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Two further newsbits: Kin Sugai and CNN’s Best Asian Films

To round up this week’s Akira Kurosawa related news, here’s two lighter news items:

Kin Sugai, who over the years appeared in five Kurosawa films with minor roles (in High and Low, our current Film Club movie, she plays a female drug addict), has been given a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the oldest actress to get first starring role. In December this year, she will be seen playing the lead role in My Grandmother (Boku no Obaachan).

Meanwhile, CNN’s The Screening Room has decided to once and for all determine what the best ever movies made in Asia are. So that we can all stop wondering. Their list can be found here, and there should also be a way to vote or at least voice your opinion. In any case, Ikiru made the cut.




There’s no Ozu on the list.


Vili Maunula

A good call, Coco!

There was another list this week, Empire magazine’s 500 Greatest Movies of All Time. Me and Empire don’t really get together too well, so I shall refrain from commenting.

But Ozu does make an appearance there with Tokyo Story at number 67.

Kurosawa had 6 entries, which pales to Spielberg’s 11, but beats Bergman’s three.

A more searchable version of the list can be found for example here.



Even by standards of that sort of list, it is a bit bizarre. But it seems to have been done on more or less a ‘one per country’ basis. A bit odd to include NZ in Asia though (yes, I know where it is, its just not culturally Asian by any definition).

The thing about these lists though is that it does show how strongly Japanese movies of the ’50’s stand up to any international comparison. It still amazes me that over a few years Kurosawa, Ozu, Mizoguchi and Naruse were making films that easily matched the very best of any country at any time.

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