best kurosawa films

Akira Kurosawa (23 March 1910 — 6 September 1998) is one of Japanese cinema’s few household names in the west, due to such groundbreaking jidaigeki period action films as Seven Samurai (1954), The Hidden Fortress (1958) and Kagemusha (1980). The film also lent its name to the Rashomon Effect, which refers to contradictory descriptions of the same events given by different people. With its accumulated wide-shots of threatening ranks of horsemen clutching banners assembled on distant hilltops and a standout scene in which overthrown warlord Hidetora wanders in a confused daze from the apocalyptic conflagration of his besieged castle, every image is so meticulously composed, every scene so perfectly constructed, as to provide the kind of satori moments of transcendent stupefaction all but lost in the CG age. Kurosawa’s oeuvre is not particularly regarded for its focus on sympathetic female characters, but the central turn by Setsuko Hara (better known for her work with Yasujiro Ozu) in his fifth feature (and first of the postwar period) showcases another side to the director, and also counts as his most overtly political work. Possessing a similar synthesis of psychological tension and austere formal elegance to its more claustrophobic companion piece, Throne of Blood, it is even bigger and bolder in ambition. A stylistic similarity between the two films is the way in which Kurosawa transitions from one shot to the next using a wipe, something that George Lucas would emulate a little under two decades later. Kurosawa entered the Japanese film industry in 1936, following a brief stint as a painter. Although the script uses not a single line from its source, Kurosawa’s celebrated transplantation of Macbeth to the lawless realm of 16th-century Japan counts among the finest screen adaptations of Shakespeare ever realised, a faithful rendition of the story that works perfectly within its own historical context. Explore the history of film in list form. 248. June 30, 2020. Hugely influenced by the Hollywood films of John Ford, as well as by Shakespeare, he made films about characters and situations that audiences in the West easily recognized. Ironically, that foreign language was Russian, and the country Kurosawa was representing was the Soviet Union. Released in 1954, the same fateful year as another one of the most well-known Japanese movies — the original Godzilla — Seven Samurai is the Kurosawa film that usually garners the most votes as his best. Seven Samurai: The rocky road to classic status of Akira Kurosawa’s action masterpiece, Down the Bunka: Japanese underground cinema of the 1960s, Top trumps: the giants of Japan’s monster movies, Born: 23 March 1910, Omori, TokyoDied: 6 September 1998, Tokyo. Akira Kurosawa (1910-98) was the director who first brought international attention to Japanese cinema. BFI Japan 2020: Over 100 Years of Japanese Cinema, Watch No Regrets for Our Youth online on BFI Player, Watch Throne of Blood online on BFI Player. The masterful atmospheric cinematography of Kazuo Miyagawa, and the late-10th-century Heian period setting adds to the haunting, purgatorial ambience. His inability to secure funds for another film in Japan prompted this overseas shift, and the result is a magical tapestry of a world seldom seen by outsiders. The austere staging and performances, drawing upon traditional Noh theatre, lend an appropriate note of theatricality to proceedings, blurring the gap between the real and the supernatural, while Kurosawa surpasses even himself with the quite jaw-dropping climax as Washizu’s violent misdeeds catch up with him. This postwar drama, made during the American occupation of Japan, and therefore subject to strict censorship regulations, marked the first in a long series of collaborations between Kurosawa and the actor Toshiro Mifune. Kurosawa transports Shakespeare’s Macbeth to feudal Japan in this masterly movie, which features a mesmerising performance by Toshiro Mifune. There is nothing subpar within this large and varied body of work, and I’ve omitted many a worthy title in the aim of giving a fuller picture of the fruits of an incredible six-decade filmmaking career. The film is best remembered for the striking scene in which Mifune’s character, Macbeth’s equivalent, meets his death in a hail of arrows. Kurosawa limited himself to one title per director, giving a unique perspective on the best world directors and his personal favorites. Registered charity 287780. This in itself is reflected in the ease by which they’ve in turn established an action template so readily adapted by filmmakers from all over the world. a list of 30 titles The Best 20 Films of the Noughties (2000-2009). Inspired by