Akira Kurosawa
September 11, 2009 6:25 PM   Subscribe

Kurosawa: The Last Emperor documentary by Alex Cox (Repo Man). Featuring Francis Coppola, John Woo, Bernardo Bertolucci, Paul Verhoeven, Arturo Ripstein, Andrei Konchalovsky, Mike Hodges, and Kasuko Kurosawa. 50mins.
posted by vronsky (11 comments total) 42 users marked this as a favorite
Wow, I'm so glad you posted this. I never would have seen it otherwise.
posted by isopraxis at 6:28 PM on September 11, 2009

Just in time to go onto my ipod for tonight's walk; tyvm.

I've got the Kurosawa DVD from 2002 but this is apparently a different film entirely. (?)
posted by Palamedes at 6:49 PM on September 11, 2009

Nice find vronsky.
posted by nola at 8:16 PM on September 11, 2009

Thanks! Going to watch this later. Kurosawa is one of my favourite directors of all time. I make a point of rewatching Seven Samurai every year or so.
posted by slimepuppy at 2:34 AM on September 12, 2009

Very nice work.
posted by absalom at 8:00 AM on September 12, 2009

I think slimepuppy that Kurosawa is one of the handful of great directors whose films get even better with repeated viewings. I watched High and Low (Heaven and Hell) last week for the 8th or so time and I still find new things to admire.

According to the documentary, he made his name in the west with Rashomon, but I have to say that it is probably the least favorite of his films - except the beginning at the temple in the rain. Fans should seek out Dersu Uzala, one of his lesser known films. Made for the Soviets and shot in Siberia.

this blog has some lovely stills from Throne Of Blood.
posted by vronsky at 10:08 AM on September 12, 2009

Oh, wow. Thank you!
posted by brundlefly at 11:09 AM on September 12, 2009

There was an American made-for-TV biography from a few years ago, which is a good introduction if you are new to his work, but I found it a bit annoying because they repeated the same few short clips over again.

This documentary has much more depth, thank you very much.

I loved his speech at the Academy Awards: (paraphrase) "I am just beginning to learn how to do this..."
posted by ovvl at 3:37 PM on September 12, 2009

Wonderful, so many lovely moments.
His daughter laughing about how her mom would be glad when he was away on location ("a good husband is healthy and far away") - heh.
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:39 PM on September 13, 2009

I also like Cox's popping in to testily insist at the end that Kurosawa's final film isn't sentimental (as the movie critic suggests in his interview) but is *about* sentimentality.
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:42 PM on September 13, 2009

And Kurosawa's childhood friend, who grew up with him in the movie business but was not promoted by the studios because they knew Kurosawa was better... he says "they knew I was a failure... can that be translated into English?... a failure...so they didn't promote me". I wonder how much of the sense of the Japanese expression we're missing there.
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:47 PM on September 13, 2009

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