The Playlist

Watch: George Lucas Talks The Mastery Of Akira Kurosawa For The Criterion Collection

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
  • |
  • March 28, 2014 2:45 PM
  • |
  • 1 Comment
Star Wars George Lucas
He never won an Oscar, but Akira Kurosawa's body of work is more of legacy than any golden statue could hope to represent. And it's not a shock that even today, filmmakers revere his films and frankly, his genius, with awe and total respect. And one of the filmmaker's biggest advocates is George Lucas.

20 Films About Doubles And Doppelgangers

  • By The Playlist Staff
  • |
  • March 13, 2014 3:10 PM
  • |
  • 12 Comments
Double and Doppelgangers feature
In a culture of cellphone-snapped selfies it’s hard to imagine a time when people might have been afraid of their own image. But Facebook walls and Instagram feeds to the contrary, for the vastly longer portion of human history, to see a perfect replica of yourself was an uncanny event, impossible even, exemplified by the belief shared by some native tribes in the early days of photography, that it could take away your soul. Or perhaps they were just being super cautious about ownership of their brand image.

20 Celebrated Filmmakers Who Never Won A Best Directing Oscar

  • By The Playlist Staff
  • |
  • February 26, 2014 3:42 PM
  • |
  • 27 Comments
Filmmakers Who Never Won A Best Directing Oscar
For better or worse (which at this time of year, as the punditry reaches its hyperbolic event horizon, usually feels like worse) an Academy Award is the highest honor anyone in the film industry can receive. But of course, like any large organization—even one that wasn’t, as of 2012, reportedly 94% white, 77% male and 86% over the age of 50—the AMPAS gets things wrong (shocking, we know). Sometimes due to the politicking of insiders, sometimes because the wind shifts, and yes, sometimes because of plain old-fashioned bias, the membership votes to award the lesser film, or the lesser performance, or the lesser accomplishment, while the greater one stays seated after the envelope is opened—if they're there at all.

Watch: 80-Minute Documentary 'A Message From Akira Kurosawa: For Beautiful Movies'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
  • |
  • December 30, 2013 3:04 PM
  • |
  • 1 Comment
Akira Kurosawa
While Akira Kurosawa is perhaps best known for his more popular samurai films (check out our retrospective of those films here and here), his catalog of over 30 feature films range from noir to dramas and with so much more in between. As a neophyte to his work, it can be hard to figure out where to jump in first with his filmography (though "Seven Samurai" and "Rashomon" are common starting points), but perhaps this career-spanning documentary might help newcomers find another entry point, or for die hard fans, a greater appreciation of his work.

Big in Japan: 10 Movies To Watch Before 'The Wolverine'

  • By The Playlist Staff
  • |
  • July 25, 2013 3:41 PM
  • |
  • 6 Comments
10 Movies To See Before The Wolverine
"The Wolverine" isn't just another stand alone movie. Following the disastrous "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," it's a complete tonal overhaul, with the property being rebuilt almost from the ground up. While there might be traces of the character's 'X'-past, particularly in the somewhat-garbled third act, there is still a very clear attempt to remake the character inside a more atmospheric, emotionally rich context. That, coupled with the movie's welcome change in scenery (it's set mostly in Japan), makes it a very, very different X-perience than you're used to. Sure, it has plenty of it's own issues, regardless (you can read our review of the Hugh Jackman movie here), but keeping all this in mind, we thought this would be a good opportunity to run through a list of ten movies that will get you ready for "The Wolverine" - whether literally, spiritually, or thematically, these movies share some mutant DNA with everyone's favorite metallic-clawed hero.

Watch: Alex Cox's 1999 Documentary 'Kurosawa: The Last Emperor' With Francis Ford Coppola, Paul Verhoeven & More

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
  • |
  • March 18, 2013 11:25 AM
  • |
  • 1 Comment
When you're one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, your life is likely to be thoroughly documented by others, and that's certainly the case for Akira Kurosawa. The director behind "Seven Samurai," "Rashomon," "Ran" and many, many more seminal works has been boxed, written about, discussed at and more, all at length, but his work is so rich and influential, there is always more to discover. And for those looking for a bit of a film class to start of their week, you can perhaps spend your lunch hour on this.

5 Things You May Not Know About Akira Kurosawa's 'Seven Samurai'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
  • |
  • April 26, 2012 9:58 AM
  • |
  • 7 Comments
Picking your favorite Akira Kurosawa film is a tricky choice for any movie fan. From "Rashomon" to "Ran," the great Japanese filmmaker, one of the most beloved and influential directors of all time, knocked out a string of classics in a career that lasted well over 40 years. But more often than not, at the top of the list for Kurosawa fans is "Seven Samurai," the 1954 samurai epic that redefined the action movie for generations.

Oh Great, Someone Just Got The Remake Rights To 69 Kurosawa Movies, Including 19 Unmade Scripts

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
  • |
  • August 23, 2011 1:38 AM
  • |
  • 6 Comments
Well, if this is proof of anything, it's that the remake/reboot phenomenon knows absolutely no boundaries.

BAMcinématek: Kurosawa’s Samurai, Part 2 (Nov. 6th—Nov. 21st)

  • By The Playlist
  • |
  • November 6, 2010 4:00 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
The latest program running at BAMcinematek offers up all eight of Akira Kurosawa’s lauded “Samurai Films.” We took on the first half of the retrospective last week; in Part 2, we look at the films that will be playing at BAM between today and Nov. 21st, the last leg of this very special program. Below you’ll find a quartet of some of the most influential films in Japanese history.

BAMcinématek: Kurosawa’s Samurai, Part 1. (Oct. 29th—Nov. 5th).

  • By The Playlist
  • |
  • October 29, 2010 6:31 AM
  • |
  • 3 Comments
Certainly more creative retrospectives could be assembled from the 30 films Akira Kurosawa made as director, but we suppose even gripping noir like "High and Low" and "Drunken Angel" don't quite carry the iconic stamp this filmmaker’s “Samurai Films” do. And so for their latest program, Brooklyn's BAMcinematek offers up all eight of 'em, providing you an opportunity to see these classics of Japanese cinema on the big screen, perhaps for the first time. The retrospective runs from Oct. 29th to Nov. 21st, and we're taking a two-part look at the films that will be featured there (coincidentally enough, news about the existence of new Kurosawa-penned scripts broke this afternoon). In this entry, we look at those showing in the retro's first leg—Oct. 29th to Nov. 5th—including Kurosawa's most recognizable title, "Seven Samurai" (which will show at BAM twice on Halloween, at 3 and 7). Check back next week when we look at the latter half of the retrospective, which features: the “Kuwabatake Sanjuro” diptych "Yojimbo" and "Sanjuro"; late-period triumph "Ran"; and "Star Wars" inspiration "The Hidden Fortress."

Email Updates

Recent Comments