Films

Posts about movie, actors, and film in general

A Month of Kurosawa: The Lower Depths (1957)

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 Lower Depths (1957) Kurosawa’s interest in exploring the plight of the underclasses did not end when his exploration of postwar Japan ended, nor did his interest in western literature ever wane. The Lower Depths, an adaption of the stage play by Maxim Gorky, combines those ideas into one compact film — and it’s a great one. The Lower Depths looks at the lives…
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A Month of Kurosawa: Throne of Blood (1957)

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! Throne of Blood (1957) In the 1940s and 1950s, director Alfred Hitchcock went on one of the greatest creative tears in cinema history. Between 1940’s Rebecca to 1960’s Psycho, he directed anywhere from 10 to a dozen bona fide classics and another half-dozen immensely enjoyable suspense films. Few directors, if any, have ever had a run so good (and it doesn’t even include 1938’s…
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A Month of Kurosawa: I Live in Fear (1955)

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! I Live in Fear (1955) aka Record of a Living Being How do you follow one of the greatest epics of all time, Seven Samurai? You don’t. Or rather, you try something completely different. Following the gigantic undertaking that was Seven Samurai, Akira Kurosawa aimed for something a little smaller: a meditation on fear of the atomic bomb. Starring Toshiro Mifune as an old…
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A Month of Kurosawa: Seven Samurai (1954)

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! Seven Samurai (1954) I have a weakness for epics. When I see that a movie has an absurdly long run time, I find myself instantly intrigued. I’m not sure why. It’s not as if run time is a sign of quality. For every Lawrence of Arabia or Once Upon a Time in America, there are two dozen bloated “epics” that would have been far…
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A Month of Kurosawa: Ikiru (1952)

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! Ikiru (1952) If there is a film that made me want to write Akira Kurosawa: A Viewer’s Guide, it might be Ikiru. When I first saw the movie about 15 years ago, it was damn near a life-changing experience. It’s also the reason why Takashi Shimura is my favorite of Kurosawa’s regular players — yes, even above the beloved Toshiro Mifune. Ikiru, roughly translating…
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