Remaking Kurosawa: Translations and Permutations in Global Cinema is the title of a forthcoming Akira Kurosawa book written by Dr Dolores Martinez from the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies.
The publication date is set for May 26, and although some online sources list a June publication, I have been informed by the author herself that the book should be out in May.
As the title and the abstract below suggest, Martinez’s work looks primarily at the influence that Kurosawa’s works have had on other film makers. Although Kurosawa’s influence is something that most film critics have been quick to note, there is actually relatively little in-depth discussion about the topic, and therefore Remaking Kurosawa looks like a very welcome addition to the list of Akira Kurosawa books available to the English readership.
The abstract reads:
Japan, so often called a nation of copiers, is also copied from and an example of this is the way that Akira Kurosawa’s films have influenced non-Japanese directors. Beginning with Rashomon (1950), the film that brought Kurosawa to western attention, this book also considers Seven Samurai (1954), Yojimbo (1961) and Hidden Fortress (1958). Through these films, the human tendency to make connections, see similarity, and then assert difference is described. A bold attempt to build a bridge out of diverse materials: the anthropology of Japan, film studies, and post-modern theory, this book traces the desire lines of the human imagination.
Personally, I am very interested in the suggested scope of the work as laid out in the last sentence of the abstract above.
The chapter listing, as given to me by the author herself, differs in small details from those currently listed on the publisher’s product page. The full content list, as sent to me by the author, reads:
Table of Contents
- Chapter 1: Setting the Scene
- Chapter 2: Portrait of an Artist as film-maker
- Chapter 3: Rashomon: the problem of subjectivity
- Chapter 4: Remaking Rashomon: from subjectivity to ‘the’ truth
- Chapter 5: The Battle of the sexes: or, the one scenario when subjectivity is acceptable
- Chapter 6: Permutations on the theme of murder: the search for solutions
- Chapter 7: And on television…
- A short Interval
- Chapter 8: The Group Western
- Chapter 9: The lone hero
- Chapter 10: Cloning Kurosawa
Martinez’s previous publications include a chapter on Seven Samurai in Japanese Cinema: Texts and Contexts. She has also written on Rashomon (“Where the Hearts Goes Astray”, published in Film, the journal of Manchester University press) and is currently working on a paper about The Hidden Fortress, to be presented at the SMCS conference in Tokyo this May. According to Martinez, the paper will look at Kurosawa’s relationship with Eisenstein, and at Star Wars and the Last Princess, the latter of which was out too late to be included in Remaking Kurosawa.
For availability and information about other Akira Kurosawa books, see the section on books on Akira Kurosawa.
3 March 2009
There seems to be confusion in the other big American bookstores as well, not only are the descriptions unrelated, but the credited author is different, despite the book cover appearing as shown here.
Also the paperback version cost $74, compared to the hardback costing $64, to which both prices are ridiculous, considering the British price is roughly $16
Hopefully, the information gets fixed soon.
Never-the-less, I will be picking this book up for sure.
Kurosawa knew Eisenstein?