One of the most visionary, deeply personal works in the 60-year career of the master behind Rashomon, The Seven Samurai and Ran. Featuring eight episodes rich in imagery and insight (and casting MARTIN SCORSESE as a feisty... more » Vincent Van Gogh), it explores the costs of war, the perils of nuclear power and especially humankind's need to harmonize with nature. You will be enchanted ... and enthralled.« less
"Akira Kurosawa's dreams are better than mine. If this is what he saw when he closed his eyes, then I can understand how from that mind sprang the Seven Samurai and the rest."Dreams" is maybe the most personal, most "Japanese" of Kurosawa's films, and along with that it is perhaps the most difficult one for Western audiences to appreciate. This is saying nothing against Western audiences, but many of the themes and myths on display may not be familiar, and the imagery and metaphors may be lost without the appropriate background. I definitely appreciated it more after living in Japan, and becoming familiar with the countries folklore and literary story-telling style. Hina Dolls, the Yuki Onna, the mountain villiges like islands of tradition amongst concrete modern Japan..."Dreams" is beautiful, on a purely visual level. The cinematography is exquisite and the colors and light are displayed with the eye of a painter. It is appropriate that Van Gogh plays a role in one of the many dreams. Like Van Gogh, the stories in "Dreams" are expressionistic and vivid, yet with the subdued emotions that is the hallmark of Japanese literature. This is not the wild, raw statement of a younger Kurosawa. Story-wise, the dreams play with the themes of death and loss, both human and of nature. The displacement of Japanese forests, the lack of safety standards at nuclear power plants, the loss of traditional Japan, the pointless loss of lives in war...melancholy themes at best. Yet at the end, hope is offered, in a small nook and cranny, like a flower blooming amongst concrete.The DVD itself is a small disappointment, and I would rather have this belong to the Criterion Collection, but better to have it than not have it."
A great film more people should watch
Brescian Lander | milford, PA USA | 02/22/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This film has in it some of the most beautiful cinematagrophy I have ever seen. If reviews where it is criticised as being slow or arrested worry you as to whether you should rent or buy it I would judge it like this: if the thought of walking through an art gallery and taking several minutes to sit or stand in front of some pictures to fully study and appreciate their beauty seems "slow" or "arrested" to you then you might not like it, if you can imagine yourself enjoying watching an expresionist/art noveau/surrealist set of pictures come to life on your tv screen then you might like it. I am dissapointed in those critics who can't imagine the medium of movies having value unless they are built around a fast paced linear plot line. These are the same people who probably think poetry is a bunch of rubbish and "Finnegan's Wake" is an unreadable waste of time. I hope and pray and fantasize that the studio that owns the rights to this movie will release it in greater numbers, drop the price, and (glory of all glorys) release it on dvd. It is one of the greatest movies of one of the greatest directors of all time and should be more accesible."
"With an eight-stories sequence, Kurosawa expresses the magic of chilhood, the importance of perseverance and resistance, the beauty created by Van Gogh, war and atomic menace unleashed spreading their horror, and, last but maybe most important, hope an joy when the travel finishes. A film not to be seen once but many times, and getting amazed on each."
Breathtaking Beauty. Glorious and a Masterpiece!
Mesut Can Kula | 06/13/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love this Film! It contains eight Dreams, Sunshine Through the Rain, The Peach Orchard, The Blizzard, The Tunnel, Crows, Mount Fuji in Red, The Weeping Demon and Village of the Watermills. Every Dream is unique, beautifull and Breathtaking. The Dreams shows us how destructive humans are towards the nature and ourselves. Kurosawa criticizes the past, the presence and the future.Kurosawa (not the real kurosawa) plays in every Dream, from when he was a child in Sunshine through the Rain to when he is old and visits the Village of the Watermills.All in all This is the best film ever and my personal favorite Kurosawa film. Its Beauty is so splendid and I loved every single Dream. I encourage everyone in the world to watch this film. The Masters Masterpiece"
The master @ his most intimate; his pleas to the world
Jacqui | austin | 05/22/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of Kurosawa's strengths as a sensei/master of cinema is his political use of the medium. Dreams, while nothing short of visual spectaculars, gives us a moral perspective of the artist through his luscious dreams. There are anti-war ("The Tunnel") and anti-nuclear power vignettes ("Mount Fuji in Red", followed by "The Weeping Demon") and concerns about environtal conservation ("The Peach Orchard".) There are other goodies as well: Japanese folklores meet the wild imaginations of young Akira ("Sunshine through Rainbow"; the brilliant "Blizzard") and the preachy ideals of an old man most reviews here comment on ("Village of the Watermills.)What I treasure, as a Kurosawa fan for life, is the very personal glimpses the film allows into the older Kurosawa. It gives me terrible shudders to hear Van Gogh (an okay performance by Scorsese) say, "I don't have much time left to paint." But it is comforting to reach the film's end and listen with Akira Terao at the centenarian's suggestion of "happy funerals", if only to know that the sensei does not reject this life he so scrutinized with a critical eye in his art -- that he is at peace."