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Latest news roundup: Books, films, Naruse and Nakadai

Toshiro Mifune in Scandal
Once again, it is time to look at some recent Akira Kurosawa related news which are interesting, but not interesting enough to warrant their own posts.

Let’s start with some book news. I will be posting about both in more detail when the right time to do so comes, but it looks like there will be two Kurosawa related books coming out this spring in the English language. One is titled Compound Cinematics: Akira Kurosawa and I, and it is the English translation of Kurosawa’s longtime screenwriting partner Shinobu Hashimoto’s book that talks about the process of writing Kurosawa’s films. You may remember me first mentioning it last summer, when it was scheduled for autumn, then pushed back to December, then February, and now it looks like the end of March or early April. Whatever the date is, it is definitely a much anticipated publication.

The other Kurosawa related book to come out this spring is titled Welles, Kurosawa, Kozintsev, Zeffirelli: Great Shakespeareans (Volume XVII) and it assesses the four filmmakers’ contribution to the interpretation and appreciation of William Shakespeare. The book should be out on April 23.

From books we can easily enough move onto book clubs. The cult entertainment website Den of Geek‘s book club is currently tackling Kurosawa’s Something Like and Autobiography, so if you feel like discussing the book, that’s one place where to do it. But then again, why would you ever leave Akira Kurosawa info if you wanted to discuss anything Kurosawa related?

Elsewhere, Cinephilia & Beyond continues their recent run of Kurosawa related articles, this time publishing a 1994 interview with Maani Petgar.

We also have some reviews this week. Edgar Chaput at Sound On Sight considers Kurosawa’s Sanshiro Sugata, calling the film an “eye-opener”. It certainly is that.

Another review is by Stanley W. Rogosuki, who takes a look at The Hidden Fortress and understandably cannot talk about the film without also mentioning Star Wars.

Speaking of Lucas’s film, Carey Dunne over at Co.Design has posted some little facts about the film’s costumes, noting among other things that the jedi robe comes from Kurosawa and other samurai films. Well yes, you probably already knew that, but it’s still a nice little article.

Moving slightly further away from Kurosawa, if you have ever wanted to catch Tatsuya Nakadai on stage, you can currently do so in Tokyo, where Nakadai plays opposite Kayoko Shiraishi in August Strindberg’s The Dance of Death. For more information, see Japan Times.

And finally, if you will be in Hong Kong between 23 March and 6 April, you may want to check out the Hong Kong Film Festival, which will be honouring Mikio Naruse, whose film Floating Clouds just had its 60th anniversary last month. Twitch Film has additional information about the various screenings.


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