These pages are heavy so I will split them up into different groups. This is part 1 of 5.
Rashomon (羅生門 Rashōmon) is a 1950 Japanese crime mystery film directed by Akira Kurosawa, working in close collaboration with cinematographer Kazuo Miyagawa. It stars Toshirō Mifune, Masayuki Mori, Machiko Kyō and Takashi Shimura. The film is based on two stories by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa — ("Rashomon" provides the setting, while "In a Grove" provides the characters and plot).
Rashomon can be said to have introduced Kurosawa and Japanese cinema to Western audiences, albeit to a small and discerning number of theatres, and is considered one of his masterpieces. The film won theGolden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, and also received an Academy Honorary Award at the 24th Academy Awards.
The Idiot (1951)
The Idiot (白痴 Hakuchi) is a 1951 Japanese film by director Akira Kurosawa. It is based on the novelThe Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky. It was filmed in black and white at an aspect ratio of 1.37:1. It was Kurosawa's second film for the Shochiku studio, after the previous year's Scandal.
Originally intended to be a two-part film with a running time of 265 minutes, the film was severely cut at the request of the studio, against Kurosawa's wishes, after a single poorly-received screening of the full-length version. When the re-edited version was also deemed too long by the studio, Kurosawa sardonically suggested the film be cut lengthwise instead. According to Japanese film scholar Donald Richie, there are no existing prints of the original 265-minute version. Kurosawa would return to Shochiku forty years later to make Rhapsody in August, and, according to Alex Cox, is said to have searched the Shochiku archives for the original cut of the film to no avail.
"Of all my films, people wrote to me most about this one... ...I had wanted to make The Idiot long before Rashomon. Since I was little I've liked Russian literature, but I find that I like Dostoevsky the best and had long thought that this book would make a wonderful film. He is still my favourite author, and he is the one — I still think — who writes most honestly about human existence."—Akira Kurosawa
Ikiru (生きる "To Live") is a 1952 Japanese film co-written and directed by Akira Kurosawa. The film examines the struggles of a minor Tokyo bureaucrat and his final quest for meaning. The film stars Takashi Shimura as Kanji Watanabe.
Parts two ~ five will be up tomorrow!