In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “This is a story that could have been so easily tossed off and dismissed for some quickie, genre fun. But Kurosawa turns it into a living, breathing story with very real consequences for its very real people.”
The main reason I started this blog was to make me watch more movies, and to vary the kinds of movies I watched. The first part of that has been well and truly accomplished with me watching hundreds of movies for the first time, instead of falling back on old favourites over and over again. But l’m not sure if I’ve varied my selections enough. I still watch mainly American movies, with directors, writers and actors that make them a pretty safe bet. So this year, I’m forcing myself to seek out more international movies. With Foreign Language Weekends, every weekend(ish) during 2016, I’ll review two(ish) non-English language movies.
“You’re too sharp. That’s your trouble. You’re like a drawn sword. Sharp, naked without a sheath. You cut well. But good swords are kept in their sheaths.”
Martin Scorsese is probably my favourite film maker of all time. I write about him here whenever I get the chance, and my last year of uni was basically just an excuse to write 25,000 words about a handful of his movies. So when Scorsese praises someone, I listen. Of Akira Kurosawa, Marty said, “The term ‘giant’ is used too often to describe artists. But in the case of Akira Kurosawa, we have one of the rare instances where the term fits.” I knew Kurosawa was a serious cinematic heavyweight long before I read this, but Scorsese’s comment was a much delayed boot in the ass to make me watch more of the Japanese master. Which I did, with Sanjuro.
Believing that their Lord Chamberlain (Yunosuke Ito) has indulged in a bit of the ol’ corruption, nine young samurai meet in secret in a shrine after sharing their suspicions with the clan’s Superintendent. Resting in an adjacent room, the masterless Ronin samurai Sanjuro (Toshiro Mifune) overhears their dilemma emerges to let them know what he sees as plainly obvious. It’s not the Chamberlain who’s corrupt, but the Superintendent. A theory proven correct when the Superintendent’s men surround the shrine. Sanjuro hides the samurai and the attackers leave. (more…)