Akira Kurosawa (with poll)

Which director made the best films, made the best visuals, or smelled the best? This is the forum to find out.

Breaking Saucyminx's Kurosawa Cherry...

Drunken Angel
0
No votes
Stray Dog
0
No votes
Rashomon
3
20%
The Idiot
0
No votes
Ikiru
1
7%
The Seven Samurai
4
27%
Throne of Blood
2
13%
The Hidden Fortress
0
No votes
The Bad Sleep Well
1
7%
Sanjuro
1
7%
High and Low
1
7%
Red Beard
0
No votes
Kagemusha
0
No votes
Ran
1
7%
Dreams
1
7%
Dersu Uzala
0
No votes
Yojimbo
0
No votes
 
Total votes : 15

Postby HollywoodBabylon on Sun Jun 04, 2006 3:25 pm

I'd go for Rashomon first, then take your pick from these masterworks:
Ikiru
Throne Of Blood
Dersu Uzala
Kagemusha
Yoijimbo
Ran

And if you're not a fan after that, oh well............
Last edited by HollywoodBabylon on Sun Jun 04, 2006 3:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby tapehead on Sun Jun 04, 2006 3:26 pm

I don't think it's his best film, but a good place to start - I suppose if the minx has seen her share of westerns then 'Seven Samurai' would do it, and then Yojimbo, particularly if she's seen a certain 'Last Man Standing' (which Kikushima and Kurosawa actually get a screenplay or story credit for)
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Postby saucyminx on Sun Jun 04, 2006 3:30 pm

I wish there's a shifty smiley available as a response to that picture. :oops:

I read somewhere that the Seven Samurai inspired the Magnificent Seven.
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Postby AtomicHyperbole on Sun Jun 04, 2006 3:31 pm

Throne of Bloood is Hamlet, right? Could be a good start course.
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Postby tapehead on Sun Jun 04, 2006 3:34 pm

AtomicHyperbole wrote:Throne of Bloood is Hamlet, right? Could be a good start course.


actually it's Macbeth, but you make a good point - I found Ran an easier scenario to follow as a teen
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Postby AtomicHyperbole on Sun Jun 04, 2006 3:36 pm

Is it? ACK! I should really know that.

*blushes*
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Postby Chairman Kaga on Sun Jun 04, 2006 3:36 pm

saucyminx wrote:I wish there's a shifty smiley available as a response to that picture. :oops:

I read somewhere that the Seven Samurai inspired the Magnificent Seven.

Yes and A Bugs Life as well.
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Postby MasterWhedon on Sun Jun 04, 2006 3:39 pm

AtomicHyperbole wrote:Image

...Grande Rojo's fiance?
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Postby AtomicHyperbole on Sun Jun 04, 2006 3:42 pm

Much more beautiful.

Note to self - B4NN3D!
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Postby Chairman Kaga on Sun Jun 04, 2006 3:46 pm

MasterWhedon wrote:
saucyminx wrote:I read somewhere that the Seven Samurai inspired the Magnificent Seven.

Was it HERE, perhaps?

AtomicHyperbole wrote:Image

...Grande Rojo's fiance?


Thanks now everyone in here will think I am an argumentative jerk...:P
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Postby tapehead on Sun Jun 04, 2006 3:47 pm

no.... there has been an argumentative jerk in that thread, but they haven't stopped by here yet.
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Postby cinephile2000 on Sun Jun 04, 2006 3:53 pm

I recomend Sanjuro its a companion to Yojimbo but more actiony. It kept my ADD aattention the best. Its the lightest of the movies of his I have seen. Kagemusha though is pure beauty.
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Postby AtomicHyperbole on Sun Jun 04, 2006 3:55 pm

WE NEED A POLL!
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Postby saucyminx on Sun Jun 04, 2006 3:57 pm

tapehead wrote:no.... there has been an argumentative jerk in that thread, but they haven't stopped by here yet.


