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'Why Hollywood can't get enough Akira Kurosawa remakes'

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    Interesting article here in the Guardian online newspaper. But it seems to be based on an attempt to sell off the rights to his scripts, rather than anything really new.



    Ugetsu – Thanks for the links! You come up with very interesting ones, and the Guardian’s coverage of cultural issues compares favorably to most other UK news outlets.

    Let’s not forget Kurosawa was, even early in his career, by far the most westernised of Japanese directors, a lover of Lubitsch, Chaplin and Ford, and was often scorned for it in Japan, both by jingoistic war-nostalgists and by the westernised Marxist generation of Japanese film-makers bringing up the rear. He was a voracious consumer of western movies and literature, and the literary sources for his movies range from Gorky (The Lower Depths), Dostoyevsky (The Idiot), and Shakespeare (Throne of Blood, Ran) to Georges Simenon (Stray Dog), Ed McBain (High and Low) and Dashiell Hammett (Yojimbo).

    I know this trope bugs you, but what’s said here seems both factually correct and self-evident. The problem arises when people translate this into his not also being quintessentially Japanese in outlook and approach. He is, but it’s a different strand of Japaneseness than exhibited by Ozu or Mizoguchi. While Japanese culture suffuses and informs his work — for example, the witch in Throne of Blood and the medium in Rashomon can seem odd and a little embarrassing to Westerners not familiar with their cultural antecedents — he isn’t exotic for the sake of exoticism; he takes the best he sees from all cultures, whereas Ozu and Mizoguchi remain more quintessentially Japanese and could conceivably be called provincial or parochial in comparison. It’s a matter of taste and emphasis, not talent.




    I know this trope bugs you, but what’s said here seems both factually correct and self-evident.

    You read me so well! Yes, my first response when reading it was ‘oh no, here we go again’, but on reflection yes, the comment is mostly correct, although I’m not sure that it was jingoistic war-nostalgists who scorned him, more the defenders of a more socially conservative Japan. But yes, it is largely correct I think and a perfectly good way to look at his work.

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