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Akira Kurosawa (with poll)

PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2005 4:47 pm
by Carolian
I've been meaning to see Kurosawa's films for some time, and I've recently recorded THRONE OF BLOOD on my DVR (though I haven't watched it yet). When I was younger, I tried both THE SEVEN SAMURAI and KAGEMUSHA, but I was just a stupid little kid, and they were too long for my short attention span. Anyway, I looked around and saw that there weren't any threads on Kurosawa, so I decided to start this one.

There's no denying his influence on the world of movies. Remakes of his films (THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, a remake of THE SEVEN SAMURAI, and A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS, a remake of YOJIMBO, both spring to mind) are often more popular to Western viewers than the originals, and countless other filmmakers have cited Kurosawa as an influence; a prime example would be George Lucas, who had credited Kurosawa's HIDDEN FORTRESS as an influence on certain aspects of the STAR WARS films.

So, what's your favorite Kurosawa film, and why? If you could show any one film to show a Kurosawa virgin, what would it be?

PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2005 4:52 pm
by RoyBatty
I have seen all in the poll except for Stray Dogs and Rashomon, and I can't believe I stil haven't seen Rashomon.

All of them are great for different reasons, but TSS broke my Kurosawa cherry, so it's my choice.

I also liked Kurosawa's Dreams, which was great to watch. A feast for the eyes, if you will.

PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2005 4:55 pm
by CthulhuKid
I agree with Roy. Seven Samurai was my first and has to be my favorite. Simply due to the fact that I wouldn't have seen any of his other films if I hadn't fallen in love with it. :wink:

PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2005 5:01 pm
by Keepcoolbutcare
Yojimbo.

But really, just flip a coin.

a true cinema giant...brocktune's gonna love this.

PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2005 5:06 pm
by ThisIsTheGirl
I love me some Yojimbo

And...
keepcoolbutcare wrote:But really, just flip a coin.


What that guy said

PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2005 5:18 pm
by Gheorghe Zamfir
Rashoman for me, though I love Seven Samurai if for no other reason than the classic subtitle had me reading shit as shi-ight! Word.

Never seen Hidden Fortress, I dunno why, for some reason its just not a Kurosawa flick I feel any motivation to see. Ikiru though is a flick I keep meaning to get around to, it sounds great and unlike any other Kurosawa flick, but I could never find it before, have no excuse now that I'm a netflix convert.

PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2005 5:22 pm
by Cineister Jim
Seven Samurai is one of my all-time favorite films...but I would have to put High and Low, it's a great, great Kurosawa that most never remember, maybe because the lack of samurai.

PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2005 5:24 pm
by bluebottle
Toss up between Rashoman and Ran.

Ran is beautiful, masterful storytelling. Rashoman is just an amazing, gripping interesting story that broke new ground in terms of filmmaking.

My vote went to Rashoman.

PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2005 6:04 pm
by colonel_lugz
I love Throne of Blood, the scenen when the forest moves towards the cadtle is really quite beautiful and haunting, and Mifunes reactions is great

PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2005 6:28 pm
by Ribbons
I'm gonna have to say Rashomon just because of how influential it is.

PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2005 2:09 am
by Gentleman
How can you not include Dreams?!

I am boycotting this :P

Now, seriously though, as much as i love his earlier work, there is something about "Yume" (Dreams). From a certain point of view, it is also the right film for a Kurosawa virgin. It may be because it's divided into several different stories, making it easier to watch (to some, anyways) and it's also not too "japanese" in some ways (for instance, the Van Gogh story). BUT that doesn't mean it can't be Kurosawa's best work. While I find it difficult to define it as his best, it is certainly up there with the others. I don't know why it is often left out when there is talk about Kurosawa's best. Dreams is a true work of art... and not just visually, it is a journey of the soul, and I can't put into words the reasoning behind this. Much like our own dreams, we understand them at an unconscious level, when we try to rationalize them, they could lose their strength or their meaning.

And even if you aren't into all this psychological deal, the dead soldiers story (The Tunnel) will OWN you :D

PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2005 5:40 pm
by fried samurai
For me its RAN.That film turned me into a samurai nut.The way Kurosawa uses color and music for certain scenes is like watching a master painter at work.

I swear if I ever have a son I'll name him Akira because of the impact this film had on me.Truly a masterpiece.

PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2005 5:43 pm
by jgraphix
I liked RAN too

PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2005 5:52 pm
by ZombieZoneSolutions
i love all of his films, but i went with Yojimbo. Seven Samuraii is a close second...

PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2005 7:12 pm
by Brocktune
keepcoolbutcare wrote:Yojimbo.

