The Top 20 Movies Directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa; The Best Horror Movies Of the 1980s; The Best Science Fiction Movies of 1977; The Best Comedy Movies Of the 2000s; The Most Recently Released Movies; The Most Recently Added Movies; Movies by Decade … Akira Kurosawa is an influential director. The story stars two humorous bumbling peasants who find themselves caught up in a major conflict involving a princess and rival warring factions, which makes you think of how R2-D2 and C-3PO got unwittingly mixed up in an epic battle between good and evil. The film portrays her relationships over the years with two of his former students, both rival for her affections, and her love affair and ensuing marriage to one of them, who is arrested for his anti-government activities and subsequently disappears from public view. All rights reserved. The most celebrated Japanese filmmaker of all time, Akira Kurosawa produced a staggering body of work that stands as a monument of artistic achievement. The Men Who Tread on the Tiger’s Tail. The first of two films Kurosawa made for the Shochiku studio (alongside the Dostoevsky adaptation The Idiot in 1951), this punchy social drama takes a righteous swipe at the gutter press, as Toshiro Mifune’s up-and-coming painter is snapped by the paparazzi while sitting on a hotel balcony with a famous singer (played by Yoshiko Yamaguchi), the photo inspiring a fabricated story in a popular gossip magazine. His absent presence in the final sections provides a more down-to-earth mirror inverse to Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life (1946). Needless to say, the outraged artist refuses to take things lying down and vows to take the magazine’s editor to court. “What are Akira Kurosawa’s Best Movies?” We looked at all of Kurosawa’s directed filmography and ranked them against one another to answer that very question! The film would go on to be the third highest-grossing release in Japan for that year.While firmly entrenching Toshiro Mifune as a sta… Much like Throne of Blood, it takes Shakespeare to medieval Japan in spectacularly extravagant fashion. Ironically, that foreign language was Russian, and the country Kurosawa was representing was the Soviet Union. Akira Kurosawa redefined the action film with his samurai epics set in Japan’s medieval past. Seven Samurai (1954)was Akira Kurosawa at his finest. His films, like The Hidden Fortress, influenced popular culture and a generation of young filmmakers. The film is best remembered for the striking scene in which Mifune’s character, Macbeth’s equivalent, meets his death in a hail of arrows. Along with Tarkovsky, I consider Kurosawa the greatest of all filmmakers. Kurosawa undoubtedly played a pivotal role in the emergence of cinema as the predominant art form of the 20th century. The Top 20 Movies Directed by Akira Kurosawa; The Best Horror Movies Of the 1980s; The Best Science Fiction Movies of 1977; The Best Comedy Movies Of the 2000s; The Most Recently Released Movies; The Most Recently Added Movies; Movies by Decade from this Chart. This blending of Eastern and Western traditions is thrilling to behold. Set during the civil war of the late-16th-century Warring States period, Kurosawa’s massively influential magnum opus depicts a group of masterless samurai recruited by a farming community to fend off frequent raids by a gang of bandits. His inability to secure funds for another film in Japan prompted this overseas shift, and the result is a magical tapestry of a world seldom seen by outsiders. Subscribe now for exclusive offers and the best of cinema. The story of an undistinguished, time-serving civil servant who, upon learning he has stomach cancer, channels his energies into one final positive act, building a children’s playground in a disease-ridden slum quarter, is truly heart-rending stuff. a list of 30 titles The Best 20 Films of the Noughties (2000-2009). Aside from the independently produced Dodes’ka-den in 1970 (remarkably, his first film in colour), he would not direct another film in his homeland for 15 years. The film was released in Japan in 1951, but in the United States only in 1963. Kiyoshi Kurosawa is a unique case of a filmmaker, even for an industry as diverse as the Japanese one, and not just for his additional roles as a film critic and a professor at Tokyo University of Arts. 0. Kagemusha is one of Kurosawa’s most historically interesting films, for a number of reasons. The relatively modest 110-minute runtime makes this (and its shorter 1962 follow-up Sanjuro) a more accessible entry point into Kurosawa’s oeuvre than his more grandiose swords-and-samurai sagas. Very loosely inspired by Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan Ilyich, Ikiru is one of Kurosawa’s most emotionally resonant films, one that leads the audience to contemplate life and legacy in a very subtle and poignant manner. The masterful atmospheric cinematography of Kazuo Miyagawa, and the late-10th-century Heian period setting adds to the haunting, purgatorial