Z. Thanks to everyone who stuck with it, and added their own choices along the way. I have enjoyed reading all the comments, as well as discovering films and film makers that were new to me.

‘Z’ is much better than you might expect. However, I will leave it open for your choices, by only adding one today, a foreign film maker. That leaves many well-known directors for you to consider.

Zhang Yimou (surname first, in Chinese) has made some truly magnificent films, many of which I own on DVD, as well as having seen them at the cinema. Winner of numerous awards, and the recipient of much critical acclaim too, his epics are well known, but his smaller films are equally outstanding. Many of you will know of ‘Hero’ (2002), or ‘House Of Flying Daggers’ (2004). But for me, his best work was the claustrophobic and visually stunning ‘Raise The Red Lantern’ (1991), and the historical romantic drama that preceded it, ‘Ju Dou’ (1990). Then there is the fascinating story of a simple woman taking on bureaucracy, in ‘The Story Of Qui Ju’ (1992). Zhang is one of the finest modern film-makers, in my opinion, and I am pleased to add that he is still working today.

Here’s a taste of his style.

34 thoughts on “Film Directors: A sort-of A-Z: Z

  1. Man, “Z” already?!?! You did fantastic with this series, Pete! Such great post with incredible feedback!❤❤❤ Even though “Z” is a difficult one, I enjoyed learning about the different directors! These post have taught me a lot and I am so thankful you posted these! Yay for sticking it all the way through, my friend!❤❤❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Although I certainly like some films by other Z directors, I have to go with Robert Zemeckis. I own a number of his films, including one of my favorite black comedies, “Death Becomes Her” (1992), and have seen quite a few others. He’s also produced some films that I like very much.

    ANECDOTE: In January 2010, when returning from a road trip, we stopped to visit the Very Large Array in New Mexico. While walking among the giants, the 82-foot diameter radio dish closest to us began to reposition itself. I guarantee you that this was an awesome thing to witness. The VLA was a film location for “Contact” (1997), a wonderful movie directed by Robert Zemeckis.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I loved House of Flying Daggers and Hero Pete! I definitely need to see Raise the Red Lantern and Ju Dou. I also like the Zucker brothers, Fred Zinnemann, and Robert Zemekis. My other picks would be:

    Franco Zeffirelli – Romeo and Juliet, Taming of the Shrew, The Champ, Hamlet, Jane Eyre…

    Rob Zombie – House of 1000 Corpses

    Edward Zwick – About Last Night, Glory, Legends of the Fall, The Last Samurai, Blood Diamond…

    This has been so much fun Pete!🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Kim. I also have a fondness for ‘Legends Of The Fall’, even though it is far from being a ‘great film’, and overly sentimental. ‘Glory’ is of course a huge favourite. A magnificent epic!
      I am very pleased that you have enjoyed this series, and send my sincere thanks for all your input and engagement.
      Best wishes as always, Pete. x

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh man, this one is so awesome. Zhang Yimou is one of my favorite Chinese directors: with House of Flying Daggers being one of my all time favorite Chinese movies. The use of colours combined with the beautiful music is truly awe inspiring. With the dance scene being the absolute highlight. Great to see you name this great director. And I second Fraggle’s choice of Robert Zemeckis. Also some terrific movies that he made. Well…that’s it then. I want to say that I really want to hand a big and heartfelt compliment to you Pete. I think it’s amazing how incredible your knowledge of movies is, and this series was terrific: well done! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Another great series Pete!

    Yes, as noted Fred Zinnemann was a terrific Director of such classics as “From Here To Eternity” and “High Noon” – did you know he directed 19 Actors/Actresses to Oscar wins? As for The Zucker Brothers, “Airplane!” is a GREAT comedy, but the film before that, “Kentucky Fried Movie” is my favorite of theirs – a feature-length mashup of short comedy bits like the trailer for “Catholic High School Girls In Trouble” and a note-for-hilarious-note parody of Bruce Lee’s “Enter The Dragon” called – wait for it, “A Fistful Of Yen.” Take a look:

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Z is for Terry Zwigoff for the scathing documentary “Crumb” on the life and works of the notorious underground comic artist, and for his following collaborations with alternative comic artist/writer Daniel Clowes “Ghost World” and “Art School Confidential”.
    But my top pick goes to Swedish actress turned director Mai Zetterling for her groundbreaking explorations of women and sexuality in “Loving Couples”, “Night Games” and “The Girls”. Also recommended is her later feature “Amorosa”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I own ‘Ghost World’ on DVD, Chandler. One of my all-time favourite indie films, with a great performance from Thora Birch. It has featured numerous times on this blog.
      I have seen ‘Night Games’ many years ago, and recall being impressed.
      Thanks as always for your more unusual choices, and all of your great contributions during this long series.
      Best wishes, Pete.,


  7. Robert Zemekis (not sure of spelling) did the great trilogy of Back to th Future movies which I loved and even better Who killed Roger Rabbit, a particular favourite for me. Think he’s done loads more than that though. Somebody Zinneman did loads of old western movies back in the day Gary Cooper type stuff, not my cuppa tea but my Mum loved them.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I think you are referring to Fred Zinnemann of course, and ‘High Noon’.
      Given your gravatar image, I would have been disappointed if you hadn’t chosen Robert Zemeckis.
      I guessed he might be your top choice! 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

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