Who’s the Better Director? Akira Kurosawa or Yasujirō Ozu

Welcome to the inaugural season of Face/Off! This season, we’re pitting two directors with similar backgrounds against one another and letting YOU, the commenters, decide on who reigns supreme!

You have to decide which director is better than the other? Various factors could play into your decision from who takes the biggest risks to who has the more distinctive style. Remember, it isn’t so much about which director has made the most money at the box office or won the most awards, but, in your mind, which director simply makes better films.

Let’s analyze the filmography of today’s challengers.


Akira Kurosawa

1940s Directorial Features: Sanshiro Sugata (1943), The Most Beautiful (1944), Sanshiro Sugata Part II (1945), The Men Who Tread on the Tiger’s Tail (1945), No Regrets for Our Youth (1946), One Wonderful Sunday (1947), Drunken Angel (1948), The Quiet Duel (1949), Stray Dog (1949)

1950s Directorial Features: Scandal (1950), Rashomon (1950), The Idiot (1951), Ikiru (1952), Seven Samurai (1954), I Live in Fear (1955), Throne of Blood (1957), The Lower Depths (1957), The Hidden Fortress (1958)

1960s to 1990s Directorial Features: The Bad Sleep Well (1960), Yojimbo (1961), Sanjuro (1962), High and Low (1963), Red Beard (1965), Dodesukaden (1970), Dersu Uzala (1975), Kagemusha (1980), Ran (1985), Dreams (1990), Rhapsody in August (1991), Madadayo (1993)


Yasujirō Ozu

1920s & 1930s Silent Directorial Features: Student Romance: Days of Youth (1929), Walk Cheerfully (1930), I Flunked, But… (1930), That Night’s Wife (1930), The Lady and the Beard (1931), Tokyo Chorus (1931), I Was Born, But… (1932), Where Now Are the Dreams of Youth? (1932), Woman of Tokyo (1933), Dragnet Girl (1933), Passing Fancy (1933), A Mother Should be Loved (1934), A Story of Floating Weeds (1934), An Inn in Tokyo (1935)

1930s & 1940s Sound Directorial Features: The Only Son (1936), What Did the Lady Forget? (1937), Brothers and Sisters of the Toda Family (1941), There Was a Father (1942), The Record of a Tenement Gentleman (1947), A Hen in the Wind (1948), Late Spring (1949)

1950s & 1960s Sound Directorial Features: The Munekata Sisters (1950), Early Summer (1951), The Flavor of Green Tea over Rice (1952), Tokyo Story (1953), Early Spring (1956), Tokyo Twilight (1957), Equinox Flower (1958), Good Morning (1959), Floating Weeds (1959), Late Autumn (1960), The End of Summer (1961), An Autumn Afternoon (1962)


Only one can move on. Let the Face/Off begin!

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Face/Off: Kurosawa vs. Ozu

Who's the better director?


Discuss in the comments below your favorite films from each director and who should advance to the next round.

Author: Marmaduke Karlston

"Wait a minute. Wait a minute Doc, uh, are you telling me you built a time machine... out of a DeLorean?"