Director Spotlight Akira Kurosawa

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 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. We hope you enjoy it. — Ian Chant

Akira Kurosawa Films 101: 1949 – 1950

Akira Kurosawa Films 101: 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).

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