Tag Archive: classic films

A Month of Kurosawa: High and Low (1963)

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! High and Low (1963) From the very start of his career, Akira Kurosawa was concerned with exploring the class divide, delving into the things that separates the wealthy from the poor. He had perhaps never explored this idea so nakedly as he did in High and Low, called Heaven and Hell in Japan, a film split in two just as the society it depicts…
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A Month of Kurosawa: The Hidden Fortress (1958)

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 Hidden Fortress (1958) The Hidden Fortress may be best known for being a major inspiration for Star Wars — George Lucas says the inspiration for R2-D2 and C-3PO came from this movie, but in fact he lifted much of the plot from it, too, along with characters like Obi-Wan Kenobi and Princess Leia — but focusing overmuch on that connection undersells just how…
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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: 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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