ambience. The villagers decide to hire seven wandering samurai to defeat the thugs before they can steal their crops. The enduring popularity of such titles lies in no small part to their open influence from Hollywood, particularly the westerns of directors such as John Ford. It incorporates numerous elements of Japanese Noh Theatre, which dates back to the 14th century. Registered charity 287780. Posted on February 20, 2020 February 20, 2020 by Patrick Galvan. The film that launched Kurosawa’s name outside his homeland (and those of its stars Toshiro Mifune and Machiko Kyo), Rashomon’s Golden Lion Award at Venice in 1951 awakened a postwar generation of international festival and arthouse audiences to the manifold pleasures of Japanese cinema. Set in the 19th century, the story concerns a young doctor (Yuzo Kayama, later a popular musician) who is being trained by an older physician (Mifune), and their various interactions with patients and each other. Explore the history of film in list form. It received the year’s Academy Award for best foreign language film. Over a career of about sixty years, Kurosawa made critically acclaimed masterpieces like Seven Samurai and Rashomon. “Master of horror” is not traditionally an accolade recognised by the world’s leading film competitions, but for Kiyoshi Kurosawa, it’s proved something of a boon. This in itself is reflected in the ease by which they’ve in turn established an action template so readily adapted by filmmakers from all over the world. Seven Samurai: The rocky road to classic status of Akira Kurosawa’s action masterpiece, Down the Bunka: Japanese underground cinema of the 1960s, Top trumps: the giants of Japan’s monster movies, Born: 23 March 1910, Omori, TokyoDied: 6 September 1998, Tokyo. While certainly not the first samurai story committed to film, Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai nonetheless set a standard, pretty much from the moment it was released. Though best known for samurai epics like SEVEN SAMURAI and YOJIMBO, his intimate, contemporary-set dramas, such as IKIRU and HIGH AND LOW, are just as searing. Kurosawa would explore this line – between good and bad – in many of his films: Kagemusha (1980), in which a thief, acting as the double for a feudal lord, slowly assumes the characteristics of his master, is one example; contemporary crime dramas Stray Dog (1949), about a policeman searching for his stolen pistol, and High and Low (1963), about an investigation into a … This is all the more impressive when one considers that Kurosawa was 75 years old during the making of the film. The final sequence is as fitting a coda to the astounding career of this legendary filmmaker as one could ever wish for. Refine See titles to watch instantly, titles you haven't rated, etc Instant Watch Options Kurosawa was the first Japanese filmmaker whose work I decided to thoroughly explore and because of him I ended up going on a Samurai Cinema quest, which lasted for over 100 films, and that in-turn lead to a Japanese Cinema quest, which led to over 450 films seen and explorations of 40+ other Japanese filmmakers. Despite his age, the production exudes a freshness and vitality unlike anything he had made before, offering a feast for the eyes. One of the most beautiful anti-war films ever made, Renoir’s 1937 work is a powerful lamentation aimed at the death of the European aristocracy. This three-hour tale of social inequality and existential angst was the last of the 16 films in which Kurosawa and Mifune worked together. Following his reappearance on the world stage, Kurosawa returned to the world of jidaigeki epic with two international co-productions, Kagemusha (1980), which George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola persuaded 20th Century Fox to part-finance, and this lavish French-Japanese co-production, which saw him returning to Shakespeare with an adaptation of King Lear. The following is a list of works, both in film and other media, for which the Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa made some documented creative contribution. Kane and Vertigo don’t top the chart by divine right. Without further ado, here are Akira Kurosawa's 5 Best Films (& 5 Worst). It worked out. The austere staging and performances, drawing upon traditional Noh theatre, lend an appropriate note of theatricality to proceedings, blurring the gap between the real and the supernatural, while Kurosawa surpasses even himself with the quite jaw-dropping climax as Washizu’s violent misdeeds catch up with him. Introduction Akira Kurosawa, a man who would have turned one hundred years old in September 1998, will always be considered as one of the influential moviemakers in cinema history. Akira Kurosawa (23 March 1910 — 6 September 1998) is one of Japanese cinema’s few household names in the west, due to such groundbreaking jidaigeki period action films as Seven Samurai (1954), The Hidden Fortress (1958) and Kagemusha (1980). There is nothing subpar within this large and varied body of work, and