Today would have been Akira Kurosawa's 100th birthday. Here's a pretty good fan video using footage from Ran and music from the band Dead Can Dance:
Here's a jittery copy of his lifetime achievement Oscar presentation:
And here's a brief clips from Dreams:
Kurosawa originally wanted to become a painter, and his idol was Van Gogh. You can see it in Ran and some of his other color films. While I adore many films and filmmakers, if I had to choose one all-time favorite, it would be Kurosawa. Only a handful of other filmmakers - Bergman, Fellini, Kubrick, Tarkovsky - made so many great films and changed the medium so profoundly. Seven Samurai is the template for so many action movies, Yojimbo is a jet-black revenge comedy, Ran is an epic, Dreams is a mix of lullabies and nightmares, and Ikiru is one of the most moving films ever made. I have a longer post on a Kurosawa exhibit out here last year and on his key films. But thanks to Kuro-Chan, the sensei, for so many wonderful films and lovely memories.