Tag Archive: Akira Kurosawa

Sep 15 2015

Episode 54 – Yojimbo

YojimboWe are embarking on a three movie exploration of the same story! First up is a return to the great Akira Kurosawa.  His film, Yojimbo, borrows heavily from American Westerns and American film noir.  But it has a badass samurai twist courtesy of Toshiro Mifune.  We enjoy this relatively light offering from the Japanese master filmmaker as a prelude to exploring the work of another, quite different master.

Next up, we’ll be watching A Fistful of Dollars!

Yojimbo (1961)
Yojimbo poster Rating: 8.3/10 (82,654 votes)
Director: Akira Kurosawa
Writer: Akira Kurosawa (story), Akira Kurosawa (screenplay), Ryûzô Kikushima (screenplay)
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Tatsuya Nakadai, Yôko Tsukasa, Isuzu Yamada
Runtime: 110 min
Rated: NOT RATED
Genre: Action, Drama, Thriller
Released: 13 Sep 1961
Plot: A crafty ronin comes to a town divided by two criminal gangs and decides to play them against each other to free the town.

May 15 2015

Episode 47 – Rashomon

RashomonOur exploration of the unreliable narrator brings us to the film that is, quite literally, all about unreliable narration.  Rashomon is the film that introduced the world to Akira Kurosawa and is easily one of the most influential films ever made.  It is also ever so much shorter than The Seven Samurai.  So that’s a bonus.  Enjoy the special musical interlude Tim selected because he couldn’t find an mp3 of the music online.

Our next episode will be recorded live at the Trylon theater.  We’ll be watching The Lady from Shanghai!

Rashomon (1950)
Rashomon poster Rating: 8.3/10 (114,544 votes)
Director: Akira Kurosawa
Writer: Ryûnosuke Akutagawa (stories), Akira Kurosawa (screenplay), Shinobu Hashimoto (screenplay)
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Machiko Kyô, Masayuki Mori, Takashi Shimura
Runtime: 88 min
Rated: NOT RATED
Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery
Released: 26 Dec 1951
Plot: A heinous crime and its aftermath are recalled from differing points of view.

Mar 01 2014

Episode 18 – The Magnificent Seven

The Magnificent SevenFollowing up on our last episode about Seven Samurai, this episode looks at the American remake.  Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, James Coburn, Charles Bronson and more up the manly quotient to unbearable levels in The Magnificent Seven!  The movie is a remarkably close adaptation of Kurosawa’s classic.  We talk about the similarities as well as some of the very important differences.  Tim even comes up with a convoluted and frighteningly logical explanation of how this movie is actually remake of The Wizard of Oz. We also sing.  That’s a warning.

Stick around after the closing theme to hear the brilliant Magnificent Seven song from Trailer B!

The Magnificent Seven (1960)
The Magnificent Seven poster Rating: 7.8/10 (74,506 votes)
Director: John Sturges
Writer: William Roberts (screenplay)
Stars: Yul Brynner, Eli Wallach, Steve McQueen, Horst Buchholz
Runtime: 128 min
Rated: APPROVED
Genre: Action, Adventure, Western
Released: 23 Nov 1960
Plot: An oppressed Mexican peasant village hires seven gunfighters to help defend their homes.

Our next episode will be about The Emperor’s New Groove!

 

Feb 15 2014

Episode 17 – Seven Samurai

Seven SamuraiIt is time for some Reel Education subtitled action courtesy of the great Akira Kurosawa’ s masterpiece, Seven Samurai! While Jena speculates there will be flips in this film, she finds nary a one.  Instead, she finds one of the greatest films ever along with some truly racist Japanese accents courtesy of Melissa and Tim!  Seven Samurai enter!  How many leave?  That would be a spoiler!

Seven Samurai (1954)
Seven Samurai poster Rating: 8.7/10 (251,469 votes)
Director: Akira Kurosawa
Writer: Akira Kurosawa (screenplay), Shinobu Hashimoto (screenplay), Hideo Oguni (screenplay)
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Keiko Tsushima, Yukiko Shimazaki
Runtime: 207 min
Rated: NOT RATED
Genre: Adventure, Drama
Released: 19 Nov 1956
Plot: A poor village under attack by bandits recruits seven unemployed samurai to help them defend themselves.

Our next episode will be all about The Good, The Bad and The Ugly!