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Satyajit Ray and Kurosawa

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    Ugetsu

    I knew of course that Kurosawa was a huge fan of the Bengali director Satyajit Ray, but I didn’t know they were friends. At the last paragraph of this review by retiring Observer Film Critic Philip French there is a lovely little vignette – it must have been an amazing experience to share a stroll with those two men.

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    Vili Maunula

    Indeed, it must have been!

    For someone who hardly spoke any other language than Japanese, and who in the end travelled quite little, I would say that Kurosawa managed to meet and befriend quite a number of the other master directors of his era.

    Anyway, from the comments of the article that you linked to, I learnt that Philip French is retiring as a film critic. Bummer. It’s not like I have really followed him, but quite often after reading a good article on a film and checking who wrote it, it’s Philip’s name that I have seen in the byline.

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    Ugetsu

    Yes, Philip French is having what seems to be a very elongated retirement, he’s been writing various reminiscences and ‘best of’ lists for months now – all well worth reading, he’s a good example of a top class critic – he doesn’t just have good taste or knowledge, he’s a wonderful writer and clearly very cultured and knowledgable on a wide range of topics. There aren’t many of them around anymore, and I think with the problems in media there will be fewer and fewer as time goes on. Mind you, he’s been replaced by Mark Kermode who is always interesting to read (although personally I think he has lousy taste, but thats a very subjective thing I know). He did have the honour though of doing the legendary interview with Werner Herzog in which someone actually shot Herzog.

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    Vili Maunula

    Ah, I knew I had heard the name Mark Kermode somewhere before! It was indeed the Herzog incident.

    Or well, I suppose I should say “a” Herzog incident!

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    Ugetsu

    But just to show French wasn’t a perfect critic, here is his review of Fistful of Dollars.

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