Tags
Film

On Mishima, and Feeling That One Exists

Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters is a singular portrait of an artist's life lived so fiercely as to have left an indelible mark on an alienated world seeking affirmation for its own existence.

Recent
Film

Double Take: 'Yojimbo' (1961)

When the fighting gets this bad, they don't bother with coffins. Double Take takes sides on Akira Kurosawa's 1961 classic, Yojimbo.

Steve Leftridge and Steve Pick
Film

An Epochal Tragedy Transforms Into a World Cinema Masterwork in 'Throne of Blood'

By combining Macbeth with elements of traditional Japanese drama, Akira Kurosawa produced a singular, transcultural film experience.

Film

Abandoned 'Star Wars' Plot Points, Episode III: Evolution of Light and Dark

"Minch Yoda"? "Darth Wilson"? "Kane Starkiller"? "Cos Dashit"? "Jaster Mereel"? "Gary Vader"? Who are these guys that brought the Star Wars saga we know to life?

Film

A General, a Princess and Two Greedy, Dim-Witted Peasants

The Hidden Fortress is more "accessible" and "entertaining" than Rashômon, but Kurosawa's artistry is ever present.

Film

The Chilling Effect of Noh Theater on Akira Kurosawa's 'Throne of Blood'

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.

Film

The Blackened Eyes of the Movie Men With No Name

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.

William Gibson
Reviews

The Western World's Introduction to Japanese Cinema: 'Rashomon'

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.

Reviews

'High and Low': This Is Not Your Typical Mindless Rich Guy

Akira Kurosawa makes a daring attempt to tell an epic story of rich businessmen, determined cops, and the low-end criminals and drug addicts struggling to survive.

Film

The 100 Essential Directors Part 5: Derek Jarman to Mike Leigh

Mid-way through our series, Day 5 is a glorious mishmash of international auteurist cinema. Today we go from saints and sinners, from Brookyln to Britain, from the beginning of time to the Dystopian future, and around the world and beyond.

Film

Comparing Akira Kurosawa’s Early and Late Films

There are some striking differences not only between the earlier films of Kurosawa and the later films, but in the very different ways that people have responded to these two different groups of films

Film

Kurosawa 101: Day Ten, 1991 - 1993

Today we bring to an end our examination of each of the films of Kurosawa directed in his amazing career. After the ambitious epic Ran, Kurosawa embarked a three smaller but more personal films.

Film

The Individual As Institution: Power, Loss and Madness in Kurosawa's Ran and Shakespeare's King Lear

By identifying Lear with the ancient Japanese warlord Hidetora, whose violations emerge from a breach of publicly identified self-hood, Akira Kurosawa plays with the quintessentially Shakespearean focus on individual personality.

Nathan Pensky
Film

Kurosawa 101: Day Nine, 1975 - 1985

The three films featured today represented the director's ascendance to greater international acclaim, even while he struggled to find financing in Japan, where the movie industry was shriveling. All three of these films were made either in whole or in part by Soviet, American, or French financing.

Film

Monster Dandelions and Weeping Demons

In the early 1990s, The Hollywood Reporter picked up on an emerging ‘trend’ of what it called cinema vert -- films about ‘green issues’. Kurosawa’s Dreams, though not financed by the American studio system, fits well in this cohort, albeit as the most formally distinct example of this miniature film movement.

James Clarke
Film

Kurosawa 101: Day Eight, 1963 - 1970

These three films by Kurosawa 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".

Film

Madness and Goodness in 'Dodeskaden'

Rather than portray Dodeskaden as many have done, as the imperfect film whose failure pushed Kurosawa over the edge to a suicide attempt, one could see it instead as a cri de coeur by Kurosawa for the sort of independent production that he favored, in which the director had his freedom, both to film the way he wanted and also the freedom of the final cut.

Daniel O'Connell
Film

Kurosawa 101: Day Seven, 1960 - 1962

Today's Kurosawa 101 reviews cover three of his most popular and accessible films Yojimbo and Sanjuro, as well as arguably his most earnest, The Bad Sleep Well.

Film

Defining the Most Beautiful: Women in the Films of Kurosawa, 1940-1970

Kurosawa walked a fine line in his treatment and portrayal of women in his films, and he didn’t always walk it without stumbling.

Sarah Anne Lloyd
Film

Kurosawa 101: Day Six, 1955 - 1958

After creating two masterpieces in Ikiru and Seven Samurai, Kurosawa put his genius on display on three more brilliant films that were unlike anything he had previously done.

Film

The Brush and the Lens: Kurosawa As Painter and Filmmaker

As a painter and filmmaker, Kurosawa stuck to his own style, informed heavily by traditional Japanese painting as well as European impressionists and expressionists, another arena of art where he answered to both Eastern and Western influences.

Film

Kurosawa 101: Day Five, 'Seven Samurai' (1954)

Today's Kurosawa 101 focuses exclusively on what is generally regarded as not only the greatest Japanese film ever made, but perhaps the greatest in world cinema.

Film

Kurosawa 101: Day Four, 1950 - 1952

Today's Kurosawa 101 explores two of the greatest films in Kurosawa's catalog, Rashomon -- the film that made Kurosawa and Japanese cinema known throughout the world -- and Ikiru -- perhaps the greatest film ever made about impending death.

Film

Wide-Screen, Big Ideas: The Wide-Screen Cinema of Akira Kurosawa

After eschewing innovations like color and wide-screen filmmaking, when Akira Kurosawa made the conversion to a wider screen, he did so by making six consecutive films in wide screen, with a degree of success that was as resounding as it was influential.

Fred Shimizu
Film

Kurosawa 101: Day Three (1949 - 1950)

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).

Film

West By East By West: The Influence of Kurosawa on the West and Vice Versa

Through his influences and achievements, Kurosawa became one of the first true international filmmakers, inspiring several generations of filmmakers who would explore notions of genre and identity in film.

Dave Charpentier
Film

Textbook on Film: The Political As Personal in the Films of Kurosawa

Kurosawa's films often act as deliberate examinations of the period in which they took place, exploring not only the difficult realities that existed, but also the personal ordeals of the individuals that had to confront within them.

Miguel Douglas
Film

A Giant Shadow: The Continuing Influence of Akira Kurosawa on World Cinema

Today it is impossible to imagine a world without the films of Akira Kurosawa. He is easily regarded as one of the very greatest directors in the history of film, having made a host of first tier masterpieces.

Film

Kurosawa 101: Day One, 1943-1945

Over the next two weeks we will provide a brief introduction to every one of the films that Akira Kurosawa directed, from the obscure to the most celebrated, from Scandal and The Most Beautiful to Seven Samurai and Ran.

Reviews

Akira Kurosawa: Master of Cinema by Peter Cowie

This lavishly illustrated, fascinating examination of Akira Kurosawa's work leaves tantalizing mysteries unsolved about the darker influences that affected his life.

Film

AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa

AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa, The Criterion Collection [$399.00]

Film

Eclipse Series 17: Nikkatsu Noir

These five films from the golden-era of the legendary Nikkatsu studio shows off the never-ending ways Japanese filmmakers were able to combine the best elements of pulp and epic Japanese storytelling.

Reviews

Throne of Blood

In Throne of Blood, Ambition appears as something outside of the human character that preys upon pride and contributes to the demise of the prideful.

Reviews

Dodes'ka-Den

Kurosawa’s camera turns an intense, voyeuristic gaze on the residents of the junkyard that is at once sympathetic and unflinching.

Ian Chant
Reviews

Ikiru

The story is deeply affecting and life-affirming, but the plot is only a small part of what makes Ikiru so masterful.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.