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)

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

Godzilla Raids Again (Gojira no gyakushû)

Godzilla Raids Again (Gojira no gyakushû) Japan (1955) Dir. Motoyoshi Oda You thought Godzilla was killed at the end of the first film didn’t you? Surely you should know by now that once a film studio smells a potential franchise characters only die when the box office starts to dry up. Thus, one year after … Continue reading Godzilla Raids Again (Gojira no gyakushû)

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)

Kwaidan

Kwaidan Japan (1964) Dir. Masaki Kobayashi The J-Horror boom of the late 90’s, spearheaded by the classic Ringu introduced modern cinema fans here in the west to the long black-haired vengeful spirit and the nightmares they engendered among the Japanese populace. While this was a fairly new sensation for us in Asia this has long … Continue reading Kwaidan

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

Ikiru

  Ikiru  (trans: To Live) Japan (1952) Dir. Akira Kurosawa Kanji Watanabe (Takashi Shimura) has worked in the same public office position for thirty years, having never missed a day of work in his life. Watanabe learns he has terminal stomach cancer which hits him hard but has no-one to turn to – his wife … Continue reading Ikiru