Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Seven Samurai- A 1954 Movie Directed by Akira Kurosawa - Run Time 3 Hours 30 minutes

A very illuminating commentary 

"The movie is long (207 minutes), with an intermission, and yet it moves quickly because the storytelling is so clear, there are so many sharply defined characters, and the action scenes have a thrilling sweep. Nobody could photograph men in action better than Kurosawa. One of his particular trademarks is the use of human tides, sweeping down from higher places to lower ones, and he loves to devise shots in which the camera follows the rush and flow of an action, instead of cutting it up into separate shots. His use of closeups in some of the late battle scenes perhaps was noticed Orson Welles, who in "Falstaff” conceals a shortage of extras by burying the camera in a Kurosawian tangle of horses, legs, and swords." Roger Ebert 

Seven Samurai (七人の侍, Shichinin no Samurai) is a 1954 Japanese epic samurai film co-written, edited, and directed by Akira Kurosawa. Taking place in 1586 in the Sengoku period of Japanese history, it follows the story of a village of desperate farmers who seek to hire rōnin (masterless samurai) to combat bandits who will return after the harvest to steal their crops.

The film stars Toshirō Mifune as Kikuchiyo, a wild and unruly samurai who is initially rejected by the farmers but eventually proves to be one of their most valuable allies. The other samurai are played by Takashi Shimura, Yukiko Shimazaki, Yoshio Inaba, Keisuke Hama, Daisuke Katō, and Seiji Miyaguchi.

Seven Samurai was a critical and commercial success upon its release, and it has since gone on to be considered one of the greatest films ever made. It has been praised for its epic scope, its complex and well-developed characters, its stunning visuals, and its timeless themes of good versus evil, courage, and sacrifice.

The film has also been highly influential, inspiring countless other films and television shows, including the Hollywood Western The Magnificent Seven (1960). Seven Samurai is a truly essential film for any fan of cinema.

Here are some of the things that make Seven Samurai so special:

Its epic scope and scale. The film is over three hours long and features a cast of dozens of characters, but Kurosawa never loses control of the story. He masterfully weaves together the different storylines and character arcs to create a film that is both both intimate and epic.

Its complex and well-developed characters. Each of the seven samurai is a unique and memorable character, with their own strengths, weaknesses, and motivations. Kurosawa also takes the time to develop the characters of the farmers, and the relationship between the samurai and the villagers is one of the most compelling aspects of the film.

Its stunning visuals. Seven Samurai is one of the most visually stunning films ever made. Kurosawa and cinematographer Asakazu Nakai use a variety of techniques, such as deep focus, low-angle shots, and sweeping camera movements, to create a truly immersive and cinematic experience

Mel Ulm .

1 comment:

Buried In Print said...

I remember being surprised by how long this movie was, when I first heard of it and rented it before watching it, but I agree that it doesn't FEEL that long when you're watching. Interesting points about how he followed the flow of action, I can see that now that you mention it.