Tags » Japanese Cinema

“Vendetta of Samurai” (1952) written but not directed by Kurosawa

“Vendetta of Samurai” (Mataemon Araki: Ketto kagiya no tsuji, 1952, written by Kurosawa for Mazuo Mori) features four of the (1954) “Seven Samurai” (Shimura Takashi, Mifune Toshiro, Kato Daisuke , and Chiaki Minoru), plus the rubber-faced old farmer Yohei (Bokuzen Hidari) as a teahouse owner. 195 more words

Kurosawa

Kurosawa's "High and Low"

In addition to the films set in historical times such as “Seven Samurai,” “Rashomon,” and “Ran” for which he is best known, Akira Kurosawa directed a number of excellent movies set in post-WWII Japan (movies about any present day become historical artifacts, so that it cannot be said that any of Kurosawa’s movies show “present-day Japan”). 820 more words

Kurosawa

My favorite Kurosawa film: Sanjuro (1962)

I consider Kurosawa Akira (1910-1998) responsible for more cinematic masterpieces than anyone else. He remains best known for historical films from the 1950s such as “The Seven Samurai,” “Rashomon,” “Throne of Blood,” and for the color-film masterpieces “Kagemusha” (1980) and “Ran” (1985) that were the culmination of this line of work. 1,323 more words

Kurosawa

The Worst Sleep the Best

Kurosawa’s 1960 movie “Warui yatsu hodo yoku nemuru” (initially released in English as “The Rose in the Mud,” but long known as “The Bad Sleep Well,” an understatement of the Japanese title which more literally would be “The Worst Sleep the Best” or “Only the Bad Sleep Well”) is a variation on “Hamlet.” Those familiar with Kurosawa’s historical dramas (and/or with the Samurai trilogy) would not expect the fiercely glowering Mifune Toshiro to play Hamlet, even after having played Kurosawa’s interpretation of Hamlet. 1,045 more words

Kurosawa

"I Live in Fear" (1955)

“I Live in Fear” (Ikimono no kiroku, 1955, also released as “Record of a Living Being”) provided a chance for Mifune Toshiro to go mad onscreen, less picturesquely than the woods advancing on his castle as the Japanese Macbeth at the end of “Throne of Blood” (Kumonosu jô, 1957). 497 more words

Kurosawa

“Scandal” (1950)

Having long ago seen the greatest Akira Kurosawa movies (in chronological order of their making: The Drunken Angel, Stray Dog. Rashômon, Ikiru, 7 Samurai, Throne of Blood, Yojimbo, Sanjuro, Red Beard, Dersu Uzala, Kagemusha, Ran), I’ve been watching the early postwar movies now available in a Criterion Eclipse (no bonus feature) set. 536 more words

Kurosawa

Kurosawa's 1951 adaptation of "The Idiot"

For me Akira Kurosawa (1910-98) is the greatest of film directors—perhaps not my favorite, but the greatest. Kurosawa’s favorite author was Dosteovesky, who for me was a great bad writer, and more than a little of a monster. 1,193 more words

Kurosawa