Monday, August 6, 2007

Tohoscopic Visions and Abstracts.

There has been a great amount of isolation since my physical relocation two weeks past. Not necessarily an inviting wear on the psyche, but nonetheless the state of the present. While incurring introspective periods of your life it is important to be creative and to seek and embrace constructive influences to maintain mental progression. It is also of significance to preserve perspective and seize said moments as opportunistic events to cherish simple sources of entertainment. Cinema has recently accomplished the demand of filling a void vacant of primary innovation with a source of creativity. More specifically, it has been the directorial efforts of Akira Kurosawa. The intentions of this entry are simple, a brief review of seven of the influential directors films, most of which I have viewed since my arrival to the East.

Ran (1985)
Influenced by Shakespeare’s King Lear, this is an extravagant depiction of the fall of a powerful patriarch leading to an irreplaceable power void that is fought for among three sons. The highlight of this film was when the deranged patriarch is unable to commit seppuku atop his burning castle and chooses to maniacally flee out the castle’s gates. I viewed this film on a couch with a floral print last autumn in Portland, alone.
Rating: よい

Rashomon (1950)
Kurosawa’s masterpiece, which recounts the events surrounding a rape and murder in a forest setting through the conflicting views of five different characters: woodsman, priest, bandit, samurai’s lady, and the samurai’s specter. The highlight of this film was the fight sequence between the bandit and the samurai, where the majority of the action is the two flailing at and falling over one another. I viewed this film on a couch with a floral print one-month ago in Portland, two friends present.
Rating: 優秀

Throne of Blood (1957)
Film adaptation of Shakespeare’s MacBeth, where two great samurais are anointed separate castles with one character being convinced by his wife to rid the other from the future power struggle. The highlight of this film was when the secret behind the murder is revealed to the evil samurai’s followers, who proceed to send a barrage of arrows at their deceitful leader. I viewed this film on a couch striped with indecency one-month ago in Portland, housemate present.
Rating: よい

The Hidden Fortress (1958)
A film credited as being a large influence upon Star Wars, where two vagabonds stumble across a hidden cache of gold that is protected, along with a princess in guise, by a former general hoping to transport the treasure from the desert abode to the princess’ land beyond guarded walls. The highlight of this film was when the princesses’ protector slices three enemies to the traveler’s well being while on horseback, and then defeats the attacker’s master in a spear fight reminiscent to the mirror scene of Enter the Dragon. I viewed this film on a bed with three pillows in Baltimore, girlfriend present.
Rating: 平均

Kagemusha (1980)
Warlord of the Takeda is mortally wounded and directs his closest followers to hide his death from enemies for three years through the use of an impersonator, whose follies lead to the collapse of the clan’s rule culminating with the massacre at the Battle of Nagashino. The highlight of this film was the humiliating defeat of the Takeda clan at the Battle of Nagashino, with the late warlord’s son in command and the impersonator making a crazed battlefield run to his eventual death. I viewed this film on a bed with three pillows in Baltimore, alone.
Rating: よい

Yojimbo (1961)
A film with Western influences that was later remade as A Fistful of Dollars, where a solitary samurai generates great profit by ridding a corrupt village of the feuding crime lords and their followers. The highlight of this film was when the lone samurai slays six gangsters who had been holding a woman hostage, which is the event directly leading to the escalation of deaths in the village. I viewed this film on a bed with three pillows in Baltimore, alone.
Rating: 優秀

Red Beard (1965)
The last film of Kurosawa’s starring Toshiro Mifune as the titled-doctor of a rural clinic, who alters the ideology of a difficult intern through consultation and the pairing of the intern with a young patient rescued from a brothel. The highlight of this film is when the mild-mannered Red Beard breaks the appendages of several men attempting to disallow him from removing the young patient from her brothel in Edo. I viewed this film on the wooden floor of a spare room in Baltimore, alone.
Rating: よい

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