The Silent Duel (Shizukanaru kettô)

The Silent Duel (Shizukanaru kettô) Japan (1949) Dir. Akira Kurosawa Although many might not like to think it, we do tend to take our doctors and nurses for granted, entrusting our health, wellbeing, and lives to them and expect them to drop everything for us. But who looks after them when they are ill? And … Continue reading The Silent Duel (Shizukanaru kettô)

Scandal (Shubun)

Scandal (Shubun) Japan (1950) Dir. Akira Kurosawa Celebrities have never had a great relationship with the press, for better or worse. The public rely on the media to inform them in an impartial manner and hold the corrupt and venal to account for their actions with some impunity from state censure. Unfortunately, the media appears … Continue reading Scandal (Shubun)

The Bad Sleep Well (Warui yatsu hodo yoku nemuru)

The Bad Sleep Well (Warui yatsu hodo yoku nemuru) Japan (1960) Dir. Akira Kurosawa Revenge is a dish best served cold as the saying goes - unless that method of payback is a red-hot poker up the jacksy! But I digress. The intelligence behind a clever plot to bring someone down also requires ruthlessness to … Continue reading The Bad Sleep Well (Warui yatsu hodo yoku nemuru)

Early Kurosawa Part 2

Early Kurosawa Part 2 Japan (1943-45) Dir. Akira Kurosawa This is the second disc (well, the first disc actually but I was sent them in reverse order) of the Early Kurosawa set from BFI, meaning another two-for-one review! This time we go right back to the very beginning with the first feature film directed by … Continue reading Early Kurosawa Part 2

Early Kurosawa Part 1

Early Kurosawa Part 1 Japan (1944-45) Dir. Akira Kurosawa A slightly different review this time as we offer a two-for-the-price-of-one appraisal of the early films of one of the world’s most celebrated directors, Akira Kurosawa, courtesy of this four-disc collection from BFI. First up is The Most Beautiful (Ichiban utsukushiku) from 1944, which was Kurosawa’s … Continue reading Early Kurosawa Part 1

Red Beard (Akahige)

Red Beard (Akahige) Japan (1965) Dir. Akira Kurosawa Talk about misleading titles; I was expecting this to be a film about a pirate or maybe a savage samurai since this is a Kurosawa/Mifune collaboration. Instead, the eponymous character of this near three-hour epic is in fact a dedicated country doctor in Edo era Japan - … Continue reading Red Beard (Akahige)

Drunken Angel (Yoidore tenshi)

Drunken Angel (Yoidore tenshi) Japan (1948) Dr. Akira Kurosawa Every story has a beginning and in the case of the fabled and very profitable relationship between director Akira Kurosawa and actor Toshiro Mifune, that beginning is here. So, if the trivia question “What was their first collaboration together?” ever rises, you now have your answer … Continue reading Drunken Angel (Yoidore tenshi)

High And Low (Tengoku to jigoku)

High And Low (Tengoku to jigoku) Japan (1963) Dir. Akira Kurosawa With this reputation for samurai flicks and historical epics it is easy to forget that Akira Kurosawa also made some top notch modern day set dramas too. High And Low is a taut crime thriller, a rare genre in Kurosawa’s canon, based on the … Continue reading High And Low (Tengoku to jigoku)

Ran

Ran Japan (1985) Dir. Akira Kurosawa For his last major epic film, legendary Japanese director Akira Kurosawa turns to Shakespeare’s King Lear for inspiration in a tale which some scholars say was also somewhat autobiographical. In feudal Japan, Lord Hidetora Ichimonji (Tatsuya Nakadai) announces on the eve of his 70th birthday that he would abdicate … Continue reading Ran

Rashomon

Rashomon Japan (1950) Dir. Akira Kurosawa Following on from watching the Hollywood adaptation of this film The Outrage, it was only fair I give the original a rewatch to ensure the comments concerning the various comparisons and differences were just and accurate. There seems little point in fully recapping the plot in lieu of how … Continue reading Rashomon