On March 23, 1910, Akira Kurosawa was born. Kurosawa is perhaps one of the most influential directors to ever make movies, inspiring many to make their own films and stories including the young George Lucas(70s and 80s Lucas), Steven Spielberg, Roman Polanski, Martin Scorsese, and Francis Ford Coppola to name a few.
His films and stories had set classic plot points of today's films. His movie 'The Seven Samurai' has been called the first modern action film and has been remade and retold into classics such as 'The Magnificent Seven' and 'Bug's Life', Yojimbo was remade into 'A Fistful of Dollars'(which became its own franchise) and 'Last Man Standing', the movie Star Wars(New Hope) borrows heavily from 'Hidden Fortress'. George Lucas even wanted the actor Toshiro Mifune, who starred in sixteen of Kurosawa's movies, to play Obiwan Kenobi. His works and themes can also be seen used and parodied in literature, cartoons, and comics including 'Usagi Yojimbo'.
In 1990, he accepted the Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement. Posthumously, he was named "Asian of the Century" in the "Arts, Literature, and Culture" category by AsianWeek magazine and CNN, cited as "one of the [five] people who contributed most to the betterment of Asia in the past 100 years"
To me, Kurosawa was a huge influence in my own writings and musings, as well as influencing my appreciation of film in general, as I would watch his movies with my dad as a kid. To this day, I make it a point to watch 'Seven Samurai' every New Year's eve.
I plan to play a few of his movies on my streams over the weekend but if you like to see more, www.hulu.com has available the entire Criterion Collection of his movies for free until midnight Sunday. If you have ever been interested to see his movies, now is a good time to watch.
Recommendations: Seven Samurai, Ikiru, Hidden Fortress, Yojimbo and Sanjuro(Sanjuro is a continuation of Yojimbo), Dreams, Ran, Throne of Blood, Rashamon, and Kagemusha. Plenty more to see but these tend to be the ones most everyone will mention first. A personal favorite of mine is 'Madadayo'.
5 years, 8 months ago
23 Mar 2013 17:23 CET