best kurosawa films

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. Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa is often regarded as one of the best and most influential directors in the history of cinema. “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. BFI Japan 2020: Over 100 Years of Japanese Cinema, Watch No Regrets for Our Youth online on BFI Player, Watch Throne of Blood online on BFI Player. Through these characters, Kurosawa demonstrates the care and compassion that should be shown to all humans, regardless of social status or wealth. Kurosawa’s oeuvre is not particularly regarded for its focus on sympathetic female characters, but the central turn by Setsuko Hara (better known for her work with Yasujiro Ozu) in his fifth feature (and first of the postwar period) showcases another side to the director, and also counts as his most overtly political work. The obvious influence of these more monumental titles makes it easy to overlook the more humanistic, personal aspects of the master’s wide array of low-key, contemporary dramas and potent literary adaptations. 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). 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. While the relentless verbal punning in the dialogue is occasionally lost in translation (the title, meaning ‘Not Yet’, alludes to a legend about an old man who refuses to relinquish his hold on life), the discernible self-reflective aspect to this celebration of a life well-lived nevertheless has an undeniable poignancy. 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. 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. Kurosawa directed this masterpiece at the lowest point of his career in Japan, a situation that was mainly down to the commercial failure of his previous film, Dodesukaden, which was completed a full five years before Dersu Uzala. 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. 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. Over a career of about sixty years, Kurosawa made critically acclaimed masterpieces like Seven Samurai and Rashomon. Seven Samurai (1954)was Akira Kurosawa at his finest. 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. How many have you seen? Registered charity 287780. He's already the subject of a Google doodle, now here's a guide to … June 30, 2020. Subscribe now for exclusive offers and the best of cinema. This includes a complete list of films with which he was involved (including the films on which he worked as assistant director before becoming a full director), as well as his little-known contributions to theater, television and literature. A stylistic similarity between the two films is the way in which Kurosawa transitions from one shot to the next using a wipe, something that George Lucas would emulate a little under two decades later. Inspired by several real-life incidents, No Regrets for Our Youth is an intelligent and balanced drama about wavering ideologies and personal allegiances set between 1933-46, the years of imperial Japan’s increasing militarisation through to its wartime defeat. 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. Shot in Russia’s Far East on 70mm film, this epic account of an explorer who befriends a hunter won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Kane and Vertigo don’t top the chart by divine right. Here is a list of the best films of his career. The costume designer deservedly won an Oscar. 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). 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. 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. As Mifune’s enigmatic masterless samurai roams into a desolate town overrun by grotesque rival criminal gangs, the whistling wind whisks leaves down deserted streets through which a dog runs with a severed human hand clamped in its mouth and the grimy residents, cowering behind shutters, fear to tread. Refine See titles to watch instantly, titles you haven't rated, etc Instant Watch Options The most celebrated Japanese filmmaker of all time, Akira Kurosawa produced a staggering body of work that stands as a monument of artistic achievement. Menu. This blending of Eastern and Western traditions is thrilling to behold. 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 … 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. To allow us to provide a better and more tailored experience please click "OK", The Idiot (1951) | © japanesefilmarchive/Flickr. 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. Although the script uses not a single line from its source, Kurosawa’s celebrated transplantation of Macbeth to the lawless realm of 16th-century Japan counts among the finest screen adaptations of Shakespeare ever realised, a faithful rendition of the story that works perfectly within its own historical context. 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. Dersu Uzala is truly one of a kind. Ironically, that foreign language was Russian, and the country Kurosawa was representing was the Soviet Union. With its accumulated wide-shots of threatening ranks of horsemen clutching banners assembled on distant hilltops and a standout scene in which overthrown warlord Hidetora wanders in a confused daze from the apocalyptic conflagration of his besieged castle, every image is so meticulously composed, every scene so perfectly constructed, as to provide the kind of satori moments of transcendent stupefaction all but lost in the CG age. The first serious phase of the director’s career came during the postwar era … This includes a complete list of films with which he was involved (including the films on which he worked as assistant director before becoming a full director), as well as his little-known contributions to theater, television and literature. Akira Kurosawa (Japanese: 黒澤明 Kurosawa Akira; March 23, 1910 – September 6, 1998) was a Japanese film director, screenwriter, and producer who directed 30 films in a career spanning 57 years.He is regarded as one of the most important and influential filmmakers in the history of cinema. The film was widely acclaimed domestically, winning the Blue Ribbon Award, Kinema Junpo Award, and Mainichi Film Award for best film. His films, like The Hidden Fortress, influenced popular culture and a generation of young filmmakers. BFI Japan 2020: Over 100 Years of Japanese Cinema is a major celebration of Japanese cinema beginning on BFI Player. 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. 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. 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. 10 Worst: The Idiot (1951) The Idiot is an adaptation of a Russian novel of the same name by Fyodor Dostoevsky. Skilfully invoking memorable imagery of disintegrating ideals, The Grand Illusion is a tragicomic exposition of the futility of extensive warfare. 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. A loose adaptation of Ed McBain’s King’s Ransom, this tense police procedural drama focuses on the kidnapping of a successful businessman’s son, all within the broader context of a society that was rapidly becoming more affluent and seeing an increasingly pronounced wealth gap. 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. 