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Doc Corner: McQueen

"It's an excellent film, very well balanced, full of fascinating talking heads, and beautifully put together." -Edward L

"This should be the fashion documentary that makes it through to the final 5." - Peggy Sue

"I saw this in the UK last week. I was fascinated --especially the relationship with Blow and reflections on his gender politics. Would recommend." - catbaskets

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Entries in Akira Kurosawa (11)

Thursday
Mar232017

Joan Crawford, National Puppy Day, Oscar Nights, and More...

Today is both National Puppy Day and the immortal star Joan Crawford's birthday (though the exact date i.e. year is disputed). So here is a photo combining those two wonderful things...

Joan Crawford totally loved dogs. If you do a search for "Joan Crawford puppies" or "Joan Crawford dogs" you will be surprised at how many images come up and from all decades, too, and how relaxed the famously rigid star looks with them in many of the photos...

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Tuesday
Apr262016

Throne of Blood's Best Shots - A Visual Index

After realizing that we'd never featured an Akira Kurosawa on Hit Me With Your Best Shot, we obviously had to. Ran (1985) was tempting but it gets a lot of attention already. So we opted to watch his other Shakespeare inspired masterpiece, Throne of Blood (1957) which is still the best Macbeth movie even if its more Macbeth-inspired than traditionally adapted.

If you've never seen it, give it a shot. It's gorgeous and haunting and unlike most Shakespeare films grippingly compact at only 110 minutes.

Hit Me With Your Best Shot(s)
Throne of Blood (1957)

Director: Akira Kurosawa; Cinematographer: Asakazu Nakai 
Click on any of the 11 images to be taken to its accompanying article

Throne of Blood teaches us how to watch it. 
-Antagony & Ecstasy


The minute we see Isuzu Yamada as Lady Asaji in this cold spare room, we know exactly where things will go...
-Scopophiliac at the Cinema 

One of my favorite ideas in these Japanese stories is that the living and dead (or the supernatural) could live together, without a hereafter.
-Cal Roth

What Shakespeare does with language, Kurosawa and Noh do with movement.
-Dancin Dan on Film 


Kurosawa injects into the tragedy of Macbeth an incredible sensorial expressiveness of poetic dimensions by placing it in mystic version of feudal japan.
-Magnificent Obsession 


Fujimaki's own splatter-painting.
-The Film Experience

The staging of the two actors is just brilliant...
-Zev Burrows 


The camera becomes like a piece of stagecraft
-Film Mix Tape

the vast space and the wealth that implies, as well as the ample room for Washizu and his wife to contemplate their guilt
-Film Actually


The movie builds with precision, early shots foreshadowing what is to come
-I/fpw 

My favorite scene in Macbeth and they do it very well here
-Rachel Wagner

 

The End.

NEXT TUESDAY NIGHT WARNING: "NOW a warning?" It's Death Becomes Her (1992), rereleased in a collectors edition. Please join us for what will surely be a fun group of screengrabs

Tuesday
Apr262016

Silent Chambers and Spider Webs in "Throne of Blood"

The first time I saw a Jackson Pollock in the flesh, I had to sit down, dumbfounded, in my attempt to take it in. I was staring at just one painting (and there were several) for a good 15-20 minutes before I had to force myself to move on. While the artist's famous splatter paintings seem random there's such an intricate hypnotic depth to them once you're in their presence, like it's possible to slip right inside them and get lost. Each flick of paint, every solid drop, on top of another streak and another spill gives the impression that the painting goes on for years underneath no matter which detail pulls your eye in.

bronze

I kept thinking of that Pollock painting - bear with me through this unexpected reference point - while watching Throne of Blood (1957)...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Apr042016

April Showers: Kurosawa's Dreams

In April Showers, Team TFE looks at memorably soaked moments in the movies. Here's Lynn Lee on Dreams (1990).


The sun is shining, but it’s raining.  Foxes hold their wedding processions in this weather.

But they don’t like anyone to see them – if they catch you watching, they’ll be very angry!

Dreams (1990) may be the most personal of Kurosawa’s films, and has always struck me as one of his most underrated.  It’s uneven, yes, but at its best it really does capture the vivid yet elusive, disorienting nature of a recurring dream that always seems to slip just out of your grasp – the kind of dream that can turn on a hair from a beautiful vision to a nightmare and back again...

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Wednesday
Mar302016

Q&A: Artists in Movies and Uninspiring Best Pic Lineups

For this weeks Q&A I asked for an art theme to celebrate the joint birthday of Vincent Van Gogh and Francisco de Goya on this very day! So we'll start with a few art-focused topics before venturing to rando questions.

TOM: Which film about an artist (in any field of the Arts) that you were not particularly knowledgeable about made you want to see/hear the real work by that artist? 

I vastly prefer non-traditional biopics so I'm susceptible to stuff that piques curiosity rather than gives you a greatest hits. So I like bios like Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould (1993). I have some problems with I'm Not There (2007) which is my least favorite Todd Haynes film but I respect the hell out of it conceptually. In terms of movies about painters I definitely became more interested in Francis Bacon after Love is the Devil (1998) and not just because of Daniel Craig in the bathtub! I already cared about Caravaggio before seeing Derek Jarman's Caravaggio but I hope people see that one, too. 

BRIAN: If you had to recommend a budding Cinephile a movie based on an artist, a work of art, or has artistic themes what would it be?

Hmmm. A lot of movies about painting aren't very good (Watching someone paint being only a notch more interesting than watching someone write). So let's do "artistic" theme and the answer there is easily Amadeus (1984). It's such a useful movie to reference in ways both commonplace ("too many notes!") and contemplative (what makes the difference between competent journeyman skill and true genius?). One of my other favorite "art" movies is High Art (1998)...

8 more questions after the jump

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Monday
Feb222016

Q&A: Iconic Couples, Vote Counts, Favorite Kurosawas

There were so many good questions this week for the Q&A that we had to do this twice. Here are more questions asked of your host Nathaniel, and now answered. Thanks for being engaged readers!

Nicole & Ewan at MTV Movie Awards 2002Since there's been talk of how sweet it would be to see Leo and Kate both win Oscars this year, I've been thinking about recent screen couples that have captured audiences' imaginations in that way, that people would love to see win Oscars at the same time and I couldn't think of any quite on that level. Are there any post-Titanic screen couples you think of as legendary pop culture pairings? -EDWIN

Had Nicole Kidman & Ewan McGregor ever reteamed post Moulin Rouge! I think they might have become a screen couple like that. The fact that they haven't is a tragedy since we will love them until their dying day. You could argue that Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling (The Notebook) qualify. I think if Heath Ledger were still alive this might have happened with him and Jake Gyllenhaal since they're both such tremendous actors and liked each other quite a lot. It would have been fascinating to see them co-star in a second film in a totally different genre. 

The Film Experience is 1000% behind today's Hollywood realizing that reteaming stars who had insane chemistry is one of the best traditions of Old Hollywood. It's not only fun for fans, it's also marketable! Wouldn't you be so excited if Kate & Leo made a comedy together in 2018?

What's your favorite performance given by an animal actor? -TYLER

Asta as "Mr Smith" from The Awful Truth (1937) which is my first or second or third* favorite screwball comedy of all time. (It's hard to decide because they're so many great ones)

If it was up to you to decide, would you release the official vote counts from old Oscar ceremonies? Or would that take away the fun of endless speculating? is there a particular race you would want to know the official tally? - MARCELO

The answer and more after the jump...

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