Author Topic: Akira Kurosawa  (Read 24607 times)

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modage

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« Reply #105 on: May 03, 2004, 06:01:44 PM »
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finally started my kurosawa week and watched Ikiru last night.  i didnt really care for it.  i felt the movie really spelled everything out for you a little too much as far as its ideas which were pretty simplistic and at 2 hours and 20 minutes, the film went on about 40 minutes too long.  the lead actors performance seemed a little too flat and his voice was very obnoxious.  SPOILER when he exited midway through the film, things picked up a bit and i liked how the other characters then flashbacked to the final months of his life, END SPOILER so, the film didnt bother me, but i didnt care for it particularly.  he should stick with toshiro mifune.

also: compared to most criterion transfers i thought this one was pretty bad.  (i mean, i dont doubt it was the best existing transfer of the film they could find), but it still had lines running through the whole print almost constantly and it was distracting.
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.

Ravi

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« Reply #106 on: May 04, 2004, 12:12:51 AM »
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I liked the film precisely because of the whole flashback structure.  I expected the main character to learn he has cancer, start doing good stuff, and die recognized for his deeds, but we get the flashbacks instead.

The 35mm print I saw was not in the very best condition, so the original elements must not be in great shape either.

cine

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« Reply #107 on: May 04, 2004, 12:27:43 AM »
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Quote from: themodernage02
he should stick with toshiro mifune.

Well, I don't see that happening, what with him being dead and all.

modage

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« Reply #108 on: May 08, 2004, 12:53:57 AM »
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okay very quickly, i watched Throne of Blood and High and Low.  TOB was okay, seemed sort of standard shakespearean adaptation to me.  although the finale did ring of Scarface (or the other way around i guess), didnt it?  H&L seemed like a pretty standard kidnapping story which seemed all too obvious that his partners had hired a thug to do the kidnapping to out him from his company.  but when the ending scene came, i realized that i was all wrong and the movie had actually been about something completely different.  all of those layers werent apparent however until he said how he'd been staring up at him from his crappy apartment just hating him, and then i got the bigger picture of what the film had REALLY been about.  i also, enjoyed it.
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.

xerxes

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« Reply #109 on: May 08, 2004, 01:34:50 AM »
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i never really liked the translation of the title, it really should be heaven and hell, not high and low.

modage

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« Reply #110 on: May 09, 2004, 11:21:48 PM »
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finally finished up my Kurosawa week tonite with Yojimbo and Sanjuro.  yojimbo i really liked (and was SO interesting to see how badly sergio leone ripped off the movie like only TWO YEARS LATER and thought no one would notice!  incredible...)  so it was interesting seeing the similarities between that and fistful of dollars.  i really liked mifune's character in this one and there were a handful of really cool shots i recognized from cinephiles banners (as i seem to be doing in everything i watch now.  HEY!  i know that scene!)  Sanjuro i liked but thought they spent far too much time on the bumbling idiots and left mifune relegated to the background instead of being proactive and the one propelling the story like in the first one.  BUT the best part was at the end (after an entire film of bloodlessness), a geyser of blood shoots out!  i couldnt believe my eyes.  i knew they'd been in samurai films pre-Kill Bill, but i didnt know they used it as early as 1962!  does anybody know if there is a bloodgeyser scene that pre-dates that one?  or was that the first (because that would be pretty cool).  also so interesting to me...

john ford makes westerns which inspire...
akira kurosawa to make samurai films which inspire...
sergio leone to make westerns whcih inspire...
quentin tarantino to make samurai films!

wow, is that cool or what?  so to rank my favorites of my INTRO to KUROSAWA  i liked...

1. Seven Samurai
2. Rashomon
3. Hidden Fortress
4. Yojimbo
5. High and Low
6. Sanjuro
7. Throne of Blood
8. Ikiru
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.

tpfkabi

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« Reply #111 on: June 26, 2004, 11:13:38 PM »
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Xerxes, i always thought your avatar was of Paul Newman in Road to Perdition...........now i know the truth

i liked your thought modernage:

"john ford makes westerns which inspire...
akira kurosawa to make samurai films which inspire...
sergio leone to make westerns whcih inspire...
quentin tarantino to make samurai films! "

i saw Ikiru this week. i found it to be pretty inspiring. it made me think of It's a Wonderful Life in a way......the Capra-esque feel.....

SPOILER??


i especially loved the finally shot on the swing set......the image in the trailer of Watanabe emerging from the darkness between the swings is really good, too.
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Ghostboy

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« Reply #112 on: July 07, 2004, 04:52:11 PM »
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I watched Ikiru this morning. I didn't love it as much as I expected to...it didn't have the same impact as his other films (particularly High And Low), and like themodernage pointed out above, it's often a little too unsubtle. The narration certainly wasn't necessary, I don't think, and overall I felt that it went on a bit too long. But there's a lot of beauty in it, particularly in the scenes with the writer who takes him out on the town, and then with his young co-worker -- and the switch to flashback format halfway through was a brilliant decision. All the red tape around the city hall was very well illustrated, and the film is a good indictment of the bureacracratic process.