1990s 3; 1980s 2; … The film was released in Japan in 1951, but in the United States only in 1963. This is all the more impressive when one considers that Kurosawa was 75 years old during the making of the film. Kurosawa transports Shakespeare’s Macbeth to feudal Japan in this masterly movie, which features a mesmerising performance by Toshiro Mifune. A portrait of the academic and author Hyakken Uchida (1889–1971), unfolding across the decades following Uchida’s retirement just prior to the beginning of Second World War, much of its runtime is given over to the good cheer accompanying the riotous annual drinking parties held every year to mark his birthday by the former students who venerate him. 0. “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! He is still considered to be one of the greatest Japanese filmmakers in history and he is beloved worldwide. 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 a running time of over 200 minutes, Kurosawa’s first samurai film is a quintessential action film, and it exerted enormous influence on both Japanese cinema and Hollywood, most notably in the 1960 Western remake The Magnificent Seven. All rights reserved. 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. 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. 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. 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… Kurosawa’s most famous film concerns a village under attack from a group of bandits. Take a look at any recent historical epic, or indeed the Manichean battle scenes that comprise so much of Peter Jackson’s Tolkien adaptations, and try to imagine how they might look in an alternate universe in which Kurosawa never existed. The Men Who Tread on the Tiger’s Tail. The plot revolves around four characters giving different accounts of the same occurrence, leading the audience to question the nature of truth, motivation, interpretation and recollection. Akira Kurosawa redefined the action film with his samurai epics set in Japan’s medieval past. Top 10 Akira Kurosawa Films. Combining two short stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa, its script also broke the mould of conventional cinema plotting, introducing the concept of the unreliable narrator in its contradictory accounts of the rape of a samurai’s wife as relayed by the key suspects and witnesses to the crime, including one testimony delivered from the murdered samurai himself by a medium. All 30 Akira Kurosawa Movies Ranked From Worst To Best. Needless to say, the outraged artist refuses to take things lying down and vows to take the magazine’s editor to court. During the final days of World War II, production funds for Japanese films were at a bare minimum. Drunken Angel also began a string of collaborations between Kurosawa and composer Fumio Hayasaka, who would later go on to work with Kurosawa’s eminent peer Kenji Mizoguchi. Kurosawa fans most likely expected this film to be at the top. Kurosawa limited himself to one title per director, giving a unique perspective on the best world directors and his personal favorites. This action-filled adventure film is credited as a major inspiration for the original Star Wars films. Based on Shakespeare’s King Lear, Ran was the most complex and expensive film of Kurosawa’s career. 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. The villagers decide to hire seven wandering samurai to defeat the thugs before they can steal their crops. A lesser-known work from the master, Scandal is nonetheless worth checking out not only as an example of Kurosawa’s technical virtuosity and strong compositional approach, but for its critique of some of the less palatable aspects of westernisation. Here are 10 of his best movies. This postwar drama, made during the American occupation of Japan, and therefore subject to strict censorship regulations, marked the first in a long series of collaborations between Kurosawa and the actor Toshiro Mifune. News, features and opinion on the world of film. Yojimbo (1961) Although the majority of Kurosawa’s films were contemporary dramas, he tends to be best known for his samurai works. Kurosawa entered the Japanese film industry in 1936, following a brief stint as a painter. We and our partners use cookies to better understand your needs, improve performance and provide you with personalised content and advertisements. 12:49:00 AM akira kurosawa , best movies list , biography , japan Edit J apanese auteur Akira Kurosawa is widely regarded as one of the greatest moviemakers of all time. A ranking of all thirty films directed by Akira Kurosawa, presented in order of best to worst. Find out about international touring programmes, BFI Film Academy: opportunities for young creatives, Get funding to progress my creative career, Search the BFI National Archive collections, Read research data and market intelligence, Search for projects funded by National Lottery, Apply for British certification and tax relief, Get help as a new filmmaker and find out about NETWORK, Find out about booking film programmes internationally. 3 Best Films of Akira Kurosawa. a list of 30 titles The Best 20 Films of the Noughties (2000-2009). 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. Along with Tarkovsky, I consider Kurosawa the greatest of all filmmakers. The film also lent its name to the Rashomon Effect, which refers to contradictory descriptions of the same events given by different people. Taken as pure entertainment, High and Low ranks among the very best films Kurosawa ever made thanks to the constant tension, corporate intrigue, and unpredictable plot developments. Here Mifune plays a gangster who contracts tuberculosis and develops a bond with the hard-drinking doctor who diagnosed him. Without further ado, here are Akira Kurosawa's 5 Best Films (& 5 Worst). 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. It incorporates numerous elements of Japanese Noh Theatre, which dates back to the 14th century. 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 … The main character of Ikiru (which means ‘to live’), played by the long-standing Kurosawa mainstay Takashi Shimura, is a terminally ill bureaucrat who attempts to find a meaning and purpose to life before he passes away. This three-hour tale of social inequality and existential angst was the last of the 16 films in which Kurosawa and Mifune worked together. 28. This includes a complete list of films with which he was involved (including the films on which he worked as assistant director before becoming a full director), as well as his little-known contributions to theater, television and literature. Akira Kurosawa, the legendary Japanese director, was born 100 years ago today. Yukie is the privileged daughter of a Kyoto University law professor who is controversially removed from his post for his leftist beliefs. The Best Japanese Horror Movies From folk tales to body horror to monster movies, Japan’s cinema finds new ways to thrill and disturb audiences. Akira Kurosawa is an influential director. Hand-picked. 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. 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. The final sequence is as fitting a coda to the astounding career of this legendary filmmaker as one could ever wish for. 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. 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. Atmospheric cinematography of Kazuo Miyagawa, and Mainichi film Award for best foreign language film and Vertigo don t... 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