Following World War II, a retired professor, approaching his autumn years, finds his quality of life drastically reduced in war torn Tokyo. Denying despair, he pursues writing and celebrates his birthday with his adoring students.
When a powerful warlord in medieval Japan dies, a poor thief recruited to impersonate him finds difficulty living up to his role and clashes with the spirit of the warlord during turbulent times in the kingdom. Written by
Keith Loh <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Shooting for the film lasted nine months. Almost two months of this were spent filming the final battle scenes on the Yuhara Plain in Hokkaido. See more »
In the final battle there are at least 100 riflemen shown firing their matchlock rifles in volleys. The smoke generated by the matchlocks almost immediately dissipates. This indicates a more modern gunpowder was used in the matchlocks as the historically correct black powder load would blanket the battlefield with thick smoke after a handful of volleys. See more »
[Rainbow appears, causing the advancing Takeda army to halt]
My lord, what do you think that light is that is barring your path?
[Gives it a quick glance]
You're wrong! It is your late father's instructions not to proceed. He's telling you to stay in your domain and guard it. Those were your father's last words. If you do that, nothing can harm us.
Harm? An ominous word. Since the time of our ancestors, the Takeda have never run from a fight.
[Addressing his army]
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Akira Kurosawa is certainly one of the most important directors who ever lived. Most of his most famous films were made in the 50s and 60s. Rashomon, Ikiru, Yojimbo, and The Seven Samurai may be the four most famous films he made, and they were all in black and white. That format was wonderful. His films had a definitive look in that era.
I would like to suggest, though, that he was the single best director of the color image who has existed thus far (whose work I am familiar with). I have only seen two of his color films (I don't even know how many he made), this film and Ran, but his sense of color in these two films is exquisite. I had to pause it several times during Kagemusha just to stare at the beautiful composition.
I personally think that Kurosawa's talents rested mainly in the technical aspects of his films rather than the content (and I'm sure many people would argue against me here). So as for the film itself, I'd give it a 9/10 for two reasons. I was only emotionally involved during small sections of the film (the end was particularly powerful), and the story was somewhat difficult to follow (I was confused during Yojimbo and The Seven Samurai, too). I prefer Ran to this film (and to all the other films of his I've seen, which include Rashomon, The Seven Samurai, and Yojimbo). Still, Kagemusha is very good.
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