Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Set Your DVR: TCM Goes Kurosawa-Crazy!

Akira Kurosawa would be 100 years old this month if he were alive, and in honor of the man, TCM is showing Kurosawa flicks every Tuesday.  Many of these aren't available on DVD, and even those that are available are among the best films of the 20th century.

Tonight, there's Ikiru (*****), Throne of Blood (****), The Hidden Fortress (****), Hakuchi (unavailable on DVD, I think), and The Lower Depths (which I've never seen).

On the 16th is The Bad Sleep Well (**1/2), High And Low (*****), Red Beard (****), and I Live In Fear (***1/2).

On the 23rd (which is actually Kurosawa's birthday): Sanshiro Sugata (**1/2), The Most Beautiful (unavailable on DVD, haven't seen), The Men Who Tread on the Tiger's Tail (unavailable on DVD, haven't seen), Sanshiro Sugata II (**1/2), Regrets For Our Youth (haven't seen), One Wonderful Sunday (haven't seen), Drunken Angel (***), Stray Dog (****), Rashomon (****), Seven Samurai (*****), Yojimbo (*****), Sanjuro (***1/2), and Dodes 'Ka-Den (haven't seen).

On the 30th, there's Dersu Uzala (haven't seen), Kagemusha (**1/2), and Ran (****1/2).

I seriously encourage anyone who has never watched a Kurosawa film to catch at least one of these. The guy was one of the best filmmakers of the 20th century, if not The Best. Considering that he was a Japanese man making films in the 50s and 60s, it's pretty amazing how well his movies translate to modern Western audiences, but that's mostly because he stole shamelessly from American and European directors and, in turn, some of the most influential filmmakers of today stole shamelessly from him. His films are full of beautiful cinematography and well-observed moments of pure human behavior for the art set, while still fun and witty and action-packed for more mainstream tastes.


Tom Block 4:46 PM, March 10, 2010  

They're all available on DVD now, Hayden:


Hayden Childs 6:01 PM, March 10, 2010  

Oh right! I remember when those came out. I mean, I can't afford them, but it's good to know they're available.

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