Tag Archive: classic films

A Month of Kurosawa: Ran (1985)

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! Ran (1985) Ran is a masterpiece, one of the greatest films of all time, and you should do everything in your power to see it right away. That really could be the sum total of this capsule review, because it’s true, and if I start talking about what makes this film so great I’ll either start to gush or will end up writing a…
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A Month of Kurosawa: Kagemusha (1980)

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! Kagemusha (1980) The supposed return to form for Akira Kurosawa that Kagemusha represents is a bit unfair to the works that came before it, such as the greatly overlooked Dersu Uzala, but that’s a rant for another time, I suppose. Kagemusha’s story is well known almost as much for what isn’t on the screen as for what is, thanks to funding for the film…
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A Month of Kurosawa: Dersu Uzala (1975)

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! Dersu Uzala (1975) During a period in his career when Kurosawa had fallen out of favor and was no longer the influential icon he once was, he found himself deep in the Soviet Union making a film about nature, survival, civilization, and friendship. That film was Dersu Uzala, based on the autobiographical book of the same name by Vladimir Arsenyev. It’s also one of his…
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A Month of Kurosawa: Dodes’ka-Den (1970)

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! Dodes’ka-Den (1970) By the late 1960s, Akira Kurosawa’s career had somewhat skidded off the rails. The situation is too complex with these quickie capsule reviews, but the bottom line is that Toshiro Mifune was out of the picture, Kurosawa was increasingly seen as behind the times, and the director struggled to get funding for his films. That’s the situation in which he made Dodes’ka-Den,…
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A Month of Kurosawa: Red Beard (1965)

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! Red Beard (1965) There has perhaps never been a film partnership as fruitful as the one between Akira Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune. They made a string of classics together, helping launch one another into international stardom and into the annals of film history. But due to a personal falling out, Red Beard would be their last film together. Though not beloved by critics, I…
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