I’ve omitted many a worthy title in the aim of giving a fuller picture of the fruits of an incredible six-decade filmmaking career. Akira Kurosawa's 100 Favorite Movies Before his death in 1998, famed Japanese director, Akira Kurosawa discussed his top 100 films with his daughter, Kazuo. Here are 10 of his best movies. First of all, it emerged through what might’ve been the single most frustrating shoot of the director’s career. The film was widely acclaimed domestically, winning the Blue Ribbon Award, Kinema Junpo Award, and Mainichi Film Award for best film. In 1942, the respected Japanese screenwriter and director Mansaku Itami read a movie script titled A German at Daruma Temple. This action-filled adventure film is credited as a major inspiration for the original Star Wars films. Winner of the best director award at the Venice Film Festival 2020 for his period espionage drama Wife of a Spy, Kurosawa was known initially as a proponent of the horror genre, his first films coinciding with the turn of the millennium wave of J-horror. He is still considered to be one of the greatest Japanese filmmakers in history and he is beloved worldwide. Kurosawa fans most likely expected this film to be at the top. Given extraordinary freedom by Hollywood studio RKO for his debut film, boy wonder Welles created a modernist masterpiece that is regularly voted the best film ever made. With Japan’s studio system increasingly incapable of accommodating the costs of the long shooting periods and large-scale sets and action sequences required for his productions, Kurosawa left his studio Toho after Red Beard (1965). Its title translates literally as ‘Spider’s Web Castle’, and the gothic setting of a deserted castle filled with dark shadows and swathed in fog forms the perfect frame for Mifune’s tortured turn as Washizu, the samurai usurper haunted by past crimes. Hand-picked. Released in 1954, the same fateful year as another one of the most well-known Japanese movies — the original Godzilla — Seven Samurai is the Kurosawa film that usually garners the most votes as his best. … Kurosawa had famously extended production costs, along with the timeline Toho Studios had wanted him to adhere to. Akira Kurosawa is unquestionably the best known Japanese filmmaker in the West. Akira Kurosawa (23 March 1910 — 6 September 1998) is one of Japanese cinema’s few household names in the west, due to such groundbreaking jidaigeki period action films as Seven Samurai (1954), The Hidden Fortress (1958) and Kagemusha (1980). Kurosawa regular Takashi Shimura is wonderful as the man who only finds meaning in his life as death rears its ugly head, while his in-laws wrangle over his pension pot. We and our partners use cookies to better understand your needs, improve performance and provide you with personalised content and advertisements. The first serious phase of the director’s career came during the postwar era … Fortunately an invitation from the Soviet Union’s Mosfilm to helm this Siberia-set 70mm adaptation of explorer Captain Vladimir Arsenyev’s 1923 autobiography put him firmly back on the international map. Top 10 Akira Kurosawa Films. Possessing a similar synthesis of psychological tension and austere formal elegance to its more claustrophobic companion piece, Throne of Blood, it is even bigger and bolder in ambition. The most expensive Japanese production of its day, it introduced all the hallmarks associated with Kurosawa’s name: an epic runtime detailing the recruitment of the mercenary force, the training of the farmers, and the fortification of the village in anticipation of the climactic attack (the original western release was trimmed down from the original 207 minutes); on-location shooting with a strong focus on landscapes and environmental conditions to reflect the inner psychologies of the human elements within them; a fastidious recreation of sets, costumes and weaponry of the era; and lots and lots of stunning horse-bound battle sequences shot using multiple camera setups. BFI Japan 2020: Over 100 Years of Japanese Cinema is a major celebration of Japanese cinema beginning on BFI Player. 248. During the final days of World War II, production funds for Japanese films were at a bare minimum. It's one of the most unique stories ever in cinema; it also contributed much to action movies and film techniques including the masterful use of rain during an epic battle or action sequence among many others. Skilfully invoking memorable imagery of disintegrating ideals, The Grand Illusion is a tragicomic exposition of the futility of extensive warfare. Devoid of the elaborate action sequences and intense inner dramas for which he is renowned, and featuring a whimsical mid-section involving a missing cat that lasts almost half an hour, Kurosawa’s directorial swansong initially seems slightly underwhelming. Through these characters, Kurosawa demonstrates the care and compassion that should be shown to all humans, regardless of social status or wealth. 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