There's one scene in particular that will stick with me; it's the last one with his co-worker, when he takes her out to eat and there's the preparations for a celebration in the restuarant occurring behind them. When get gets up to leave and is walking down the stairs, everyone from that party closes in around the stairs and begins to sing happy birthday -- to someone else, of course, but the way Kurosawa frames the shot is absolutely transcendant.

tpfkabi

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« Reply #113 on: July 08, 2004, 10:19:22 PM »
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yes, i agree. that birthday shot is great.
i also love the x-ray and the music that plays with it.
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tpfkabi

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« Reply #114 on: December 06, 2004, 10:03:06 PM »
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i finally rented Red Beard.
very beautiful film. the black and white photography is superb. the commentary talks about Kurosawa's camera setups, etc, and was very interesting to me. now i know about telephoto lenses. them seem pretty cool.


!!!spoilers!!!





like all Kurosawa films there are extremely beautiful moments that stick in your mind:
- several scenes in Sahachi's flashback involving the wind chime throughout
-the mantis scared the crap out of me
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The Perineum Falcon

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« Reply #115 on: December 06, 2004, 10:07:17 PM »
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Quote from: bigideas
!!!spoilers!!!
like all Kurosawa films there are extremely beautiful moments that stick in your mind:
- several scenes in Sahachi's flashback involving the wind chime throughout
-the mantis scared the crap out of me

I absolutely love the shot of the old man dying. Beautiful. I think this may be my favorite Kurosawa.
We often went to the cinema, the screen would light up and we would tremble, but also, increasingly often, Madeleine and I were disappointed. The images had dated, they jittered, and Marilyn Monroe had gotten terribly old. We were sad, this wasn't the film we had dreamed of, this wasn't the total film that we all carried around inside us, this film that we would have wanted to make, or, more secretly, no doubt, that we would have wanted to live.

tpfkabi

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« Reply #116 on: December 06, 2004, 11:09:07 PM »
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Quote from: ranemaka13
Quote from: bigideas
!!!spoilers!!!
like all Kurosawa films there are extremely beautiful moments that stick in your mind:
- several scenes in Sahachi's flashback involving the wind chime throughout
-the mantis scared the crap out of me

I absolutely love the shot of the old man dying. Beautiful. I think this may be my favorite Kurosawa.


do you mean the arms reaching up, shown in shadow?
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The Perineum Falcon

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« Reply #117 on: December 07, 2004, 07:40:23 PM »
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Quote from: bigideas
Quote from: ranemaka13
Quote from: bigideas
!!!spoilers!!!
like all Kurosawa films there are extremely beautiful moments that stick in your mind:
- several scenes in Sahachi's flashback involving the wind chime throughout
-the mantis scared the crap out of me

I absolutely love the shot of the old man dying. Beautiful. I think this may be my favorite Kurosawa.


do you mean the arms reaching up, shown in shadow?

It's the one shown during "Okuni's Sad Tale."
It's just a cut to profile of Rokusuke, in shadow, drawing his last breath. I found the music and the way it was shot very touching.
We often went to the cinema, the screen would light up and we would tremble, but also, increasingly often, Madeleine and I were disappointed. The images had dated, they jittered, and Marilyn Monroe had gotten terribly old. We were sad, this wasn't the film we had dreamed of, this wasn't the total film that we all carried around inside us, this film that we would have wanted to make, or, more secretly, no doubt, that we would have wanted to live.

SiliasRuby

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« Reply #118 on: March 12, 2005, 04:53:55 AM »
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I watched Rashomon tonight and I thought it was wonderful. The idea of this three different perspectives all told from different points of view really got me hooked. Definitely be getting this to buy in the future. Sorry if this post doesn't make sense, but I am a tiny bit drunk.
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Ravi

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« Reply #119 on: August 25, 2005, 12:25:50 AM »
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Kagemusha (spoilers)






Kagemusha is about the reality and appearances.  Shingen, leader of the Takeda clan, dies and is replaced by a double to create an illusion that Shingen is still alive.  At any moment he could be called out on this, and indeed Shingen's grandson immediately says "he is not my grandfather," but is convinced by the leaders that this is indeed him.  "Shingen's" leadership and the existence of the Takeda clan depend on this illusion.

To be honest, I was kind of underwhelmed by it for most of its running time, but never bored, and the film came together in the end, when Shingen's son ordered the troops to charge, only to be completely gunned down and the kagemusha was killed.

Kurosawa's visuals are pretty formal in most of his work, but this is probably the most formal work of his that I've seen.  Makes sense, since the Takeda leader is symbolically known as a mountain, so the camera didn't move most of the time.  He often uses colors to great effect, particularly in the dream sequence, which resembles Kurosawa's conceptual paintings.  Of course, there are lots of moments of stunning visual poetry.

I had to return the DVD today, so I didn't get to watch the commentary, but I read the 40-page booklet and watched most of the second disc.

 

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