Films

Posts about movie, actors, and film in general

A Month of Kurosawa: Scandal (1950)

To celebrate the upcoming release of my book, Akira Kurosawa: A Viewer’s Guide, due out Dec. 15 from Rowman & Littlefield — preorder here! — I’ll be doing capsule reviews all month covering every single Kurosawa film and posting (very) brief excerpts. These will be short impressions and recommendations, nothing more. For a full, detailed analysis of each, grab the book! Scandal (1950) In the years immediately following the end of World War II, Akira Kurosawa found himself increasingly frustrated with the sometimes salacious turn Japan’s newly free media had taken, with too many tabloids dishing out celebrity gossip and rumors. With Scandal, he decided to confront that issue head-on. Well, until Takashi Shimura’s character began to steal the spotlight, that is. Here, an artist portrayed…
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A Month of Kurosawa: Stray Dog (1949)

To celebrate the upcoming release of my book, Akira Kurosawa: A Viewer’s Guide, due out Dec. 15 from Rowman & Littlefield — preorder here! — I’ll be doing capsule reviews all month covering every single Kurosawa film and posting (very) brief excerpts. These will be short impressions and recommendations, nothing more. For a full, detailed analysis of each, grab the book! Stray Dog (1949) “Masterpiece” is probably a word that gets thrown around a little too easily, especially when discussing movies, but it’s hard not to use the word when discussing 1949’s Stray Dog, a gritty crime noir by Akira Kurosawa that peels back the curtain on postwar Japan’s underground crime scene and presents some stark moral questions in the process. Stray Dog once again…
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A Month of Kurosawa: The Quiet Duel (1949)

To celebrate the upcoming release of my book, Akira Kurosawa: A Viewer’s Guide, due out Dec. 15 from Rowman & Littlefield — preorder here! — I’ll be doing capsule reviews all month covering every single Kurosawa film and posting (very) brief excerpts. These will be short impressions and recommendations, nothing more. For a full, detailed analysis of each, grab the book! The Quiet Duel (1949) Toshiro Mifune as a doctor stricken with a sexually-transmitted disease? Sure, why not! Kurosawa’s 1949 drama about a doctor dealing with a terrible secret doesn’t get much attention. It might be easy to blame the studio (this was the director’s first work outside the Toho system) or the lack of a strong home release version (there is no Criterion edition…
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A Month of Kurosawa: Drunken Angel (1948)

To celebrate the upcoming release of my book, Akira Kurosawa: A Viewer’s Guide, due out Dec. 15 from Rowman & Littlefield — preorder here! — I’ll be doing capsule reviews all month covering every single Kurosawa film and posting (very) brief excerpts. These will be short impressions and recommendations, nothing more. For a full, detailed analysis of each, grab the book! Drunken Angel (1948) Here’s a recipe for movie magic: Put Toshiro Mifune on screen. Pair him with Takashi Shimura. And have Akira Kurosawa direct them. Still a no-name actor, this was Mifune’s first of many roles for Kurosawa, and he came out of the gate strong. The always reliable Shimura was supposed to be the lead here, but Mifune steals so many scenes it…
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A Month of Kurosawa: One Wonderful Sunday (1947)

To celebrate the upcoming release of my book, Akira Kurosawa: A Viewer’s Guide, due out Dec. 15 from Rowman & Littlefield — preorder here! — I’ll be doing capsule reviews all month covering every single Kurosawa film and posting (very) brief excerpts. These will be short impressions and recommendations, nothing more. For a full, detailed analysis of each, grab the book! One Wonderful Sunday (1947) Released in 1947, One Wonderful Sunday follows a young couple through post-war Japan as they struggle to enjoy their life despite being destitute. They’re poor, hungry, and desperate, with little brightness ahead of them in the rough years after World War II, but they try their best to make it work. “People only realize the value of money when they’re…
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