No argumentative jerk allowed in this thread. Period. Full stop. Or The Minx throws a tantrum.
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Postby tapehead on Sun Jun 04, 2006 3:59 pm

hey it's your party, you can cry if you want to
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Sun Jun 04, 2006 4:06 pm

AtomicHyperbole wrote:WE NEED A POLL!


done.
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Postby AtomicHyperbole on Sun Jun 04, 2006 4:06 pm

KC, you're a fucking star. Cheers!
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Sun Jun 04, 2006 4:10 pm

tapehead wrote:no.... there has been an argumentative jerk in that thread, but they haven't stopped by here yet.


my ears are burning...

anyway, one thing to pay attention to with Kurosawa as an auteur extroadinaire is to watch for when he moves the camera...generally only on actors movements. Neat little bit of intel I gleaned reading some interview he did...
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Postby cinephile2000 on Sun Jun 04, 2006 4:13 pm

Jesh there are a lot of his films I still need to see. Where can you get Throne of Blood cause I've only seen it once at a rental shop in Austin.
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Sun Jun 04, 2006 4:13 pm

and yeah, I voted for High and Low.

Best. Police. Procedural. EVAR!
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Postby Seppuku on Sun Jun 04, 2006 4:20 pm

Keepcoolbutcare wrote:
tapehead wrote:no.... there has been an argumentative jerk in that thread, but they haven't stopped by here yet.


my ears are burning...

anyway, one thing to pay attention to with Kurosawa as an auteur extroadinaire is to watch for when he moves the camera...generally only on actors movements. Neat little bit of intel I gleaned reading some interview he did...


And then there's that shot he invented, later used on movies like Beverly Hills Cop, where the camera strafes along the outside of a building, while the character walks through it (or up the stairs).

If you ask me though, the guy's King Hack, ripping off all those 20s Westerns and pretending his movies are like unearthed cinema veritè from the 1700s. Brett Ratner on the other hand is swoon-worthy.
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Postby Carolian on Sun Jun 04, 2006 4:26 pm

When I decided to "break my Kurosawa cherry", as it were (I think I posted a thread about it, but I don't rven remember at this point), I rented three of 'em--Ran, Throne of Blood, and Yojimbo. The first one I watched was Throne of Blood, and... Jesus. Talk about blown away.

Of the three, though, my favorite was Ran. So fucking gorgeous.
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Sun Jun 04, 2006 4:26 pm

seppukudkurosawa wrote:If you ask me though, the guy's King Hack, ripping off all those 20s Westerns and pretending his movies are like unearthed cinema veritè from the 1700s. Brett Ratner on the other hand is swoon-worthy.


do I smell another director vs. director poll?
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Postby Seppuku on Sun Jun 04, 2006 4:29 pm

It would have to be more like a Director VS Cover Star of My Little Pony Monthly thread.
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Postby Carolian on Sun Jun 04, 2006 4:30 pm

Are they still putting out My Little Pony Monthly? Man, I still have seven years' worth of back issues. Wonder what those would fetch on eBay.
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Postby Seppuku on Sun Jun 04, 2006 4:39 pm

I still think it jumped the shark when they had Cindy ride Roxella. You can brush their hair, sure, but you can't ride a My Little Pony for fuck's sake. I mean they're not just normal horses... They got so far away from the roots of what My Little Pony was supposed to be all about, until it got to be just another job for them and the magic died.

It's still worth checking out for the Horse statistics though...I never knew how many horses it took to make a stick of glue before I started reading MLP. Now I do, the answer is 4. Cool.
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Postby cinephile2000 on Sun Jun 04, 2006 5:11 pm

So no one else has seen a Kurasawa film or no one cares?
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Postby tapehead on Sun Jun 04, 2006 5:15 pm

Keepcoolbutcare wrote:
seppukudkurosawa wrote:If you ask me though, the guy's King Hack, ripping off all those 20s Westerns and pretending his movies are like unearthed cinema veritè from the 1700s. Brett Ratner on the other hand is swoon-worthy.


do I smell another director vs. director poll?



dear Gods no.


