Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Eclipse Series 7 - Post-War Kurosawa Box - Eclipse from Criterion |
No Regrets for Our Youth, One Wonderful Sunday, Scandal, The Idiot, I Live in Fear
Actor: Postwar Kurosawa
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
The most popular Japanese moviemaker of all time, Akira Kurosawa began his career by delving into the state of his nation immediately following World War II, with visual poetry and direct emotion. Amid Japan s economic col... more »
Good for Kurosawa fans
K. Jenkins | St. George, Utah USA | 01/30/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"All of the reviews thus far have been about No Regrets for Our Youth, which along with Dersu Uzala is probably my most-rewatched Kurosawa movie because of the story lines. As others have mentioned, it makes a political statement about freedom of thought and freedom of expression among university students. It gives Kurosawa a chance to tell the other side of the story only two or three years after The Most Beautiful, which promoted youthful enterprise in furthering Japan's war of "defense" against other nations for the glory of the emperor. After the key moment in No Regrets, which was revealed in one of the other reviews, the movie completely changes direction. I am not an Ozu fan and initially had been annoyed by the goofy girl character in the first half of the movie. However, the second half of the movie brought me up out of my seat -- the sudden need for family loyalty in the face of neighborhood scorn was powerfully presented, and the repeated theme "No regrets for my life" really resonates.
Of the other films, I recommend Scandal, which has a real Frank Capra touch to it -- funny since so many of Kurosawa's films transmited their influence back into western cinema. Scandal pits Toshiro Mifune and a local celebrity against the paparazzi of the day, who invent a scandalous story after turning a photo into something more than it really was in order to sell more newspapers. The good guys get a down-on-his-luck lawyer facing a serious moral conflict to represent them in a court case against the tabloid.
Also, The Idiot, which is based on Dostoevsky's novel of the same name, but with a Japanese retelling set among soldiers coming home from the war. It's about a man so stressed by nearly having been executed that he becomes meek as a lamb, and then vies with his much more hormonal friend over how to lead a woman of soiled reputation to her redemption. Although I enjoyed it, it isn't for those people who get tired of foreign movies where people are always struggling with insanity because of some trauma in their lives. There's a lot of insanity in this movie. Unless I'm mistaken, The Idiot has previously been unavailable on DVD.
One Wonderful Sunday and I Live in Fear both bored me. They both had very little plot -- they were essentially just slices of life. Sunday is about a romance, but it's too talky and not very romantic for western sensibilities, although Ozu fans might find it appealing. I Live in Fear is about people worried about nuclear holocaust during the post-World War II years, a theme that had some punch to it but I also found the movie way too talky and sweaty."
Essential Collection for Kurosawa Fans
Randy Keehn | Williston, ND United States | 09/22/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Postwar Kurosawa deserves a lot of praise for making early films by the great Japanes director available at reasonable prices. I thought the quality of the DVD's was good but then I've thought that about a lot of DVDs of older films that other reviewers have complained about. The set consists of 5 films.
In my opinion, the two best movies in the set are "No Regrets for our Youth" and "One Wonderful Sunday". These are near the quality, overall, of later works of the Master. "No Regrets..." tells of the idealism of young Japanese at the time the War was becoming reality. One person emerges from all the idealism and bravado as someone who walked the walk and talked the talk. In viewing this person's metamorphisis from observer to participant we see the early ability of the young director in using film to enhance a statement. In "One Wonderful Sunday" we get to observe young people trying to discover themselves in the midst of the destruction and corruption of Post-War Japan. Both of these films have a strong impact.
Two movies; "Scandal" and "I Live in Fear" come across as a bit excessive for the statement that is intended. This may be due to the times in which the films were made ("I Live in Fear" tells of a successful businessman who wants to escape the threat of atomic war). Kurosawa is usually more subtle in his statements which led me to be a bit less impressed with the extremeness of these two films.
The final film, "The Idiot" is an adaptation of the Dostoyevsky novel. It is a bit long but it is still impressive as the story of how innocence eventually gets corrupted by the passions of the world around us. It come across more as a theater production captures on film.
Until this set came out, I was looking at trying to find rare VHS copies of the same movies. This set was well worth the price. Overall, I liked it better than my set of early Hitchcock movies.