Film

Director Spotlight: Akira Kurosawa

PopMatters is proud to present this Director’s Spotlight on one of the most complicated, enduring and influential voices in world cinema. Over the next two weeks, we’ll bring you short essays on each film in Kurosawa’s prolific body of work, as well as in-depth essays on the style and substance of his legacy as a whole.

Edited by Robert Moore and Ian Chant and Produced by Sarah Zupko

There are few ways to overstate the importance of Akira Kurosawa to world cinema today. Kurosawa was not just a great director -- there are lots of those -- but one who helped to shape how movies are made around the world. Unapologetically blending Western filmmaking techniques with Japanese tradition, Kurosawa not only introduced the world to Japanese cinema, but made staggering contributions to the language of cinema while doing so. Ever an innovator, Kurosawa’s influence is still being felt today, and 25 years after the release of one of his crowning masterworks, Ran, PopMatters is proud to present this Director’s Spotlight on one of the most complicated, enduring and influential voices in world cinema. Over the next two weeks, we’ll bring you short essays on each film in this Kurosawa’s prolific body of work, as well as in-depth essays on the style and substance of his legacy as a whole. We hope you’ll enjoy.

-- Ian Chant

Over the Rainbow: An Interview With Herb Alpert

Music legend Herb Alpert discusses his new album, Over the Rainbow, maintaining his artistic drive, and his place in music history. "If we tried to start A&M in today's environment, we'd have no chance. I don't know if I'd get a start as a trumpet player. But I keep doing this because I'm having fun."

Jedd Beaudoin
Music

The Cigarette: A Political History (By the Book)

Sarah Milov's The Cigarette restores politics to its rightful place in the tale of tobacco's rise and fall, illustrating America's continuing battles over corporate influence, individual responsibility, collective choice, and the scope of governmental power. Enjoy this excerpt from Chapter 5. "Inventing the Nonsmoker".

Sarah Milov
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