that's the other thing about Ran, which I went ahead and voted for - as a n00b it won't really matter whether you comprehend it, just marvel at it's beauty
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Postby cinephile2000 on Sun Jun 04, 2006 5:18 pm

The one thing about Kurasawa that I love the most is when he uses color he is amazing. Kagemusha and Ran are just beautiful.
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Postby Chairman Kaga on Sun Jun 04, 2006 7:56 pm

I love the fact that in Rashomon the fight looks very realistic.
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Postby Ribbons on Sat Nov 03, 2007 3:23 pm

Okay, so Kurosawa movies I've seen now are:

Seven Samurai
Rashomon
Ran
Ikiru
Throne of Blood


And I've liked most of most of them. Are there any others that I should make it a priority to see? And besides for Ikiru, what are some of his best films in contemporary settings?
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Postby stereosforgeeks on Sat Nov 03, 2007 3:29 pm

Dreams is interesting.
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Postby Ribbons on Sat Nov 03, 2007 3:34 pm

Proinsias wrote:The great Toshiro Mifune looking like a scared little girl pierced by a thousand arrows?...Ruddy Hell!


Great story behind that one... apparently he was being shot at with real arrows by real archers, and besides for the ones that pierced his heart and his neck, the arrows that hit him were real too; he wore blocks of wood underneath his armor to protect himself. When somebody told him he did a great job of acting terrified, he said "Acting terrified? I was terrified!"
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Postby Cpt Kirks 2pay on Sat Nov 03, 2007 4:22 pm

Well I got 7 Samurai sent to me. Still ain't got round to watching it yet. Easy watch, long watch anyone?
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Sat Nov 03, 2007 4:22 pm

Ribbons wrote:And besides for Ikiru, what are some of his best films in contemporary settings?


well, he's been dead for a while, so how contemporary are you looking for?

:wink:

but seriously, he directed a brilliant contemporary (for the time!) noirish police procedural and a probing, intense look at the social divide in Japan by way of a kidnapping (and by way of Salvatore Albert Lombino aka McBain!)* ...STRAY DOG (Criterion essay here), and HIGH AND LOW (essay aqui).

both films are rather awesome. That's not an IMHO, that's a FACT!

*for those who say re-makes and adaptations shouldn't/can't cross cultural divides... :-P
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Sat Nov 03, 2007 4:24 pm

Cpt Kirks 2pay wrote:Easy watch, long watch anyone?


first 20minutes - half hour is a bit long...

after that, it's too easy, 'cuz you don't want the film to ever end. The constant "oooh, that's where so and so stole/lifted/homaged that from" becomes tedious, 'cuz you realize after a while that nobody has done it better since it was originally done here.
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Postby stereosforgeeks on Sat Nov 03, 2007 4:26 pm

Cpt Kirks 2pay wrote:Well I got 7 Samurai sent to me. Still ain't got round to watching it yet. Easy watch, long watch anyone?


Long watch length wise. Movie is a masterpiece though.
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Postby stereosforgeeks on Sat Nov 03, 2007 4:30 pm

Keepcoolbutcare wrote:
Ribbons wrote:And besides for Ikiru, what are some of his best films in contemporary settings?


well, he's been dead for a while, so how contemporary are you looking for?

:wink:

but seriously, he directed a brilliant contemporary (for the time!) noirish police procedural and a probing, intense look at the social divide in Japan by way of a kidnapping (and by way of Salvatore Albert Lombino aka McBain!)* ...STRAY DOG (Criterion essay here), and HIGH AND LOW (essay aqui).

both films are rather awesome. That's not an IMHO, that's a FACT!

*for those who say re-makes and adaptations shouldn't/can't cross cultural divides... :-P


I can also throw weight behind Stray Dog. I haven't seen High and Low though.
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Postby Jahbulon on Sun Nov 04, 2007 8:42 am

Ribbons wrote:And I've liked most of most of them. Are there any others that I should make it a priority to see? And besides for Ikiru, what are some of his best films in contemporary settings?


If you can find it, I'd give Scandal a watch.

