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Akira Kurosawa

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ENTERTAINMENT
December 6, 2009 | By Dennis Lim
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.
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ENTERTAINMENT
March 13, 2014 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
The great filmmaker Akira Kurosawa was known as the Japanese director whose sensibility resonated most with moviegoers in the West. Now, the Criterion Collection has released dual-format discs of two of his best films, both starring Toshiro Mifune and each with a very specific relationship to Western culture. "Throne of Blood," the better known of the two, features Mifune as an ambitious warlord with a ruthless wife. If that sounds familiar, it's because director Kurosawa based his story on Shakespeare's "Macbeth.
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NEWS
April 11, 1991 | MARK CHALON SMITH, Mark Chalon Smith is a free-lance writer who regularly covers film for The Times Orange County Edition.
Akira Kurosawa must have been in a spry mood when making "Yojimbo." His 1961 samurai movie (in Japan, it's called a chambara ) both celebrates and teases the American Westerns he admired. It's Kurosawa's respect for the genre that allows the humor to be so sly. This great director takes the conventions of the Western (especially those so closely linked to the chambara ) and toys with them, all the while keeping the action taut and the requisite violence free-flowing.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 5, 2010
The Centennial Celebration: The Films of Akira Kurosawa, Part II When: Friday-Aug. 29 Where: Billy Wilder Theater at the Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. Programming information: (310) 206-3456; http://www.cinema.ucla.edu.
NEWS
September 6, 1998 | MYRNA OLIVER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Akira Kurosawa, widely regarded as the world's greatest living film director when he received an honorary Academy Award for lifetime achievement in 1990, died Saturday night at home in Tokyo. He was 88. Kurosawa's classics included "Rashomon" and "The Seven Samurai." Although his films were routinely described by critics and scholars alike as making a "profoundly humanistic statement," Kurosawa remained modest about his work throughout his life.
NEWS
May 6, 1990 | Kevin Thomas
THRONE OF BLOOD Akira Kurosawa's stunning, highly stylized 1957 reworking of "Macbeth" as a Noh play, with Toshiro Mifune and Isuzu Yamada. A film classic shot in glorious black and white. Sunday at 7 p.m. TNT HAIRSPRAY John Waters' deliriously fast and funny 1988 satire of the U60s combines nostalgic spoof with a social consciousness that's as unexpected as it is smashingly effective.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 19, 2009 | Susan King
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 24, 1990 | KEVIN THOMAS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
"Akira Kurosawa's Dreams" (AMC Century 14 and Beverly Center Cineplex) contains some of the most beautiful images ever conceived by the man who is widely regarded as the world's greatest living director--and it also has a couple of the most ponderous moments of any of his 28 films. Even so, what works far outweighs what doesn't, and this picture is an event for film lovers.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 26, 1990 | KEVIN THOMAS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The man widely regarded as the world's greatest living film director was in a jovial mood as he sat in his Beverly Hills hotel suite Friday morning. Akira Kurosawa, who tonight receives an honorary Oscar for his lifetime achievement, didn't seem to mind that he had a full day of work ahead on what happened to be his 80th birthday.
NEWS
November 28, 2002 | Kevin Thomas, Times Staff Writer
AKIRA Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune were arguably the greatest director-star team in the history of the movies. Between 1948 and 1965, they made 16 films that put Japanese cinema on the international map, and established Kurosawa as an all-time great filmmaker and Mifune as Japan's greatest international star, never equaled to this day. The Nuart will present fresh 35-millimeter prints of a dozen of their films Friday through Dec.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 5, 2010 | By Kevin Thomas, Special to the Los Angeles Times
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...
ENTERTAINMENT
May 13, 2010 | By Susan King, Los Angeles Times
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 5, 2010 | By KENNETH TURAN, Film Critic
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)
ENTERTAINMENT
December 6, 2009 | By Dennis Lim
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 19, 2009 | Susan King
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 18, 2003 | Kevin Thomas, Times Staff Writer
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."
ENTERTAINMENT
August 26, 1990 | JIM BAILEY
A one-horned demon weeps over man's destruction of nature. A little boy spies on a wedding procession of foxes moving through the forest. A young man steps into a van Gogh painting and meets the artist. Mt. Fuji is consumed by the flames from a nuclear power plant accident. "Shooting," says 80-year-old director Akira Kurosawa, "can be such a hassle."
ENTERTAINMENT
May 13, 1991 | JACK MATHEWS
If the camera crews that followed pop singer Madonna on her Blonde Ambition tour had been with her Saturday afternoon, they would have gotten great footage for a sequel to her new documentary, "Truth or Dare." A source close to Madonna said that when she arrived in Nice, French customs officials, acting on a tip that she would have drugs with her, held the star up for an hour-and-a-half while she was searched. "It's ridiculous because everybody knows Madonna doesn't do drugs," the source said.
NEWS
November 28, 2002 | Kevin Thomas, Times Staff Writer
AKIRA Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune were arguably the greatest director-star team in the history of the movies. Between 1948 and 1965, they made 16 films that put Japanese cinema on the international map, and established Kurosawa as an all-time great filmmaker and Mifune as Japan's greatest international star, never equaled to this day. The Nuart will present fresh 35-millimeter prints of a dozen of their films Friday through Dec.
BOOKS
July 28, 2002
To the editor: After reading Richard Schickel's review of my joint biography of Akira Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune, "The Emperor and the Wolf" (Book Review, July 14), I have to ask the question: Did he even bother to read it? The review suggests very strongly that no, he did not. He criticizes it for not being a more speculative, interpretive biography, but I point out quite clearly my approach in the book's introduction. He accuses me of being a "mad fact collector." (I find this statement singularly peculiar; most readers of biographies, one would hope, prefer facts to rumor and innuendo.
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