Throne of Blood (1957 Japan)

Also known as Castle Of The Spider’s Web in Japan. Akira Kurosawa was accused by Japanese critics of being stuck in the past for his heavy use of techniques from Noh, a theatrical tradition that predates Shakespeare by a few centuries. A New York Times review also put the boot in, dissing Mr K’s masterpiece as “serio-comic.” Much of the time, when Shakespeare plays are transferred to different settings, what results is only a shadow of the original, because too many directors have only a limited grasp of what Shakespeare is about… [Read more…]

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Seven Samurai (1954 Japan)

One of the greatest motion pictures ever made, Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai is crafted with such grace, passion and dedication that every moment of its 207 minutes running time seems relevant to the plot, and it never feels overlong. Brought to life with remarkable control and composure, this sustains its grip on the viewer with effortless ease. Seven Samurai has inspired and influenced countless films and filmmakers over the years yet has never been bettered. This unfolds almost like a documentary, giving us every piece of the grand puzzle. [Read more…]

Yojimbo (1961 Japan)

kurosawa 1Toshiro Mifune, one of the world’s most charismatic actors, is perfection as a tough loner of a samurai who takes it upon himself to clean up a town corrupted by two gambling clans. Swirling through and around him is a story that is both technically flawless and profoundly moving. And yes, the Italians borrowed it for A Fistful Of Dollars. But Mifune’s samurai is the original Man With No Name although he does have a name – Sanjuro. [Read more…]

RASHOMON (1950 Japan)

rashomon-criterion-hdrimg-v2More than a film, Rashomon is more of a meditation on the dishonest nature of man. As we listen to four different testimonies of the same heinous crime, we see that people will lie to save themselves, no matter what the circumstances. [Read more…]

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