August 5, 2010 |
Long before his death in 1998 at the age of 88, Akira Kurosawa was widely regarded as the world's greatest living director and one of the most influential filmmakers of any era. His 1950 "Rashomon," a period tale in which a bandit's assault on an aristocratic woman traveling through a forest, is told from four different viewpoints, took the grand prize at Venice in 1951 and went on to win a special Oscar as the best foreign film of the year (before that...
May 13, 2010 |
Akira Kurosawa, the undeniable master of Japanese cinema, directed some of that country's seminal films, including "Throne of Blood" and "Rashomon." The American Cinematheque's Egyptian Theatre and the UCLA Film & Television Archive are celebrating the late filmmaker's centenary beginning Friday with "Ran," his 1985 samurai/Noh theater adaptation of Shakespeare's "King Lear," for which he was nominated for an Oscar for director. The film won an Academy Award for costume design.
March 5, 2010 |
They don't make them like Akira Kurosawa's magisterial "Ran" anymore, but the truth is, they didn't really make them like this regal epic back then either. Now screening for one week on the Nuart's big West Los Angeles screen in a new 35 mm print struck to mark the picture's 25th anniversary as well as the centennial of the director's birth, "Ran" reminds us what a singular gift director Kurosawa had. His films stood out from the crowd then, and they do even more so now. Inspired by Shakespeare's "King Lear" in the same way Kurosawa's "Throne of Blood" was influenced by "Macbeth," "Ran" was the rare foreign language film to not only get multiple Oscar nominations, including best director, but to actually take home a statuette (for costume design)
December 6, 2009 |
The wonder of Akira Kurosawa's 50-year career is that it was at once remarkably varied and satisfyingly coherent. Kurosawa (1910-98) elevated the samurai genre and reinvented action filmmaking. He adapted Shakespeare, Russian classics and American pulp novels. And he offered street-level portraits of tumultuous postwar Japan that ranged in mood from uplift to despair. But the constant in his films was the principle of heroism, not as a vaporous ideal but a way of life, an awareness of individual agency and personal responsibility in a world that does not always reward or even allow heroic behavior.
March 19, 2009 |
The late Japanese director Akira Kurosawa takes center stage at the American Cinematheque's Aero Theatre in a four-film tribute with "The Last Samurai: Akira Kurosawa Revisited." The festival begins tonight with 1963's "High and Low," a suspense thriller based on Ed McBain's "King's Ransom." Kurosawa's frequent collaborator Toshiro Mifune stars.
July 18, 2003 |
Kei Kumai's "The Sea Is Watching" is an exquisite period film from a script Akira Kurosawa did not live to direct. It has a softer edge than the master probably would have delivered, but it is deeply affecting and recalls the Kumai film best known in the U.S., the 1974 "Sandakan 8."