But really, just flip a coin.

a true cinema giant...brocktune's gonna love this.


im totally pampilashing at here at work. you guys seem to know me better than i realize sometimes.


well, of course i picked "Throne of Blood" as ive said before, it takes macbeth, and ramps up the spookiness, making for a film that is absolutely breathtaking on more levels than you can shake a stick at. this was actually my introduction to kurosawa, and from the first sound of the wind blowing, and the opening shot, i was hooked. i have seen every one on the list, and others, and it would be difficult to cite a "best", as much like kubrick, every frame he touched turned to gold. everyone a masterpiece. start anywhere you like, Carolian every one has something new and great to offer you. opening your life to kurosawa is like opening the door to some magical wonderland where everything you see makes your eyes want to cum, and every phrase uttered is pure fucking poetry. a couple other good ones not on the list are: dreams, dersu uzala, the men who tread on tigers tail, the lower depths, madadayo, and of course high and low. the only one i avoided was "rhapsody in august" and that was because i loathe richard gere. but then i watched it, and he is only in it for like 5 minutes, and the rest is really good. enjoy kurosawa!

PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2005 7:27 pm
by Shane
Considering I've only seen Ran |I'd say Ran

PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2005 7:28 pm
by Keepcoolbutcare
Brocktune wrote: opening your life to kurosawa is like opening the door to some magical wonderland where everything you see makes your eyes want to cum!


not a modicum, a LOT of cum.

PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2005 7:36 pm
by ZombieZoneSolutions
Brocktune wrote:well, of course i picked "Throne of Blood" as ive said before, it takes macbeth, and ramps up the spookiness, making for a film that is absolutely breathtaking on more levels than you can shake a stick at.


you got that right! Throne of Blood is outrageously cool and super spooky. that whole bit with the trees moving in the fog, and samuraii-macbeth trying to outrun the arrows are INCREDIBLE. especially the arrows business. Kurosawa was a goddamn genius. Kubrick and Kurosawa are my two favorite directors, hands down. followed closely by Lynch...

PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2005 7:41 pm
by Brocktune
word to that.
the death of general washizu is one of the greatest movie deaths of all times.

PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2005 8:09 pm
by brainiac
RAN... I've only seen it twice but I can close my eyes and see some of the scenes as clearly as if I was watching it right now.

PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2005 8:21 pm
by MelaWolf
Out of the ones listed, I vote for Yojimbo. My favorite is probably Dreams (even though it's a collection of short films) and I have a soft spot for Red Beard.

Sounds like I definitely need to check out Throne of Blood, though. :)

PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2005 9:16 pm
by Carolian
Suddenly, I am very happy that THRONE OF BLOOD is on my DVR.

PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2005 3:58 am
by Carolian
...It feels weird to double-post, even though it's been hours, but...

I just found out that Sergio Leone didn't credit Kurosawa with the inspiration for A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS, and that Kurosawa even had to sue Leone. I... did not know that. Fascinating stuff.

PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 10:18 pm
by Ribbons
I was kind of amazed to hear the other day that Kurosawa, with Rashomon, was one of the first directors to point his camera at the sun. Considering the movie industry had been going for about 40 years beforehand, that only a handful of people had even done it before seems crazy. Just goes to show how influential the guy was to cinema, I guess.

PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 10:23 pm
by Chief Redcock
Ran will always be my favorite, with Ikiru a very close second. He was a master, no question.

PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 10:43 pm
by magicmonkey
How dare you not mention Dersu Uzala?!? Sure, there are no Samurai's, but this film should be required viewing for all. Put this fucker on the national curriculum.

Set in Siberia, yes I said Siberia, Kurosawa takes us on a journey to map this harsh terrain with our eponymous hero, a dude surely Yoda was based on.

So, you've got one of the greatest directors making a film in the greatest film decade (70's). See it, be amazed and demand more from your cinema.

PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 10:50 pm
by The Vicar
Have to go with Seven Samurai.

Just loved the scene where the guys are ambushing all the potential Samurai that come through the door..until the one dude stops at the doorway and tells them they'd better not try to pull that shit on him.
( or words to that effect...its been 15-20 years)

And yet Dreams was sooo.....unreal.

And Ran.

And Roshomon.

And Throne of Blood.

Damn that Kurosawa guy was good.

PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 10:52 pm
by colonel_lugz
The Vicar wrote:Have to go with Seven Samurai.

Just loved the scene where the guys are ambushing all the potential Samurai that come through the door..until the one dude stops at the doorway and tells them they'd better not try to pull that shit on him.
( or words to that effect...its been 15-20 years)

And yet Dreams was sooo.....unreal.

And Ran.

And Roshomon.

And Throne of Blood.

Damn that Kurasawa guy was good.


Finally someone else mentions Throne of Blood, I posted it on here months ago, but its just gathered dust til now. fucking love that film!

PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 10:55 pm
by Carolian
Man, I forgot I even posted this thread.

In the week that followed, I managed to watch THRONE OF BLOOD, YOJIMBO, and RAN, and all three are in my "favorite films" list now. Just absolutely stunning stuff. All three are fucking brilliant in different ways.

PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 12:13 am
by Cbabbitt
Kagemusha is my favorite. Beautiful film.

PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 12:25 am
by Leckomaniac
I can't really choose...but this week at the MusicBox in Chicago they have this Samurai Cinema and I got a chance to view Hidden Fortress, Yojimbo and tomorrow will be Seven Samurai on the big screen and man it has been amazing. I have just been so enthralled. Truely genius stuff.

PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 9:42 am
by Seppuku
Just like Havoc's Hitch poll, this is a toughie, I'm not even sure if I can answer it. If it's metaphysical Kurosawa-san you're looking for, then you can't go wrong with Dreams and Ikiru. If it's Cinema Maestro Kurosawa-san then Seven Samurai and Rashomon are your flicks. And then there's the insanely cool double-punch of Yojimbo and Sanjuro (though I think I prefer Kill! to the latter, both based on the same source material), and the one that Lucas, The Raider of the Lost Classics, nicked from- Hidden Fortress. And there's also Shakespeare Kurosawa-san with Ran and Throne of Blood.

Man...there IS no answer. So, my fave flick of his is Sevran Rashthrone Dreamjimbokiru Gunmusha. It's quite underrated, you should defo check it out if you're a fan of the man.






And why the hell didn't I see this thread earlier?

PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 9:45 am
by havocSchultz
hmmm - i had no clue you were a kurosawa fan...odd - you could've maybe mentioned it sometime earlier or something - this is quite a surprise...

PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 9:47 am
by Seppuku
havocSchultz wrote:hmmm - i had no clue you were a kurosawa fan...odd - you could've maybe mentioned it sometime earlier or something - this is quite a surprise...


hmm...I had no clue you were a fan of Jesse Ventura's naked body. You know, you could have told us about this earlier. It's a real turn up for the books! :P

PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 9:51 am
by havocSchultz
seppukudkurosawa wrote:
havocSchultz wrote:hmmm - i had no clue you were a kurosawa fan...odd - you could've maybe mentioned it sometime earlier or something - this is quite a surprise...


hmm...I had no clue you were a fan of Jesse Ventura's naked body. You know, you could have told us about this earlier. It's a real turn up for the books! :P


"I ain't got time to fantasize..."
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 9:55 am
by Seppuku
havocSchultz wrote:"I ain't got time to fantasize..."
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AWORLDOFHURTILASH good one!

Oh yeah and B4NN3D...










Wow, that really does feel good!

PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 9:56 am
by havocSchultz
seppukudkurosawa wrote:


Wow, that really does feel good!


hahahaha... that's what they all say... the first time at least... :wink:

PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 7:19 pm
by Brocktune
i love this thread.

PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 7:58 pm
by monorail77
Gentleman wrote:How can you not include Dreams?!

Gotta agree with the love for Dreams.

PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 8:01 pm
by monorail77
Rashomon is a brilliant bit of storytelling too.

PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 8:06 pm
by Seppuku
Haha, rrreeespeck on the new AV Brock. I guess this means you won't post on any other threads than this one in the future? ;)

PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 1:50 pm
by HollywoodBabylon
Not one vote for either 'Ikiru' or 'Kagemusha'? And what about 'Dersu Uzala'?
Disgraceful. :wink:

PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 2:35 pm
by Proinsias
The great Toshiro Mifune looking like a scared little girl pierced by a thousand arrows?...Ruddy Hell !
Throne of blood!, quite possibly because it was the first one i saw whence upon i was a young lad. Terrifying.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 3:38 pm
by Nordling
SEVEN SAMURAI is an easy pick, but it's still my favorite.

And IKIRU... if any movie could conceivably change someone's life, IKIRU is it.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 3:45 pm
by HollywoodBabylon
Nordling wrote:SEVEN SAMURAI is an easy pick, but it's still my favorite.

And IKIRU... if any movie could conceivably change someone's life, IKIRU is it.


Yes, Ikiru gets my vote.

PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2006 3:07 pm
by saucyminx
Ok, people. I have never seen one Akira Kurosawa movies, and I keep seeing his name popping out here and there in this forum - enough to pique my interest.

So, I'm thinking that maybe I should just try one Kurosawa's movies, but I'm wondering which one should I start with. Any suggestions? I tried asking Atomic, but my poopy bf is rubbish as Seven Samurais was the only Kurosawa he'd seen, and he'd only seen about three-quarter of it before his VHS ran out of tape :roll:. Like, what the??! Anyway, I've made a deal with him that when I get a Kurosawa movie, he has to sit down and watch it with me.

So, be a lady or a gentleman, step forward and I shall begin taking notes.

PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2006 3:11 pm
by Chairman Kaga
I would recommend Seven Samurai or Yojimbo first.....maybe Rashomon if you are into psychics channeling dead spirits to testify in court case.

PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2006 3:16 pm
by tapehead
I found Ran a good entry point, as it's storyline is borrowed from King Lear - so if you know a bit of Shakespeare the narrative will be familiar, leaving you to concentrate of the artful compositions and cultural intricacies.

PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2006 3:18 pm
by Chairman Kaga
I forgot Ran. That is perhaps the best jumping off point.

PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2006 3:24 pm
by AtomicHyperbole
To all those who help, Saucy will blow you a kiss!

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