The newly restored 4K version of Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai premieres today in Japan in selected cinemas. A full list of venues can be found here (in Japanese).
The restoration work was carried out by Toho Studios, working from an original master copy as the status of the negatives is unknown. The film, together with Ikiru, was cleaned up frame by frame, a job which is considerable considering the over half a million frames between the two. Special attention was also paid to clean up the soundtracks, in particular in order to make the dialogue crispier than in previous prints.
The film is shown as part of this year’s Asa 10 programme, which screens a selection of classic films around the country each year.
Drop a note if you happen to catch a screening. I promise we will all be very jealous indeed.