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« XXI. The 30 Films of Akira Kurosawa: Shichinin no samurai (The Seven Samurai) [1954] (by Lewis Saul)] (Part 2) | Main | In Dreams by Michael O'Keefe »

January 29, 2010

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I saw "The Seven Samurai" this afternoon. Only one word for it: magnificent. (Right: Hollywood thought of that.) I loved every minute and was amazed that three and a half hours went by so fast. BTW it's been very interesting to go to the Film Forum for the early afternoon showings. There's a fine sense of camaraderie in the audience.

I truly hope this festival inspires folks to go out and check out all the great Kurosawa out there now -- when I first discovered him (1999), it was still difficult or impossible to see many of his films in any medium! The 3-disc DVD of this film is one of the great achievements in home video...

Thanks for pointing out the "wipe" technique, Lew.

What does the rain signify?

Well, AK uses it a lot, doesn't he?

Basically it doesn't really "signify" anything -- but is just an important atmospheric element in creating a mood.

One thing AK said (can't find the page # right now) was that he really wanted to show something that most Hollywood westerns never showed -- obviously, SoCal and the West are pretty much sunny all the time (not that it NEVER rains!) ... but Kurosawa felt that the final showdown in a driving rain would better show the sloppy, ugly, muddy nature of war and how it is never tidy and things don't always go as planned! (people slip, swords break, etc.)

In other films, he uses it for different purposes -- but always DRAMATIC!

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