These films represented Akira Kurosawa’s ascendance to greater international acclaim, while he struggled to find financing in Japan, where the movie industry was shriveling.
There are striking differences between Kurosawa’s earlier and later films, including in the different ways people have responded to these two groups of films.
These three Kurosawa films represent the end of one phase of his career and the beginning of another. High and Low is a police procedural that is regarded as one of his greatest films, while Red Beard represented the end of his so-called “Creative Period”.
Today’s Kurosawa 101 focuses on what’s generally regarded as the greatest Japanese film ever made and perhaps the greatest in world film: Seven Samurai.
Today’s Kurosawa 101 films include the director’s only effort at bringing a contemporary Japanese stage play to the screen (the rarely seen The Quiet Duel), a police procedural that was the finest Kurosawa film to date (Stray Dog), and a scree against tabloid journalism that resulted in one of the weakest films he would ever direct (Scandal).
It’s impossible to imagine a world without Akira Kurosawa’s films. He’s one of the greatest directors in movie history, having made many first-tier masterpieces.
Over the next two weeks, we will discuss every film that Akira Kurosawa directed, from the obscure to the most celebrated, from Scandal and The Most Beautiful to Seven Samurai and Ran.