Tag Archive: movies

A Month of Kurosawa: Yojimbo (1961)

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! Yojimbo (1961) In 1957, Miles Davis released the album Birth of the Cool (though it was actually recorded in 1949 and 1950). It was a landmark record that helped change the face of jazz to come. Akira Kurosawa’s 1961 samurai classic Yojimbo could also have been called Birth of the Cool, given that it spawned an entire genre of badasses in western flicks, led…
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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: 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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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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