‘Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams’ Review (Criterion Collection)

Stars: Akira Terao, Martin Scorsese, Mieko Harada, Mitsuko Baisho | Written by Akira Kurosawa | Directed by Akira Kurosawa, Ishiro Honda

Made in 1990, in the twilight of his career, this is the kind of out-there movie that only an auteur of Akira Kurosawa’s status could have brought (or had financed) to fruition. He had help from some American cineaste buddies like Steven Spielberg (producing) and Martin Scorsese (lending his acting skills and a ginger wig); but the result is something steeped almost entirely in Japanese culture, its history and traditions.

Dreams is structured as a series of brief chapters, each based on one of Kurosawa’s own dreams. It’s an approach that at once seems chaotic: half-formed vignettes with no connective tissue. But at the end of its two-hour runtime, the linking themes coalesce in the mind. In short, this is a heartfelt cry about the threat of industrialisation upon rural Japanese life.
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Joshua Reviews Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams [Criterion Collection Blu-ray Review]

With a career spanning 50 years and over 30 feature films, legendary filmmaker Akira Kurosawa was an auteur all his very own. Best known for samurai epics like Seven Samurai, Kurosawa’s career featured ventures into noir (High and Low), crime drama (Rashomon) and even war epic (Dersu Uzala), but few of his films were as decidedly singular as one of his most grand and deeply personal works.

Entitled Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams (at least how it’s billed on the Criterion Collection website), this sumptuous epic is admittedly an oddity in the Kurosawa canon. Narratively, the film is broken down into eight varied vignettes, all of which drawn directly from actual dreams had by the film’s director. Rooted heavily in Japanese culture and folklore, Dreams takes us from small scale stories like that of a young boy getting caught in the middle of a forest-set fox wedding, to the apocalyptic
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Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams

If anybody’s dreams are interesting, Akira Kurosawa’s should be, and this late career fantasy is a consistently rewarding string of morality tales and visual essays that pop off the screen. Some of the imagery has input from the famed Ishiro Honda.

Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams


The Criterion Collection 842

1990 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 120 min. / available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date November 15, 2016 / 39.95

Starring Mieko Harada, Mitsunori Isaki, Toshihiko Nakano, Yoshitaka Zushi, Hisashi Igawa, Chosuke, Chishu Ryu, Martin Scorsese, Masayuki Yui.

Cinematography Takao Saito, Shoji Ueda

Film Editor Tome Minami

Original Music Sinichiro Ikebe

Creative Consultant ishiro Honda

Visual Effects Supervisors Ken Ralston, Mark Sullivan

Produced by Hisao Kurosawa, Mike Y. Inoue

Written and Directed by Akira Kurosawa

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

At the twilight of his career, after some episodes of career frustration and instability, Akira Kurosawa hit a high note with the epic costume dramas Kagemusha and Ran.
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‘The Eternal Zero’ Takes Eight Japan Academy Awards

Tokyo — Takashi Yamazaki’s controversial World War II kamikaze drama “The Eternal Zero” swept eight Japan Academy prizes at the 38th awards ceremony, held at a Tokyo hotel Friday evening.

Based on a novel by outspoken nationalist author Naoki Hyakuta, the film tells the story of a skilled veteran pilot (Junichi Okada) of the famed Zero fighter plane who is reviled by some of his comrades for wanting to finish the war alive, but changes his mind once he begins instructing young pilots destined for one-way suicide flights. The film was the biggest live-action hit of 2014, earning $68 million (8.1 billion yen).

“The Eternal Zero” won Picture of the Year honors and Yamazaki was named best director.

Meanwhile, star Okada received the best actor award, as well as a best supporting actor prize for his work in the Takashi Koizumi period drama “A Samurai Chronicle.” He is the first male actor to
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Kurosawa’s assistant laments decline of Japanese cinema

Mumbai, Oct 25 – The highlight of the Mumbai Film Festival this year has been the amazing retrospective of Japanese cinema. And giving thumbs up to the same was none other than Takashi Koizumi, Akira Kurosawa’s assistant director for 20 years before the master’s death.

‘This showcase should be done in Japan so that Japanese people can see it too,’ Koizumi said at a seminar on Japanese cinema here.

Writer, filmmaker and historian Arun Khopkar eulogizing the old Japanese masters, said: ‘These are not just great.
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