Tag Archives: Akira Kurosawa

Vikings – King Alfred’s Rise and Bishop Heahmund’s Fall

The challenge Vikings faces is how to sustain the drama. Battles are an obvious answer but what makes a good battle? It must be more than life and death.

Lost in Translation

Sofia Coppola’s Oscar-winning, off-beat romance deftly explores themes such as isolation, miscommunication and the superficiality of modern media.

The Double Life of Veronique

Krzysztof Kieślowski avoids all the clichés of doppelgängers, doubles and lookalikes to deliver a meditation on freedom.

Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters

Films about writers are tricky propositions but you can roughly divide the genre into two eras; pre- and post-Mishima.

The Godfather

Regarded as the greatest gangster picture of them all, the passing years continue to reveal new layers and meanings in Francis Ford Coppola’s masterpiece.

Yi Yi

As the title to Edward Yang’s masterpiece indicates, Yi Yi is a series of doubles; narrative, thematic, visual and aural, that deliver a subtle family portrait.

Wadjda

Precious few films celebrate the joys of riding a bike. Haifaa Al Mansour’s Wadjda is more than just a celebration; it is a dissection of an entire culture.

Miller’s Crossing

The plot to Miller’s Crossing is so complex, it’s hard to even figure out where and when it is set. And that’s before we discuss the meaning of Tom Reagan’s hat.

Great Openings – Part Three

What makes for a great opening? Character? Conflict? Poetry? Hopefully, more than something we’re supposed to just listen to.

Dunkirk

All boring films are alike; every great film is great in its own way. Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk belongs not just to the latter but amongst the greatest ever made.

A.I.: Artificial Intelligence

It is incorrectly assumed that Steven Spielberg turned Stanley Kubrick’s dark story into another of his child-friendly fantasies.

Le Samouraï

Jean-Pierre Melville’s masterpiece is so influential, even if you haven’t seen it… you have seen it because you’ve seen dozens of films influenced by it.

Slow-Motion

Once considered avant-garde, slow-motion is now the mainstay of every action film. Here are some of the best and most innovative uses of the technique.

All About My Mother

Once dismissed as The King of Kitsch, Pedro Almodovar has since become a laureate of liberalism. This masterpiece from 1999 was the turning point.

Tokyo Story

On the surface Yasujiro Ozu’s examination of family life in post-war Japan may sound simple, but what he delivered is one of cinema’s supreme achievements.

M

In terms of genre, few films are as influential film as Fritz Lang’s M. Where would The French Connection, LA Confidential and Se7en be without it?

Rashomon

Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon is celebrated for asking what is truth. Which is more than a little ironic, because that’s not what it is really about.

Diva

Like many other cult classics, the French thriller Diva was almost still born. Rejected by the French critics and public, it only got a second lease of life in the US.

#Shakespeare400

He died in 1616 but the fact that over four hundred films have been made from his plays shows how much The Bard knew about human nature.

The Case for the Courtroom Drama

Of all the genres, the courtroom is perhaps the one most beset by clichés. So is there any evidence for a few masterpieces?

The Searchers

The Searchers is both a cinematic monument and an extremely unsettling depiction of the racism that lies at the heart of America’s own mythology.

Once Upon a Time in the West

Sergio Leone’s masterpiece doesn’t only reference American westerns. He also drew inspiration from an English film.

Moving Pictures: From Hollywood to Silicon Valley

This extended video-essay examines the innovations at the heart of cinema, focusing on how cinema is coping with the move from Hollywood to Silicon Valley.

Gone Girl

Adapted from Gillian Flynn’s best-selling thriller, David Fincher’s film keeps its most surprising twist until the final shot. And it’s not what you think.

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