Parasite (2019) Director Bong Joon Ho Lists 20 Most Promising Directors Of The Century

See, who made the list of the Oscar-winning director Bong Joon Ho.

In a recent interview published on BFI, the director of Parasite (2019) has shared his views on some of the most talented, and promising filmmakers working nowadays. The list of 20 names is a combination of indie directors and established auteurs, and they range in terms of genres too.

Judging from his choices, Bong Joon Ho is a huge horror movie buff. Two emerging icons of neo-horror – Ari Aster and Robert Eggers – made the cut.

Aster, who debuted with Hereditary (2018), has been widely praised for this debut. And while it didn’t enter any major awards competitions, the film has quickly gained a cult status. A follow-up Midsommar (2019) met with equally positive reviews, and was perceived as a continuation of Aster’s fascination with fragile female leads.

Midsommar poster art
Art poster of “Midsommar” (2019) by Ari Aster.

Robert Eggers, on the other hand, brought forward the most peculiar and oneiric film of 2019, The Lighthouse (2019). Together with Aster, Robert Eggers is often regarded to as the pioneering director of modern, artistic horror.

Read about The Lighthouse (2019) and its symbolism here.

And here, you can find out more about Ari Aster’s Midsommar (2019).

Apart from these two icons, horror directors were all-together a strong representation on Bong’s list. Among other emerging directors with powerful voices are David Robert Mitchell, Jordan Peele and Jennifer Kent. This is hardly a surprise, because Bong romanticized with the genre on multiple occasions. The Host (2006) was his craziest venture, in which horror was flawlessly mixed with a social satire, similar to what Bong later perfected in Parasite (2019).

border Ali Abbasi film

The list features an Iranian filmmaker Ali Abbasi too, whose second feature film Border (2018) took Bong Joon Ho’s heart by storm. As the South Korean filmmaker said, ‘Border is a brilliantly unique movie. I love the way he has created his own small universe‘. This Swedish oddity was adaptation of a short novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist, which depicted a peculiar love story of two trolls, living in a not-too-distant future. I second that choice too – Border (2018) landed on my top of 2019 list as an honorable mention.

If you’re interested, you can read the review of Border (2018) here.

Bong Joon Ho has also appreciated the driving force of the Guatemalan cinema, Jayro Bustamante. This filmmaker might not be an established name yet, however his works are regulars at Berlinale or Venice festivals. Last year, Bustamante premiered his politically-involved film La Llorona (2019) – not to be confused with the crappy horror movie of a similar title – looked at the Guatemalan politics instability. Bustamante has been steadily strengthening his voice during the festival circuit too, however he’s still looking for a global-scale career breakthrough.

la llorona Jayro Bustamante guatemalan film

Who else made the list?

British filmmaker Francis Lee made the cut, thanks to his widely acclaimed LGBT drama God’s Own Country (2017). The director of Parasite (2019) has also featured Alma Har’el (Honey Boy (2019)), and Alice Rohrwacher (Happy as Lazzaro (2018)).

Here’s the full list (with films that you have to see!):

1. Ali Abbasi (Border)
2. Ari Aster (Midsommar, Hereditary)
3. Bi Gan (Long Day’s Journey Into Night)
4. Jayro Bustamante (La Llorona, Ixcanul)
5. Mati Diop (Atlantics)
6. Robert Eggers (The Witch, The Lighthouse)
7. Rose Glass 
8. Hamaguchi Ryusuke
9. Alma Har’el (Honey Boy, TrueLove)
10. Kirsten Johnson
11. Jennifer Kent (The Babadook, The Nightingale)
12. Oliver Laxe
13. Francis Lee (God’s Own Country)
14. Pietro Marcello
15. David Robert Mitchell (Under The Silver Lake)
16. Jordan Peele (Get Out!)
17. Jennifer Reeder 
18. Alice Rohrwacher (Happy As Lazzaro)
19. Yoon Gaeun
20. Chloé Zhao (The Rider)

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