Tag Archive: Japanese films

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: The Men Who Tread on the Tiger’s Tail (1945)

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 Men Who Tread on the Tiger’s Tail (1945) Released in 1945, The Men Who Tread on the Tiger’s Tail is a slightly comedic retelling of a traditional Kabuki play (which is itself based on a Noh play). It’s also an overlooked little delight. At just an hour long, it’s a short, tight-drama about a group of warriors trying to flee a dangerous situation. It…
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A Month of Kurosawa: Sanshiro Sugata part 2 (1945)

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! Sanshiro Sugata part 2 (1945) Sequels! One of two made by Kurosawa, and this one is like a 1940s version of the Rocky series, in which the titular character faces the brothers of the guy he defeated in the first movie. This is many ways a rehash of the first, though it does feature some rather sharp criticism on the brutality of American boxing (and the…
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A Month of Kurosawa: The Most Beautiful (1944)

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 Most Beautiful (1944) The 2nd film by Akira Kurosawa was an unlikely one, given his anti-authoritarian nature: a WWII propaganda film focused on a group of women working in a wartime factory. Here, the young women face illness, crushing deadlines, and more, but through their indomitable spirit (and with the help of a caring leader) they come to find joy in giving themselves…
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A Month of Kurosawa: Sanshiro Sugata (1943)

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! Sanshiro Sugata (1943) It’s perhaps fitting that this, Akira Kurosawa’s directorial debut, is a story about a man of immense talent being awakened to the joys of life through that talent. Sanshiro Sugata is about a competitive fighter who must overcome his impulsive, often violent nature in order to find inner peace. Kurosawa wasn’t violent, but he was passionate and driven, so there are some parallels…
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