View Full Version : Let's talk about Kurosawa

06-30-2009, 05:01 PM
Akira Kurosawa (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akira_Kurosawa) was without a doubt one of the greatest directors of all time. His legacy is vast, from Without A Trace to Run Lola Run, pretty much everything retains elements of his influence. He had a slightly tyrannical influence on Japanese cinema, pretty much all modern Samurai Films owe hugely to him (I think he invented that shot with two samurai standing silently by each other, and then one falling over, that has become one of the most cliched shots in modern cinema)

I've seen most of his period films, Seven Samurai, Yojimbo, Hidden Fortress, Sanjuro and Throne of Blood (Personal favourite).

However, I've heard that after Seven Samurai, Ran is his greatest film. I loved his other Shakesperian adaptation, and it seems he makes it his own a lot more. It's also supposed to be the culmination of his filmmaking career. The only tragedy is that Toshiro Mifune isn't in it and I love that man almost more than I love Matt Damon.

Apart from his Samurai films I've seen little. I've seen fragments of Ikuru and I've heard Stray Dog is pretty awesome. Ikuru sounds really depressing though.

I was just wondering what other peoples thoughts were on this director, it's amazing watching his films from the 50's and seeing the same basic style of cinematography we see today, in terms of pacing and plot he made films that could easily have been made today.

06-30-2009, 07:21 PM
He did an admirable job of taking other people's stories and reinventing them with his own cultural history.

06-30-2009, 09:02 PM
Cool Thread!
Among the mentioned classics, I also enjoyed Ikiru, Yojimba, Hidden Fortress, and The Idiot (based on Dostoyevsky's novel). Ikiru was indeed depressing, but not to be missed. My all time fav is the same as yours: Throne of Blood. Besides the great acting, what awes me about Kurosawa's films is the way he stages shots. They are like masterpiece paintings coming to life. That's how well framed they are. I actually like his films so much that I've been thinking of learning Japanese just to get a better appreciation of them. There are a few other Japanese directors that made flicks in the 1950s that are awesome, too, like Yasujiro Ozo: Tokyo Story.

06-30-2009, 09:09 PM
He did an admirable job of taking other people's stories and reinventing them with his own cultural history.

All directors adapt and remake already existing stories. Herzog's Aguirre was based on a voyage of discovery into the Amazon and the historical figure of Aguirre de Lope. Fitzcarraldo was a similar mesh to two different events. The Godfather is an adaptation of a book, so is the Prestige. The Departed is a remake of Infernal Affairs (and miles better than it as well). Then there's things you wouldn't even believe like Oldboy, Road to Perdition and Stalker.

If anything though, Kurosawa has spawned more remakes and adaptations than he adapted and remade. I can think of at least 3 remakes of Yojimbo, then theres Hidden Fortress that was sort of made into Star Wars.