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AK 100: Akira Kurosawa 100th Anniversary (video)

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Thursday, Apr 1, 2010



Akira Kurosawa, who directed 30 films in 50 years, is widely regarded as one of the most important and influential filmmakers in film history. Any student of film worth their salt knows the minutia of Kurosawa’s obsessions and the timeless grandeur of his symphonic productions. In addition to being a vital element to the film canon, Kurosawa’s films have been fundamental to the development and expansion of The Criterion Collection, as well. The Seven Samurai (1954) is the second title in the Collection, followed by other critically important works such as Yojimbo (1961) and Sanjuro (1962).


In honor of the brilliant director’s 100th birthday, Criterion recently released this prized limited edition boxset, AK 100: 25 Films of Akira Kurosawa. The set includes world renowned and previously released works, such as those noted above, and films previously unavailable in the US and new to the collection: Sanshiro Sugata, The Most Beautiful, Sanshiro Sugata pt II and They Who Tread on the Tiger’s Tail.


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Throne of Blood plays with Noh's frightening incongruity, its delicacy of movement expressing mortifyingly indelicate actions, as when Washizu and Asaji deflate like punctured blow-up dolls as they resolve themselves to treason.
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Akira Kurosawa’s samurai, Stuart Heisler’s gangster, Sergio Leone’s cowboy, and George Miller’s misfit suffer a similar black eye, but with dramatically different effect.
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Akira Kurosawa displays such mastery of the fundamental elements of film in Rashomon that it’s worth repeated viewings, and rewards the attentive viewer with the equivalent of a master class in film aesthetics.
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