several real-life incidents, No Regrets for Our Youth is an intelligent and balanced drama about wavering ideologies and personal allegiances set between 1933-46, the years of imperial Japan’s increasing militarisation through to its wartime defeat. The first serious phase of the director’s career came during the postwar era … In movies like Seven Samurai and High and Low, director Akira Kurosawa took the cinematic language of Hollywood and improved on it, creating a vigorous, muscular method of visual storytelling that became a stylistic playbook for the likes of Martin Scorsese, George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola. Here Mifune plays a gangster who contracts tuberculosis and develops a bond with the hard-drinking doctor who diagnosed him. ... Best Films of 2010! Akira Kurosawa redefined the action film with his samurai epics set in Japan’s medieval past. It's one of the most unique stories ever in cinema; it also contributed much to action movies and film techniques including the masterful use of rain during an epic battle or action sequence among many others. First of all, it emerged through what might’ve been the single most frustrating shoot of the director’s career. He is still considered to be one of the greatest Japanese filmmakers in history and he is beloved worldwide. Kurosawa’s most famous film concerns a village under attack from a group of bandits. Much like Throne of Blood, it takes Shakespeare to medieval Japan in spectacularly extravagant fashion. We took all of the movies directed by Akira Kurosawa and looked at his Rotten Tomato Critic, Rotten Tomato User, IMDB, and Letterboxd scores, ranking them against one another to see which movies came out on top. Introduction Akira Kurosawa, a man who would have turned one hundred years old in September 1998, will always be considered as one of the influential moviemakers in cinema history. The final sequence is as fitting a coda to the astounding career of this legendary filmmaker as one could ever wish for. This three-hour tale of social inequality and existential angst was the last of the 16 films in which Kurosawa and Mifune worked together. Japanese horror movies got a big leg-up in the 1950s and 1960s with Ugetsu and Kwaidan , before spinning heads over time with transgressive cult works ( Tetsuo: The Ironman ), comedic takes ( Hausu , One Cut of the Dead ), and crossover hits ( … Set during the civil war of the late-16th-century Warring States period, Kurosawa’s massively influential magnum opus depicts a group of masterless samurai recruited by a farming community to fend off frequent raids by a gang of bandits. With a running time of over 200 minutes, Kurosawa’s first samurai film is a quintessential action film, and it exerted enormous influence on both Japanese cinema and Hollywood, most notably in the 1960 Western remake The Magnificent Seven. Combining two short stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa, its script also broke the mould of conventional cinema plotting, introducing the concept of the unreliable narrator in its contradictory accounts of the rape of a samurai’s wife as relayed by the key suspects and witnesses to the crime, including one testimony delivered from the murdered samurai himself by a medium. “Master of horror” is not traditionally an accolade recognised by the world’s leading film competitions, but for Kiyoshi Kurosawa, it’s proved something of a boon. The villagers decide to hire seven wandering samurai to defeat the thugs before they can steal their crops. Drunken Angel also began a string of collaborations between Kurosawa and composer Fumio Hayasaka, who would later go on to work with Kurosawa’s eminent peer Kenji Mizoguchi. The most celebrated Japanese filmmaker of all time, Akira Kurosawa produced a staggering body of work that stands as a monument of artistic achievement. Seven Samurai (1954)was Akira Kurosawa at his finest. All 30 Akira Kurosawa Movies Ranked From Worst To Best. “What are Akira Kurosawa’s Best Movies?” We looked at all of Kurosawa’s directed filmography and ranked them against one another to answer that very question! The film portrays her relationships over the years with two of his former students, both rival for her affections, and her love affair and ensuing marriage to one of them, who is arrested for his anti-government activities and subsequently disappears from public view. Kagemusha is one of Kurosawa’s most historically interesting films, for a number of reasons. It worked out. Kurosawa directed this masterpiece at the lowest point of his career in Japan, a situation that was mainly down to the commercial failure of his previous film, Dodesukaden, which was completed a full five years