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

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by Kevin Jagernauth
March 18, 2013 11:25 AM
1 Comment
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Akira Kurosawa

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.

Alex Cox's 1999 documentary "Kurosawa: The Last Emperor" has surfaced online, and while it's brief at only 50-odd minutes or so, the participants are fairly heavyweight. Directors John Woo, Bernardo Bertolucci, Francis Ford Coppola and Paul Verhoeven are among those who share their thoughts on Kurosawa. The doc may not be comprehensive, but among the topics discussed are the filmmaker's aborted efforts to realize "Tora Tora Tora" (which nearly ended his career), his last film, "Madadayo," and much more. As far as we know, this isn't available via traditional channels, and any reason to revisit Kurosawa is a good one, so give the doc a spin below.

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1 Comment

  • Alan B | March 18, 2013 7:57 PMReply

    This was a cool doc and Alex Cox is one of the most underrated directors around. People love to talk about directors "taking chances" by doing some literary adaptation that already has a big audience, but this guy genuinely basically gave a big FU to America's foreign policy ... and essentially kissed his career good-bye. Gilliam gets, like, a billion chances, but Cox was given the cold shoulder by critics more interested in defending America's involvement in South America than engaging - in any kind of intelligent way - with what Cox was trying to say in the late '80s.

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