7 February 2011
I was reading an umpteenth (no derogating meant) “which film should I watch?” topic and its responses, and I asked to myself (and now to you, folks): “why isn’t there a simple yet comprehensive list of Kurosawa’s films with concise and judicious keywords for each one?”
Or does it exist?
This thought was supported by my recent discovery of Information is Beautiful, where we can realize (if we did not already) how useful can be a visual presentation, as long as it is based on pertinent information, of which collecting might represent a lot of work.
The idea would be to associate to each film (limitation to 30 films directed only by AK?) a tiny and representative picture, a title, a year, some theme tags (like illness) and classification tags (like contemporary), and all this would be visually shown on a single web page / screen, as displayed on a medium resolution monitor.
It could possibly be added some specific classifications, like duration, international awards, or the presence of the most recurring / renown actors, but I fear that it would spoil the visual from its neutrality and simplicity.
Some of the tags could appear by the means of visual elements other than words.
What do you know or think?
Its an interesting idea, although I’ve no idea how to go about doing it. But it did inspire me to try out this Kurosawa ngram, which is a start at least!
There was a fun attempt to do a graph illustrating the plot of Rashomon at http://www.shep.ca, but sadly that site seems to be down at the moment.
8 February 2011
That sounds like an interesting idea, Fabien! I really like Information is Beautiful designs, too. I’d be happy to host a diagram like that, or would be equally happy to work on one wherever it’s hosted.
I have no idea how such a chart could be composed, of course. Should, for instance, the chronological order be maintained somehow?
I have sometimes thought about creating a visual flowchart for the basic “which Kurosawa film to watch first” question. I also have an FAQ which I wrote a few years ago for this website, but which I haven’t published.
9 February 2011
The Rashomon plot diagram is still accessible on Mr Shepherd’s site.
It is indeed a very interesting and fun visual, though its readability could be improved.
I am pretty sure the link was given here by Vili or someone else, in 2008 or 2009, but I can’t find it again. Am I mistaken?
In the case no such thing as a visual and concise filmography would currently exist, sorting out several pieces of information and classifications which would be interesting to know in order to quickly identify each film, would be a nice first step.
In my idea, I would draw the visual, based on the information collected here, and if anything of interest comes out of it, it would be hosted on a site of mine, with all due reference to contributors (possibly linking here), and it could be hosted anywhere else with the same due reference.
Your idea of a flowchart is very interesting too, Vili, and the two things (visual filmography and flowchart) could make essential counterparts.
I am wondering also about the chronological order and about any order at all, but I think we could more easily visualize benefits of each type of ordering, and new types of ordering if we had a more precise conception of what information will be present.
Pieces of information and classifications as a very start: small picture to help visualizing (it would be no more than 80×80 or something around), title (most used english title – choice of english seems obvious but can be discussed), year (production or first japanese release?), black and white or colour, duration (important information but could be discourageing), main themes or topics shown (each one should take ideally one word), genre, awards (international only?), main actors.
About genre, I gathered genre tags on three different reference sites about cinema:
Drama is nearly omnipresent, and could be ignored in the filmography only to stress the films which have a comedic dimension.
Art house & international could be safely ignored, as it is attached to a western editor point of view not very relevant.
Classics seems related to international success/awards and would be more adequate as a possible award section.
There seem to be recurring major genres with action and adventure, is it interesting to keep them apart?
And more specific genres with fantasy, film noir, mistery, suspense, thriller, crime, romance, epic, history, war…
What would be your genre classification?
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