It has been a while since we had any news of a new Kurosawa publication, so it is a pleasant surprise to find out that not just one but at least two new books in English will be made available to readers by the end of this year.
Peter Wild‘s book (pictured), simply titled Akira Kurosawa and out this September, is part of the “Critical Lives” series published by the independent UK based publisher Reaktion Books. The publisher’s description of the work reads:
This book both evaluates Kurosawa’s films and offers a view of the man behind the camera, covering his family life and his legendary place on the global film-making stage. Throughout Kurosawa’s career there were repeated criticisms both from within his own country and abroad: he was too influenced by Western cinema; he was not authentically ‘Japanese’; he was too sentimental, naive, arrogant or out of touch. This new study helps us to understand Kurosawa – the man and his films – in his contemporary context.
An adroit evaluation, Akira Kurosawa will be essential reading for cinephiles, culture students and general readers alike who are interested in the work of this highly influential, masterful director.
The 224 page paperback edition is already available for pre-order. Peter Wild is the author and editor of a number of books and has written for publications including The Guardian and The Independent.
Definitely no less interesting is the new English translation of screenwriter Shinobu Hashimoto‘s memoir Compound Cinematics: Akira Kurosawa and I, which according to booksellers is to be published in November this year. Hashimoto’s book was originally published in Japan in 2006 and has been positively received there. In the book, Hashimoto talks about Kurosawa’s life and working processes based on his experience as a co-writer on eight of Kurosawa’s films, including Rashomon, Ikiru, Seven Samurai and Throne of Blood. He also worked as a production advisor on Kagemusha.
Compound Cinematics: Akira Kurosawa and I consists of 256 pages in its hardcover edition and is now available for pre-order from many book sellers.
How exciting does this seem to you? For more information about books on Akira Kurosawa, check out the Akira Kurosawa bibliography.
Update: The article originally said that Peter Wild’s book will be published in August. However, the publisher has informed me that the publication date has slipped to September. The article has been updated accordingly.