Tag Archive: film

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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A Month of Kurosawa: The Idiot (1951)

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 Idiot (1951) Following Rashomon, Akira Kurosawa tackled something quite different: a faithful adaptation of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Idiot. Much like the book, it’s a sprawling, sometimes glacial affair focused on a complex web of interpersonal relationships. His initial cut came in at an imposing four and a half hours. At the behest of the studio he cut it down to three hours, then a…
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A Month of Kurosawa: Rashomon (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! Rashomon (1950) Reams upon reams have been written about Rashomon. It’s likely to be among the two or three Kurosawa films even casual film viewers have seen, or at least heard of, so for this capsule review series I won’t talk about it at length. I do in the book — it’s among the longest chapters — but when it comes to giving a…
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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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