Wednesday, January 6, 2010

23 Days of Kurosawa: Coming This March

March 23, 1910: For many of us it's just another day in history. For me it's among the top 5 most important dates in the history of cinema. You see, on this day nearly 100 years ago, a man was born. Not just any man though, this man was Akira Kurosawa.

Over my time here, and on my previous journal, I've discussed my overbearing love for this legendary director. So as you can imagine when I found out his 100th birthday was only two months away I scrambled to come up with a way of honoring that most precious of days. What I've decided upon is simple and this: Starting March 1st and continuing through March 23rd this blog will be transformed into A Life in Equinox: A Kurosawa Lover's Journal. With the exception of my regular series and a comment on oscar winners/predicts this blog will spend 23 Days concentrating solely on the films of Akira Kurosawa.

If you don't like it, you can unfollow now (hence the major ahead of time notice). But I don't want this to be a "me" affair. Akira Kurosawa is one of the most influential directors of modern time. His films have inspired everything from Star Wars to Kill Bill. I would like to extend an open invitation to all bloggers/followers. If any of you have written, intend to write, or would like to write anything Kurosawa based email me at: with the link(s). Below are the 23 films I intend to review as part of this marathon:
  1. Yojimbo (“The Bodyguard”)
  2. Sanjuro
  3. Ran
  4. Kagemusha
  5. Rashomon
  6. Ikiru (“To Live”)
  7. Drunken Angel
  8. Stray Dog
  9. The Hidden Fortress
  10. Red Beard
  11. The Quiet Duel
  12. Throne of Blood
  13. Rhapsody in August
  14. High and Low
  15. The Bad Sleep Well
  16. The Idiot
  17. Mandadayo (“Not Yet”)
  18. Dersu Uzala
  19. I Live in Fear
  20. The Lower Depths
  21. Scandal
  22. Dodesukaden (“Clickety-Clack”)
  23. Seven Samurai

The only order that was taken into account is the first film Yojimbo was put there because I deem it his most openly accessible film. While Seven Samurai is last because I wanted to end with my absolute favorite Kurosawa film. Don't be too shocked though, even I haven't seen all of these (I have seen 19 of the 23 though), and I am by no means asking any of you to do this entire list. This is a self applied challenge, as much as a blogging event. My hope in this is to extend to you all the feelings of love and admiration for Kurosawa, that so support my cinematic love.

So if any of you would like to submit anything I'd greatly appreciate it. If you're unsure of which of these you'd like to dive into given your film taste I can happily supply my suggestions. I am posting this early to allow whoever wants, and myself, to get the films simply enough. Reminders:

This will begin March 1st. Expect some updates between now and then. If you'd like to participate email me at

Also: TCM will be playing Kurosawa films every tuesday in March leading up to the 23rd. You can find their schedule, here.

Thank you for your time and attention!

9 better thoughts:

Michele Emrath said...

How interesting...You are opening new doors for me and I am excited about that! I heard a piece on Kurosawa on NPR the other day and was intrigued. I have seen Rashomon, but not the others.

Thanks for stopping by my blog! Where in NC are you? I'm in Raleigh.


Alex said...

Cooooooooooool maaaaaaaaaan.

I imagine this will encourage me to watch more Kurosawa films, since I've only seen two. I'm looking forward to reading your reviews of your favorite director!

(there, now you can say on twitter that you've had two whole comments! hah!)

Michele Emrath said...

I am such a classic movie lover I had to go back through your 1930's and 1940's posts, so look for more comments popping up there...


thistimeitwillbedifferent said...

I'll hold my hands up here because I suspect I am not the only person who reads your blog that this applies to: I haven't seen a Kurosawa film.

Therefore and because of your passion for him: I'm up for this!

I'll drop you an e-mail with what I'm thinking of going for.

Alfindeol said...

Good to see this is going down. Maybe I'll watch Seven Samurai again just to celebrate.

Univarn said...

@Michele thanks for checking out my blog. I'm in Greensboro (going to UNCG) most of the time. Also, feel free to comment all you want, I love getting comments.

@Alex Nah I'll still complain, it's a good tactic :). What two have you seen?

@thistime I can't wait for your posts!

@Alfindeol if you write up a post send me a link and I'll be sure to include it!

Alex said...

I've seen Yojimbo and Rashomon. So many of his movies are on netflix instant, I really have no excuse. I guess I get caught up in my insanely long list of movies I should be watching, you know?

Jake said...

I keep hoping Netflix will get rental copies for all the films now available through the AK 100 set. I'll probably use this as an excuse though to review most or all of the Kurosawa films I can get my hands on and haven't reviewed yet.

Brian said...

In case any one is from the NYC area, Film Forum is showing 30 of Kurosawa's films this month.

I've seen all of his Samurai films but none of his other ones - so hope to remedy that soon.

I think the fact that Kurosawa has reached legendary status as a director almost puts people off - they assume the films might be arty and slow - but at least his early samurai films are thrilling and heroic and very watchable.

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