For a few years now I’ve been a fan of movies directed by Akira Kurosawa. I was encouraged to watch Seven Samurai by a review I read in a movie book, and after enjoying that film, I followed the book’s referrals of others of Kurosawa’s films. I’ve now watched most of the films he directed and have added many to my DVD collection. I consider Akira Kurosawa the greatest of all film directors, passing my previous favorite Buster Keaton.
I’m not able to explain what it is about Kurosawa’s films that I like so much. I’m no film scholar or analyst; what I know about movies is just what I’ve experienced or taught myself (after watching a film, I enjoy looking up information about the film online; after IMDb and maybe Wikipedia, I’ll just Google the film and read up on any site that presents information that looks reliable and interesting … I realize that Wikipedia isn’t the most reliable source, but its articles often contain links to more useful information). What I can say about my fascination with Kurosawa’s films is that usually after finishing one that I like, I’m left thinking, “That was great.”
I did say that I usually think that after finishing one of Kurosawa’s film’s that I like. That means that there are also some of his film that I don’t like. Of the 30 films currently available as directed by Kurosawa I consider 16 films I enjoy, 7 I don’t like, 4 I’m indifferent about, and 3 I haven’t seen yet; I own copies of 10.
My goal (in addition to watching all of Kurosawa’s films and also acquiring my own copies of the ones I like) is to post my thoughts in reviews of Kurosawa’s films. I’m encouraged to do so by my volunteering to participate in a blogathon.
The “Try It, You’ll Like It!” Blogathon was announced on a blog I enjoy reading, Movies Silently, by Fritzi Kramer. The blogathon is there described as “a fabulous event dedicated to sharing our favorite gateway drugs. These films can be in any genre and cover any topic, they just have to fulfill two requirements:
- Made in or before 1965
- Works as an addictive introduction to newcomers“.
That blog also encouraged the following description: “This post is part of the “Try It, You’ll Like It!” Blogathon, hosted by Sister Celluloid and Movies Silently, where we write about “gateway films” that might bring non-classic-film lovers into the fold!” I’ve never participated in a blogathon before, so this is kind of exciting for me. But I’ve wanted to do something Kurosawa-related on my own blog, so this seemed like impetus to get started doing so.
For the Blogathon, I’ll be sharing my thoughts on The Hidden Fortress. I’d initially planned on blogging on Kurosawa’s films in the order in which I’d discovered them. But based on personal experience in sharing my DVDs with friends and noting their reactions, I’ve decided that the 2 hour, 19 minute The Hidden Fortress is a safer introduction than is the 3 hour, 27 minute Seven Samurai … I’m already asking a lot by encouraging others to watch a black-&-white, subtitled, Japanese film 🙂
I don’t claim to be presenting anything new or revelatory on my site about these films. My main goal is simply to share my interest in what’s given me great entertainment, and I hope that someone (anyone?) reading my postings will also find enjoyment in watching these films.