Sunday, October 31, 2010

Kurosawa Film Trailers (Part 4 of 5)

Here is part 4 of 5 of Akira Kurosawa film trailers in English

High and Low (1963)
From Wikipedia:

High and Low (天国と地獄 Tengoku to Jigoku, literally "Heaven and Hell") is a 1963 film directed by Akira Kurosawa, starring Toshirō MifuneTatsuya Nakadai and Kyōko Kagawa. It was loosely based on King's Ransom, an 87th Precinct police procedural by Ed McBain.

Akahige (Red Beard) 1965

From Wikipedia:

Red Beard (赤ひげ Akahige) is a 1965 Japanese film directed by Akira Kurosawa about the relationship between a town doctor and his new trainee. The film was based on Shūgorō Yamamoto's short story collection, Akahige shinryotan (赤ひげ診療譚). Fyodor Dostoevsky's novel The Insulted and the Injured provided the source for a subplot about a young girl, Otoyo (Terumi Niki), who is rescued from a brothel. Red Beard looks at the problem of social injustice and explores two of Kurosawa's favourite topics: humanism and existentialism.

Dodesuka-den (1970)

From Wikipedia:

Dodesukaden (どですかでん) is a film by Akira Kurosawa set in a contemporary Japanese rubbish dump. The film focuses on the lives of a variety of characters who happen to live in the dump. The first one introduced is a mentally challenged boy who pretends to be a tram conductor by following a set route through the dump in an imaginary tram that he mimes. The film title refers to a Japanese onomatopoeia for the sound made by a tram or train while in motion ( "Do-desu-ka-den do-desu-ka-den do-desu-ka-den"). The sound is made by the boy as he makes his daily faux-tram route through the dump. Dodesukaden was filmed on an actual dump in Tokyo.
This was Kurosawa's first color film, and he took full of advantage of the new color medium. After the success of Red Beard, it took Kurosawa five years before this film appeared. None of the actors from Kurosawa's stock company of the 1950's and 60's were in this film and most of the cast were relatively unknown. Dodesukaden was unlike anything that Kurosawa had made before, and was critically panned in Japan despite earning an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Film for the 44th Academy Awards for films made in 1970. 
Dodesukaden was Kurosawa's first financial failure and came during the worst possible time in his life. When Dodesukaden was filmed Kurosawa had been going through a lull in his career and personal life - he was finding it increasingly difficult to obtain financing despite the critical and financial success of his previous films, and rumors about his deteriorating mental health only made matters worse. Dodesukaden was only made by the cooperation and co-producing of three other Japanese directors, Keisuke KinoshitaMasaki Kobayashi, and Kon Ichikawa.
The critical failure of Dodesukaden sent Kurosawa into a deep depression, and in 1971 he attempted suicide. Despite having slashed himself over 30 times with a razor, Kurosawa survived his suicide attempt; however, he would not return to filmmaking for five years, releasing Dersu Uzala in 1975.

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