By Peter Wild
“Most administrators have one movie for which they're recognized or potentially two,” stated Francis Ford Coppola. “Akira Kurosawa has 8 or nine.” via masterpieces reminiscent of Kagemusha, Seven Samurai, and High and Low, Akira Kurosawa (1910–98) stimulated administrators from George Lucas and Steven Spielberg to Martin Scorsese, and his groundbreaking strategies in cinematography and modifying, mixed together with his storytelling, made him a cinematic icon. during this succinct biography, Peter Wild evaluates Kurosawa’s movies whereas supplying a view of the guy in the back of the digital camera, from his relatives lifestyles to his international audience.
After discussing Kurosawa’s early life in Japan, Wild explores his years as an assistant director at a brand new movie studio and his early movies in the course of and after international battle II ahead of he gained overseas acclaim with Rashomon. whereas surveying Kurosawa’s notable occupation, Wild additionally examines the myriad criticisms the director confronted either inside of his personal nation and abroad—he was once too encouraged by way of Western cinema; now not authentically eastern; and he used to be too sentimental, naïve, boastful, or out of contact. through putting Kurosawa and his motion pictures within the context of his occasions, Wild is helping us to appreciate the director and the reproaches opposed to him. Cogent and concise, Akira Kurosawa could be crucial analyzing for somebody attracted to the paintings of this masterful filmmaker.
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Additional resources for Akira Kurosawa (Critical Lives)
26 As with both One Wonderful Sunday and, to a lesser extent, Drunken Angel, Stray Dog uses location to extraordinary effect – credit for which Kurosawa was keen to bestow upon his assistant director, Ishiro Honda, who would go on to greater acclaim as the creator of the Godzilla movies. Kurosawa explained, ‘I’m often told that I captured the atmosphere of post-war Japan very well in Stray Dog, and if so, I owe a great deal of that success to Honda,’ who took a hand-held camera in a box to a real black-market neighbourhood that ‘even newsreel cameramen couldn’t shoot 56 Stray Dog.
Following a short hiatus with her parents, Yukie decides to visit Noge’s parents, peasant farmers in the countryside, to see what she can do to help them. Overcoming illness and persecution at the hands of neighbours who would condemn the family of a so-called spy, Yukie attains a kind of wisdom. Although regarded by some as a lesser Kurosawa (Galbraith calls it ‘a mixed bag’40), No Regrets for Our Youth is notable for several reasons, most particularly that it builds on what we have glimpsed in his ﬁlms up to this point: that Kurosawa is less interested in the context of a situation than in the dramatic opportunities it opens up.
12 Take the use of ﬂashbacks as an example: after Tsuru is accused of favouritism, we glimpse images which illustrate her true selﬂessness. These scenes are extremely short and it is in their brevity that we glimpse Kurosawa using the past almost as a form of dialogue. Kurosawa employed this technique, ﬁnessing it with each use, in Ikiru, Rashomon and High and Low as well as in Red Beard (though to a lesser extent). The Most Beautiful also shows a director already willing to puzzle his audience and make them work things out for themselves.