Legendary Japanese director Akira Kurosawa (1910-1998) is one of the most well respected and influential directors of all time. In Hollywood's hands SEVEN SAMURAI (1954) was remade as THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, YOJIMBO (1961) started the entire Spaghetti Western genre when remade as A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS (1964) and THE HIDDEN FORTRESS (1958) became the inspiration for the first STAR WARS (1977). Here for the first time in Australia is a collection of Kurosawa's early Samurai Classics that will undoubtedly continue to inspire audiences and film-makers for generations to come.
The Seven Samurai:
A veteran samurai, who has fallen on hard times, answers a village's request for protection from bandits. He gathers 6 other samurai to help him, and they teach the townspeople how to defend themselves, and they supply the samurai with three small meals a day. The film culminates in a giant battle when 40 bandits attack the village...
The Hidden Fortress:
A story of rival clans, hidden gold and a princess in distress, The Hidden Fortress is a thrilling mix of fairy story and samurai action movie. It was Kurosawa's first film shot in the widescreen process of Tohoscope, and he exploited this to the full in the film's rich variety of landscape locations, including the slopes of Mount Fuji...
Later to be remade as 'A Fistful Of Dollars' this story of the Samurai-with-no-name is quite simply one of the best action/adventure films ever made. Donning his sword again, Toshiro Mifune (he was the 'crazy' one of Kurosawa's Seven Samurai) allows fate to lead him into a strange town. Showing his prowess with the Samurai sword within minutes of arrival, the town's two rival factions are soon competing for his services, only to ultimately bring about their own mutual destruction.
In response to the huge critical and commercial success of Yojimbo, Akira Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune re-teamed a year later to make Sanjuro, a hilarious comedy of manners altogether more light-hearted than its predecessor. The plot has Sanjuro (Mifune) running lazy rings around nine naive and clean-cut samurai and two genteel ladies while cleaning up a spot of corruption in local government. Kurosawa plays most of it for laughs by expertly parodying the conventions of Japanese period action movies, but in the very last scene he stages a startling switch of mood with an intense finale which may well be the briefest, and most breathtaking duel in all cinema...
BLACK AND WHITE FILM