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Mr.Krueger

Can we get some Kurosawa films please

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I have heard on the podcast that people have often said there is a lack of forgien films, and I find that Kurosawa is a glaring omission. Kurosawa is one if my favorite filmmakers, and is one of the greatest filmmakers of all time. Any Kurosawa film, I find worthy of being talked about, and a majority of them could probably be inducted into the canon.

 

Now with all that said, I would like to suggest the few I believe need to be talked about. The main 2 films I am suggesting are drunken angel, and ikiru. I believe they are profound films, and 2 of his very best. However I also don't think they are as well known as some of his others.

 

I also would love to see a vs episode between 7 samurai and yojimbo

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If this wouldn't be too controversial/heretical, howsabout:

 

Yojimbo vs For a Fistful of Dollars

Seven Samurai vs. The Magnificent Seven (the former would win)

Throne of Blood vs Macbeth (Welles or Polanski)

 

I really, REAAALLLY wanna see a Japanese film put up for The Canon, and I suggested a few off-the-beaten-path films last year (not surprised they weren't picked up, I know Kurosawa, Miike, or possibly Ozu are more likely to lead off than Mizoguchi, Shindo or Nakahira), but if we start off with Kurosawa, I think the best way to approach it is as Western film fans approaching the most "Western" Japanese filmmaker as the inspiration/reflection of other Western stories. Why start with Rashomon? Or even (another film I adore) High and Low?

 

It's Kurosawa. What makes Kurosawa Kurosawa? That he's considered the most Western-inspired Japanese filmmaker of his day. Put one of his films in context with the Western films he was inspired by or (very, very) clearly inspired (/were ripped off).

 

Go for broke. If you're gonna do Kurosawa, go all out. Get two guests, get a lively discussion going. He was my gateway Japanese filmmaker, and I suspect he was for many others. But don't just treat him like another foreign director. Give him a proper episode, based around his unique position in the Japanese cinematic pantheon. Put him immediately in context with Western cinema, in some way.

 

EDIT: Upon reflection, I'd be 100% OK with High and Low Or Ikiru being a stand-alone. It'd be potentially fascinating to hear a deeply-knowledgable guest tackle the Western view on post-war Japan and Japanese cinema, if they really know what they're talking about. I recall having a lot of fun listening to the Criterion commentaries on these films (and on Drunken Angel and Stray Dog, though I'm not such a huge fan of those films, or The Bad Sleep Well). I'm probably biased in that I find that particular era to be fascinating, and I HIGHLY recommend the films and commentaries to anyone reading this who has any interest whatsoever in post-war Japan, but as I feel Kurosawa is probably the biggest "in" for Western filmlovers, I feel having someone being able to put a film into its historical and cultural context is invaluable in being able to appreciate these films as not just stories, but reflections on a real, vanished world. If Amy could get a real authority in to put up/recommend/talk about an early Kurosawa, I'd be in heaven.

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