The Films of Akira Kurosawa, Third Edition, Expanded and Updated / Edition 3

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In an epilogue provided for his incomparable study of Akira Kurosawa (1910-1998), Donald Richie reflects on Kurosawa's life work of thirty feature films and describes his last, unfinished project, a film set in the Edo period to be called The Ocean Was Watching.

Kurosawa remains unchallenged as one of the century's greatest film directors. Through his long and distinguished career he managed, like very few others in the teeth of a huge and relentless industry, to elevate each of his films to a distinctive level of art. His Rashomon—one of the best-remembered and most talked-of films in any language—was a revelation when it appeared in 1950 and did much to bring Japanese cinema to the world's attention. Kurosawa's films display an extraordinary breadth and an astonishing strength, from the philosophic and sexual complexity of Rashomon to the moral dedication of Ikiru, from the naked violence of Seven Samurai to the savage comedy of Yojimbo, from the terror-filled feudalism of Throne of Blood to the piercing wit of Sanjuro.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This third edition of a work first published in 1965 covers the four films made since the second edition was released, including Ran, arguably Kurosawa's biggest hit in America. Kurosawa is acknowledged as one of the greatest artists of the sound era, and he is easily the best-known Japanese director to Western audiences. This book concentrates solely on the films themselves; other than a brief biographical section that ends when Kurosawa began directing and a closing analysis of his style and methods, no additional topic is covered. Each film is analyzed separately along the lines of characterization, story, camera, production, music, treatment, and so forth. Greater space is given to the masterpieces: Rashomon, Seven Samurai, Ikiru, and The Throne of Blood. Richie's expertise is hard to miss; surely he overlooks no aspect of these films. Given Kurosawa's age (he's 86) and the difficulties of financing in Japanese cinema, it is unlikely he will produce any more movies. Highly recommended for academic and film collections; public libraries should buy according to demand.Marianne Cawley, Enoch Pratt Free Lib., Baltimore
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520220379
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 1/20/1999
  • Edition description: Third Edition, With a New Epilogue
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 280
  • Sales rank: 485,337
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

Donald Richie is the Arts Critic for The Japan Times.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 9
Akira Kurosawa 10
Sanshiro Sugata 14
Sanshiro Sugata - Part II 24
The Most Beautiful 26
They Who Step on the Tiger's Tail 30
No Regrets for Our Youth 36
One Wonderful Sunday 43
Drunken Angel 47
The Quiet Duel 54
Stray Dog 58
Scandal 65
Rashomon 70
The Idiot 81
Ikiru 86
Seven Samurai 97
Record of a Living Being 109
The Throne of Blood 115
The Lower Depths 125
The Hidden Fortress 134
The Bad Sleep Well 140
Yojimbo 147
Sanjuro 156
High and Low 163
Red Beard 171
Dodesukaden 184
Dersu Uzala 195
Kagemusha 204
Ran 214
Dreams 220
Rhapsody in August 224
Madadayo 227
Method, Technique and Style 229
Epilogue 244
Filmography 246
A Selective Bibliography 262
Index 265
List of Plates 271
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2000

    A Grand Selection

    An extremly detailed account of all of Akira's masterpieces. A must own for any fan of his work. It can provide hours of enjoyment to whomever purchases it.

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