While this is no longer really news, I feel I should mention that Stephen Prince passed away last December at the age of 65, after a short battle with cancer. In true AkiraKurosawa.info fashion, I am writing about this very very late indeed. My only defence is that I only learnt about it earlier this week, and I’d like to thank Shogo who brought this up during our email exchange.
Stephen, of course, was one of the foundations on which the castle that is the study of Kurosawa’s films has been built, especially in the west. His book The Warrior’s Camera: The Cinema of Akira Kurosawa is one of the essential Kurosawa publications that I would recommend to anyone who is interested in the subject, while the commentaries that he made for Criterion’s Kurosawa releases are some of the best film commentaries that I have heard on any film. But his interests and impact of course went much further and wider than just Kurosawa. I very much recommend reading the obituary posted by Virginia Tech where he taught for over 30 years.
From personal experience, I can say that he was a very lovely man. I cannot really claim to have known him personally, or even very well digitally, but in the few emails that we exchanged he came across as a very gentle and inquisitive soul, one that anyone would be lucky to have as their professor, friend or acquaintance.
Thank you for everything, Stephen.
Image copied from Virginia Tech.