Akira Kurosawa

  • Akira Kurosawa – Dersu Uzala [2K Imprint Films] (1975)

    1971-1980AdventureAkira KurosawaDramaUSSR

    Dersu Uzala is the enthralling tale of an eccentric indigenous frontiersman (Maxim Munzuk) who is taken on as a guide by a Soviet surveying crew. While the soldiers at first perceive Dersu as a naive and comical relic of an uncivilized age, he quickly proves himself otherwise with displays of ingenuity and bravery unmatched by any member of the inexperienced mapping team, on more than one occasion becoming their unlikely saviour. An amazing true story based on the memoir by Russian explorer Vladimir Arsenyev.

    Filmed in the far reaches of Siberia, it took over two years for Director Akira Kurosawa to complete this timeless masterpiece of cinema which was shot in 70mm and was honoured with the Oscar for Best Foreign-Language Film in 1976.Read More »

  • Akira Kurosawa – Shûbun AKA Scandal (1950)

    1941-1950Akira KurosawaCrimeDramaJapan

    A handsome, suave Toshiro Mifune lights up the screen as painter Ichiro, whose circumstantial meeting with a famous singer (Yoshiko Yamaguchi) is twisted by the tabloid press into a torrid affair. Ichiro files a lawsuit against the seedy gossip magazine, but his lawyer, Hiruta (Kurosawa stalwart Takashi Shimura), is playing both sides. A portrait of cultural moral decline, Scandal is also a compelling courtroom drama and a moving tale of human redemption.Read More »

  • Akira Kurosawa – Hakuchi AKA The Idiot (1951)

    1951-1960Akira KurosawaArthouseDramaJapan

    After finishing what would become his international phenomenon Rashomon, Akira Kurosawa immediately turned to one of the most daring, and problem-plagued, productions of his career. The Idiot, an adaptation of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s nineteenth-century masterpiece about a wayward, pure soul’s reintegration into society—updated by Kurosawa to capture Japan’s postwar aimlessness—was a victim of studio interference and, finally, public indifference. Today, this “folly” looks ever more fascinating, a stylish, otherworldly evocation of one man’s wintry mindscape.Read More »

  • Akira Kurosawa – Hachigatsu no rapusodî AKA Rhapsody in August (1991)

    1991-2000Akira KurosawaArthouseDramaJapan

    An elderly woman living in Nagasaki, Japan takes care of her four grandchildren for their summer vacation. They learn about the atomic bomb that fell in 1945, and how it killed their grandfather.Read More »

  • Akira Kurosawa & Ishirô Honda – Mâdadayo (1993)

    1991-2000Akira KurosawaDramaIshirô HondaJapan

    How does a director whose work has long been characterized by its vibrancy deal with the subject of aging and death? With extraordinary patience and grace, it turns out. Madadayo is the last film Akira Kurosawa completed before his death in 1998, and it feels like the work of an artist aware that his time was nearing its end. (The fact that the 1993 film is only now receiving a video release in America after an extremely limited theatrical run doesn’t speak well of current attitudes toward elder greats.) The theme of aging recurs throughout Kurosawa’s later efforts, but never as explicitly as here; even the King Lear-based Ran has other concerns. Read More »

  • Akira Kurosawa – Rashômon (1950)

    1941-1950Akira KurosawaClassicsDramaJapan

    This landmark film is a brilliant exploration of truth and human weakness. It opens with a priest, a woodcutter, and a peasant taking refuge from a downpour beneath a ruined gate in 12th-century Japan. The priest and the woodcutter, each looking stricken, discuss the trial of a notorious bandit for rape and murder. As the retelling of the trial unfolds, the participants in the crime — the bandit (Toshiro Mifune), the rape victim (Machiko Kyo), and the murdered man (Masayuki Mori) — tell their plausible though completely incompatible versions of the story.Read More »

  • Akira Kurosawa – Dodesukaden AKA Dodes’ka-den AKA Clickety-Clack (1970)

    1961-1970Akira KurosawaDramaJapan

    Various tales in the lives of Tokyo slum dwellers, including a mentally deficient young man obsessed with driving his own commuter trolley.Read More »

  • Akira Kurosawa – Kumonosu-jô AKA Throne of Blood (1957)

    Akira Kurosawa1951-1960DramaEpicJapan

    A vivid, visceral Macbeth adaptation, Throne of Blood, directed by Akira Kurosawa, sets Shakespeare’s definitive tale of ambition and duplicity in a ghostly, fog-enshrouded landscape in feudal Japan. As a hardened warrior who rises savagely to power, Toshiro Mifune gives a remarkable, animalistic performance, as does Isuzu Yamada as his ruthless wife. Throne of Blood fuses classical Western tragedy with formal elements taken from Noh theater to create an unforgettable cinematic experience.Read More »

  • Akira Kurosawa – Tora no o wo fumu otokotachi AKA The Men Who Tread on the Tiger’s Tail (1945)

    1941-1950AdventureAkira KurosawaClassicsJapan

    The Men Who Tread on the Tiger’s Tail, the fourth film from Akira Kurosawa, is based on
    a legendary twelfth-century incident in which the lord Yoshitsune, with the help of a group of samurai, crosses enemy territory disguised as a monk. The story was dramatized for centuries in Noh and Kabuki theater, and here it becomes one of the director’s lightest, most farcical films.Read More »

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