Here I am again with the latest Akira Kurosawa related news, links and pictures to brighten up your day. I’ve got everything from discussion about the war to some pretty pictures, so let’s get on with it!
We’ll start with an opinion piece which appeared a couple of days ago in The Asahi Shinbun with the title It’s time for Japanese filmmakers to dust off Kurosawa’s sword, calling for more money to be given to quality filmmakers and productions in Japan. The topic is closely related to our recent discussion about the current state of the Japanese film industry.
If you are in Mexico and want to learn about Kurosawa in an academic setting, check out Cineteca Nacional Mexico‘s course on Akira Kurosawa’s films. It’ll be running from August to November this year, with 16 sessions each Saturday evening. If the course description doesn’t convince you, check out their YouTube video and this article for more information.
On the other hand, if you find yourself in Tokyo any time this autumn, make sure to pay a visit to the National Film Center who are holding a Takashi Shimura exhibition starting on August 18. Check out the website’s Japanese page for some pictures, and if you do get to visit the exhibition be so kind as to report back as I will not be anywhere near the place, however much I would love to.
The Playlist has listed 15 essential post-war films, and no less than two Kurosawa pictures are included — Record of a Living Being / I Live In Fear (“it may be the least actively ‘post-war’ drama on this list, but of all Kurosawa’s post-war era films, its atomic age fears make it the most directly related to the subject”) and The Idiot (“[Kurosawa] turns the film into a larger metaphor for a nation traumatized, ashamed, destroyed and suffering a severe identity crisis”). It’s a great list, even without the Kurosawas.
The war will of course be in people’s minds this coming month in Japan, as the 70th anniversaries of the atomic bombings will be marked on the 6th and the 9th of August. Associated Press has made a list of some of the events, which include free showings of films related to peace and the bombs, including Kurosawa’s Rhapsody in August.
In the nearly obligatory The Magnificent Seven remake news, the seventh magnificent gunslinger has reportedly been found in David Kallaway. But what is even more wonderful and beautiful is that James Horner, who was to write the music to the film before his tragic death a month ago, had actually already written the score based on the screenplay. Do check out the article and listen to the end of the interview, where director Antoine Fuqua, whose latest film Southpaw just premiered last week, talks about Horner and this surprise gift.
I will leave you with the following Toshirō Mifune related piece of dialogue which comes from the first issue of The Tomorrows, a brand new comic book series by Dark Horse Comics. You can find a content preview on their website.