The first half of this movie is a really watchable treatise on the Paparrazzi and fame. The second half is a sensitive human drama based around the relationship of a lawyer and his handicapped daughter.

The ideas are all a little scattershot, but I think this is as watchable as Kurosawa got. Also, Mifune's Brando/Wild One impression at the beginning of the movie has got to be seen.
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Postby Pacino86845 on Sun Nov 04, 2007 8:51 am

The Bad Sleep Well for Kurosawa in a contemporary setting... I'm no Kurosawa expert, but I really enjoyed that film (has Toshiro Mifune as well).
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Postby Nordling on Sun Nov 04, 2007 9:06 am

I always loved RED BEARD. Toshiro Mifune is a powerhouse in that one. Imagine a samurai HOUSE.
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Postby Ribbons on Sun Feb 10, 2008 3:11 am

I don't know if this will be up for long, so I figured I'd post it here in case anybody else wanted to watch it. I've never seen this movie myself, but it looks pretty cool.

The Vincent Van Gogh section from Kurosawa's Dreams
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Re: Akira Kurosawa (with poll)

Postby TheButcher on Tue Apr 06, 2010 12:54 am

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Re: Akira Kurosawa (with poll)

Postby TheButcher on Wed Apr 07, 2010 5:14 am

From The Digital Bits:
The Films of Akira Kurosawa
DVD & Blu-ray Disc reviews by Bill Hunt, Todd Doogan, Adam Jahnke and Barrie Maxwell of The Digital Bits


Seven Samurai (Criterion) Blu-ray Disc
Bill Hunt wrote:Seven Samurai (Criterion)
1954 (2010) - Toho (Criterion)
Released on Blu-ray Disc on October 19th, 2010 (Spine #2).

Film Rating: A+
Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras): 19.5/16/A

Criterion's new Blu-ray edition of Seven Samurai takes advantage of the same 2K scan and master created for the previous 3-disc special edition, sourced from a new dupe negative created from the original fine-grain master positive. Our enthusiasm for its appearance on DVD was high (see review above), but its arrival on Blu-ray is cause for even greater elation. Simply stated, this presentation is gorgeous - delicately refined, wonderfully nuanced and highly-dimensional. As with the DVD, the film is offered in its proper 1.33:1 aspect ratio, and has been windowboxed slightly to allow the maximum visible image to be seen on a wide variety of displays.

Whereas the DVD was a 3-disc set, with the film split over the first two discs, this Blu-ray consolidates the same content on 2 discs, and the film takes up the entirety of Disc One (a BD-50) all by itself, giving picture and sound plenty of room to breathe. As you'd expect, the result is even more spectacular than it was on DVD. The 1080p image exhibits breathtaking depth, abundant natural detail in faces, fabric and backgrounds (even in the darkest scenes) and delightfully subtle shadings and degrees of contrast, from deep blacks to a vast array of varying grays. Light film grain is visible throughout, giving the image just the texture and character that you'd expect from a film of this age, without detracting from the drama. This Blu-ray image is every bit as good as we could have hoped it would be. Short of its earliest theatrical screenings, Seven Samurai has likely never looked so good as this.

The original Japanese mono soundtrack has also been remastered to reduce unwanted noise and age-related defects. One thing to note: The Blu-ray packaging indicates that the audio is LPCM uncompressed mono, with "an optional DTS-HD soundtrack". The main audio IS Japanese LPCM mono, but the optional Japanese 2.0 surround mix is LPCM as well - not DTS-HD. We don't have a problem with that - uncompressed audio is uncompressed audio. You should just be aware of the deviation from the specs indicated on the packaging. Regardless, both tracks are clean and clear, and support the imagery every bit as well as they should. Obviously, optional subtitles in English are also included.

Beyond the film itself, the set is essentially a 2-disc Blu-ray reproduction of the previous 3-disc special edition. The packaging is nearly identical to the DVD's gorgeous case, just in a slightly smaller version. The set comes in a high-quality paper slipcase featuring the banner of the seven samurai on the front. Inside this, you'll find the 2 Blu-rays contained in a fold-out Digipack of similar quality, as well as a reproduction of the same booklet included with the DVD, featuring rare photography and liner notes by several film critics, historians and filmmakers, as well as a reminiscence by Toshirô Mifune.