before Dersu Uzala. Very loosely inspired by Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan Ilyich, Ikiru is one of Kurosawa’s most emotionally resonant films, one that leads the audience to contemplate life and legacy in a very subtle and poignant manner. Winner of the best director award at the Venice Film Festival 2020 for his period espionage drama Wife of a Spy, Kurosawa was known initially as a proponent of the horror genre, his first films coinciding with the turn of the millennium wave of J-horror. All rights reserved. Top 10 Akira Kurosawa Films. Along with Tarkovsky, I consider Kurosawa the greatest of all filmmakers. The Top 20 Movies Directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa; The Best Horror Movies Of the 1980s; The Best Science Fiction Movies of 1977; The Best Comedy Movies Of the 2000s; The Most Recently Released Movies; The Most Recently Added Movies; Movies by Decade … 3 Best Films of Akira Kurosawa. With 30 titles to his name as a director since his 1943 debut Sanshiro Sugata (and many more as a screenwriter), distilling Kurosawa’s must-see titles into a tidy top 10 list is something of a fools errand. The relatively modest 110-minute runtime makes this (and its shorter 1962 follow-up Sanjuro) a more accessible entry point into Kurosawa’s oeuvre than his more grandiose swords-and-samurai sagas. Akira Kurosawa (23 March 1910 — 6 September 1998) is one of Japanese cinema’s few household names in the west, due to such groundbreaking jidaigeki period action films as Seven Samurai (1954), The Hidden Fortress (1958) and Kagemusha (1980). Deemed Kurosawa’s greatest film by Roger Ebert, Ikiru (the Japanese verb for to live) is a devastatingly powerful meditation on one man’s life and his search for meaning. Its title translates literally as ‘Spider’s Web Castle’, and the gothic setting of a deserted castle filled with dark shadows and swathed in fog forms the perfect frame for Mifune’s tortured turn as Washizu, the samurai usurper haunted by past crimes. One of the most beautiful anti-war films ever made, Renoir’s 1937 work is a powerful lamentation aimed at the death of the European aristocracy. The film was widely acclaimed domestically, winning the Blue Ribbon Award, Kinema Junpo Award, and Mainichi Film Award for best film. A loose adaptation of Ed McBain’s King’s Ransom, this tense police procedural drama focuses on the kidnapping of a successful businessman’s son, all within the broader context of a society that was rapidly becoming more affluent and seeing an increasingly pronounced wealth gap. Kurosawa had famously extended production costs, along with the timeline Toho Studios had wanted him to adhere to. The following is a list of works, both in film and other media, for which the Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa made some documented creative contribution. The film that launched Kurosawa’s name outside his homeland (and those of its stars Toshiro Mifune and Machiko Kyo), Rashomon’s Golden Lion Award at Venice in 1951 awakened a postwar generation of international festival and arthouse audiences to the manifold pleasures of Japanese cinema. The story stars two humorous bumbling peasants who find themselves caught up in a major conflict involving a princess and rival warring factions, which makes you think of how R2-D2 and C-3PO got unwittingly mixed up in an epic battle between good and evil. With the financial and critical failure of Dodes’ka-den, a portrait of the grimy denizens of a shantytown on the outskirts of Tokyo, an attempted suicide threatened to put an end to Kurosawa’s career. Akira Kurosawa, the legendary Japanese director, was born 100 years ago today. The Men Who Tread on the Tiger’s Tail. It incorporates numerous elements of Japanese Noh Theatre, which dates back to the 14th century. How many have you seen? Fortunately an invitation from the Soviet Union’s Mosfilm to helm this Siberia-set 70mm adaptation of explorer Captain Vladimir Arsenyev’s 1923 autobiography put him firmly back on the international map. The main character of Ikiru (which means ‘to live’), played by the long-standing Kurosawa mainstay Takashi Shimura, is a terminally ill bureaucrat who attempts to find a meaning and purpose to life before he passes away. To Worst on Shakespeare ’ s Tail the third highest-grossing release in Japan for that firmly! Characters, Kurosawa demonstrates the care and compassion that should be shown to all humans, regardless social! Samurai to defeat the thugs before they can steal their crops is controversially removed from his post for his beliefs! Had made before, offering a feast for the eyes Idiot is an adaptation of a novel! 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