Tag Archives: Toshirô Mifune

Kon Ichikawa – Taketori monogatari AKA Princess from the Moon (1987)

The old Japanese folktale of the Bamboo Cutter is here reinterpreted to make Kaguya an alien visitor. Sticking fairly closely to the original 9th century tale of a bamboo cutter finding a mysterious baby girl, this film puts a modern spin onto it by turning the beautiful visitor from the moon into an alien entity lost from a crashed spaceship. Read More »

Ismael Rodriguez – Ánimas Trujano (El hombre importante) AKA The Important Man (1962)

Plot
The film’s setting is a town in Oaxaca during the festival of its patron saint, for which the church appoints a layman as mayordomo or steward, an honor that in effect is gained by being able to organize and cover the high costs of most of the saint’s local festivities. The post is however very coveted by the locals as it is socially prestigious. Read More »

Toshirô Mifune – Gojuman-nin no isan AKA The Legacy of 500,000 (1963) (HD)

During the Second World War, Takeichi Matsuo had participated in hiding a huge cache of gold in the Phillippine mountains. Years after the war, he is kidnapped by Mitsura and Keigo Gunji, brothers who want Matsuo to lead them to the still-buried gold. Matsuo, who is tormented by the memories of the half-million Japanese who died in the Phillippines during the war, wants to make off with the gold and return it to the Japanese people. But of course the Gunji brothers have other ideas. Read More »

Kei Kumai – Sen no Rikyu AKA Death of a Tea Master (1989)

Quote:
For those unfamiliar with its deep meaning, the Japanese tea ceremony appears to be a long, incredibly boring, basically uneventful ritual process. In contrast, for many of its practitioners it offers the key to understanding how to live life in a meaningful manner, and is in itself a refreshment for the spirit. The tea master Rikyu was a key figure in the evolution of the ceremony, and his teaching lineage continues to the present day. In 1591, as a result of a difference of opinion with the ruling warlord of Japan, Hideyoshi Toyotomi (Shinsuke Ashida), tea ceremony grand master Rikyu (Toshiro Mifune) was forced to commit suicide. Read More »

Akira Kurosawa – Nora inu AKA Stray Dog (1949)

Quote:
Stray Dog is an intense criminal story that examines the psychology of the characters as in compares the similarities between criminals and detectives. These similarities are balanced on a thin line based on choice, which Kurosawa dissects studiously through the camera lens. Kurosawa’s investigation of the character’s psychology creates a spiraling suspense that is enhanced through subtle surprises and brilliant cinematography. The camera use often displays shots through thin cloths, close ups, and new camera angles, which also makes the film aesthetically appealing. When Kurosawa brings together camera work and cast performance, among other cinematic aspects, he leaves the audience with a brilliantly suspenseful criminal drama, which leaves much room for introspection and retrospection. Read More »

Kihachi Okamoto – Zatôichi to Yôjinbô AKA Zatoichi Meets Yojimbo (1970)

Synopsis:
This film brings together two of the greatest characters created in Japanese cinema. Zatoichi (Shintaro Katsu) is the blind swordsman who goes back to a village that he remembers as peaceful and tranquil. It has been two to three years since his last visit and he longs to get away from the constant attacks that plague him on a daily basis, as he has a price on his head. But all is not as he remembers. When he arrives to his beloved village, he finds it is torn between a father and son that have their own gangs involved in their own family feud. As a result, the village is torn between the two men as the son seeks his father’s gold (which may or may not exist). Read More »

Akira Kurosawa – Akahige AKA Red Beard [+commentary] (1965)

Synopsis:
In a charity hospital, a hard-bitten but honorable older doctor, Dr. Niide, takes a young intern under his guidance through the course of a number of difficult cases. Read More »