The audio commentaries included on Disc One with the film feature Michael Jeck (the same track as on Criterion's original DVD release), as well as a "film scholars roundtable" commentary with David Desser, Joan Mellen, Stephen Prince, Tony Rayns and Donal Richie. All of the remaining content is found on Disc Two, and the good news is that everything from the 3-disc DVD has carried over. You get the theatrical and teaser trailers, galleries of production photography and poster artwork from around the world, the 50-minute episode of the Akira Kurosawa: It is Wonderful to Create documentary series on the making of this film, the full 1993 My Life in Cinema: Akira Kurosawa interview with the director, and the 3-part Seven Samurai: Origins and Influences documentary created by Criterion (for the 2006 release) to examine the history of the samurai in Japanese life, and its influence on the making of this film.

Seven Samurai
continues to be one of the great film experiences in cinema history. Criterion's previous 3-disc DVD was already a triumph for Kurosawa fans and admirers, but this Blu-ray enhances it further by way of the film's best A/V presentation to date. Criterion's high-def upgrade is an absolute gem - a must for any serious film enthusiasts' video collection. We sincerely hope that more of Kurosawa's films follow on Blu-ray from Criterion soon. In the meantime, this release is simply not to be missed.

Bill Hunt, Editor
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Re: Akira Kurosawa (with poll)

Postby TheButcher on Thu Oct 28, 2010 6:35 am

From Cinematical:
Criterion Corner: It's Cheaper Than Film School
David Ehrlich wrote:#2 'Seven Samurai' (Akira Kurosawa) 1954. PICK OF THE MONTH!

The Film: 'Seven Samurai' has a place in my heart bigger than a valve and smaller than the aorta (but more important). It made me fall hopelessly in love with movies, and it's a work as vital and important as pop art gets. So many cinematic tropes were pioneered here, and 56 years later this is still the benchmark for how to meld action and character -- watching the Blu-ray, I was reminded just how fast and lithe this 207-minute juggernaut plays. From timeless performances by Toshiro Mifune and Takashi Shimura to Fumio Hayasaka's blaring score and Kurosawa's impeccable use of spatial geography to contextualize the epic rain-swept finale, 'Seven Samurai' remains one of the most beloved and valuable films ever made.

The Technical Stuff: This is -- without a doubt -- the best that 'Seven Samurai' has looked and sounded since the original negative was lost. Every edition is doomed to inherit certain deficiencies, but Criterion has done a ridiculously thorough job with the film's HD makeover. The b&w contrast is remarkable, the relentless bird chirps are so clear I thought that there was a birch nest on my fire escape and the grain levels strike a beautiful balance.

The Extras: The extras are identical to those on Criterion's three-disc 'Seven Samurai' reissue, which is to say: extensive.

The Best Part: A two-hour conversation between Kurosawa and Nagisa Oshima that was filmed in 1993. There's so much genius and history in this interview that it feels a bit like crossing the streams, but I assure you it's safe for home viewing.

The Package: The svelte package is adorned with the gorgeous and minimal flag of the samurai. It's some of Criterion's classiest artwork, and feels good and dense in your hands (these things are important!). I ALWAYS prefer Criterion's custom Blu-ray cases, but this paper and cardboard pack is solid, and the booklet contained therein (shrunken but otherwise identical to the DVD reissue) is neatly tucked between the two discs.

The Verdict:
This is pretty much the best Blu-ray that currently exists on the planet Earth. If you own a Blu-ray player, you need this. If you don't own one, you need this (just to put on your coffee table, frame, sleep with, etc. ...). To settle a political debate that's been raging for decades: Life begins at the moment you get this Blu-ray.
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Re: Akira Kurosawa (with poll)

Postby TheButcher on Sat Apr 19, 2014 9:28 pm

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