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Akira Kurosawa Recommendations

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13 replies to this topic

#1 of 14 OFFLINE   Keith M.

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Posted October 15 2004 - 05:31 AM

I recently purchased, watched and enjoyed the following Akira Kurosawa dvd's:

Seven Samurai
Hidden Fortress
Throne of Blood

I will eventually see them all, but would like recommendations to which titles to watch next?

Thanks in advance...

#2 of 14 OFFLINE   Haggai



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Posted October 15 2004 - 05:54 AM

I'd suggest Stray Dog, which is on DVD from Criterion.

#3 of 14 OFFLINE   Michael Alex

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Posted October 15 2004 - 07:18 AM

If you liked Ikiru, you'll probably want to check "The Lower Depths", "High and Low" and "Red Beard", the Criterion versions of which are all exceptional. It would seem that many people with more than a passing interest in Kurosawa agree that his non-Samurai pictures are just as important from an artistic point of view as his more popular ones, if not even more so.
And I'll second Stray Dog, another impressive achievement at a relatively early point in his career.
"It's not that I don't want to be understood, but I can't, like Spielberg, say, make a film for the general public — I'd be mortified if I discovered I could. If you want to reach a general audience, you have to make films like Star Wars and Superman which have nothing to do with art."

#4 of 14 OFFLINE   Chris Cheese

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Posted October 15 2004 - 07:39 AM

My three favorites are Seven Samurai, Red Beard and Stray Dog, so get the two you don't have next. They're both amazing. I personally found Red Beard to be a much more emotionally-affecting film than Ikiru (though I do really enjoy both).

#5 of 14 OFFLINE   Ken_McAlinden



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Posted October 15 2004 - 08:48 AM

I would recommend "Dersu Uzala", "High and Low", and "Red Beard" next.

Ken McAlinden
Livonia, MI USA

#6 of 14 OFFLINE   Keith M.

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Posted October 15 2004 - 09:42 AM

Yeah, I was leaning towards Dersu Uzala, but was concerned about the quality of the dvd...

Stray Dog looks like it will be next...


#7 of 14 OFFLINE   ArthurMy


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Posted October 15 2004 - 11:27 AM

Cannot recommend High and Low enough - a brilliant movie. The Criterion DVD is not optimal (non-enhanced and slightly wrong ratio), but the image quality is quite okay (I have the SE DVD from Japan - no subs unfortunately, but the image quality is superb and I know the film well enough so that I can live without the subs).

#8 of 14 OFFLINE   Stephen_L


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Posted October 15 2004 - 11:36 AM

Gotta echo "High and Low" as a great choice. A wonderful bit of Japanese film noir with Toshiro Mifune in a business suit! Can you imagine! Add a story with some real moral complexity and you have a winner.
"The old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by the frost."

#9 of 14 OFFLINE   Haggai



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Posted October 15 2004 - 11:44 AM

Lotta Red Beard fans here, but I've got do a little hatin' and say that I didn't like that movie. It's the only Kurosawa I've seen that didn't work for me. But Stephen Prince's commentary on that DVD is really damn good.

#10 of 14 OFFLINE   Jeff Swearingen

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Posted October 15 2004 - 04:04 PM

My vote is for High and Low. Actually now I think about it a while I bought a couple Kurosawa DVDs that I haven't watched or opened yet. Be back in a few hours...

#11 of 14 OFFLINE   ChrisWiggles



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Posted December 03 2005 - 06:49 AM

Well, obviously see them ALL!

I will also recommend the film Runaway Train (Jon Voight, Eric Roberts, I think 1985ish). It's done by russian director Andrei Konchalovsky, based on a Kurosawa screenplay. It's a marvelous film. The strength is there from the screenplay, but what I love about it is that Konchalovsky didn't try to copy or make a Kurosawa film as I've seen with some other films made from Kurosawa scripts. It's very much his film, and it's just wonderfully done, and I think Voight's performance here alone makes him one of my favorite actors. Simple, incredible film.

Dersu Uzala, just see it, see them all, there are some that I don't even think are on video (or impossible to find). Don't let quality be an obstacle. Dersu is one of my all-time favorites, and as a kind of love story it's probably the best ever. I just picked up a Region 3 Dersu Uzala, it's 3-discs the US cut, and then a longer Russian cut that I've never seen. The PQ looks promising, I'm very excited to see this longer version that spans two discs. Looks like there's also a good bit of extras in B&W and such about the film.

#12 of 14 OFFLINE   Deepak Shenoy

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Posted December 03 2005 - 09:49 AM

Lower Depths and Red Beard are my personal favorites. I would recommend High and Low too, but unfortunately the Criterion DVD is not up to snuff. Criterion will eventually reissue this title and so if possible I would rent it for now.


#13 of 14 OFFLINE   Elijah Sullivan

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Posted December 03 2005 - 10:19 AM

Red Beard comes in right after Seven Samurai, Ran and maybe even before Rashomon, in my book, but it's true that it's one of his most difficult film. (That's why I like it.) It's a serious drama with the single best Toshiro Mifune performance ever.

High & Low and Stray Dog are two of the greatest film noir on the planet. Top 10, absolutely. I give the edge to High & Low although they are both nail-biters with knockout endings.

If you liked Ran, his Kagemusha is in a similar vein, and utterly amazing. The Criterion set for this film is one of their best.

No matter what you


#14 of 14 OFFLINE   Lord Dalek

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Posted December 03 2005 - 02:52 PM

A lot of his lesser known pictures such as Dodeskaden and Rhapsody in August are also very good.