Arguably the most celebrated Japanese filmmaker of all time, Akira Kurosawa had a career that spanned from the Second World War to the early nineties. His best-known films remain his samurai epics, but his intimate dramas about people on the margins of society are just as searing. Kurosawa gained international fame far beyond the Japan, expanding his dark brand of humanism into new stylistic territory with visionary films that are epic reflections on modern man and nature.
All films are in Japanese with English subtitles.
17 October - Throne of Blood (1957)
A vivid, visceral Macbeth adaptation, Throne of Blood, directed by Akira Kurosawa, sets Shakespeare’s definitive tale of ambition and duplicity in a ghostly, fog-enshrouded landscape in feudal Japan. As a hardened warrior who rises savagely to power, Toshiro Mifune gives a remarkable, animalistic performance, as does Isuzu Yamada as his ruthless wife. Throne of Blood fuses classical Western tragedy with formal elements taken from Noh theater to create an unforgettable cinematic experience.
24 october - The Bad Sleep Well (1960)
A young executive hunts down his father’s killer. Continuing his legendary collaboration with actor Toshiro Mifune, Kurosawa combines elements of Hamlet and American film noir to chilling effect in exposing the corrupt boardrooms of postwar corporate Japan.
31 october - Ran (1985)
With Ran, legendary director Akira Kurosawa reimagines Shakespeare’s King Lear as a singular historical epic set in sixteenth-century Japan. Majestic in scope, the film is Kurosawa’s late-life masterpiece, a profound examination of the folly of war and the crumbling of one family under the weight of betrayal, greed, and the insatiable thirst for power.