Kurosawa comes to town

Film festival
Last Updated : 18 March 2013, 19:23 IST

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If you happen to be a film lover or would like to be initiated into the world of cinema, then this film festival is especially for you. In a travelling fest,which began December  at the International Film Festival of Kerala, the Japan Foundation has brought down an Akira Kurosawa Retrospective.

In the offing, is a range of films right from Kurosawa’s debut Judo Saga (1943), the most well-known Rashomon (1950) to Madadayo (1993). This treasure trove is on view at the Sri Aurobindo Centre for Arts and Communication till March 18 and continues at the Japan Foundation till March 23.

This is also possibly the first time that 25 out of Kurosawa’s 31 films are being screened in a single programme in India. The Director General, Japan Foundation, informs Metrolife, “It was very difficult to procure copies of these films, so we got 75 mm reels which have to be changed every 10 minutes. As a result, there are momentary blackouts and sound disturbances during the screening, but I am glad to see that our visitors are not minding it at all.”

In fact, the visitors, mostly film students, agree that they only add charm to the old world films. The list includes The Hidden Fortress – the story of an army general and a princess smuggling the royal treasury out of hostile territory after their king is slain. The film features Kurosawa’s famous directorial technique – frame wipes –  a transition device and is said to have inspired George Lucas’ Star Wars. 
Then there is No Regrets for Our Youth inspired by the real-life story of Hotsumi Ozaki who assisted the famous Soviet spy Richard Sorge and became the only Japanese to suffer death penalty for treason during World War II. Portraying his companion Yukie (Setsuko Hara) as one of the strongest characters, No Regrets... is hailed as Kurosawa’s tribute to women.

A must watch is Seven Samurai – the story of a village of farmers who hire seven masterless samurai (Japanese warriors) to combat bandits who return after every harvest to steal their crops. Seven Samurai was voted in the list of top three ‘Sight & Sound critics’ greatest films of all time’ in 1982, and in the directors’ top ten films lists in the 1992 and 2002 polls.

Besides, the festival also features timeless gems such as Sanjuro, The Bad Sleep Well, I Live in Fear, The Idiot, One Wonderful Sunday, Yojimbo, High and low, Red Beard, Those Who Step on the Tail of the Tiger and Dodesukaden.

Director, Sri Aurobindo Centre, Daljeet Wadhwa expresses, “It is a wonderful opportunity for budding filmmakers to come and experience the genius of Kurosawa. He made films at a time when equipment was hard to come by and the directorial techniques commonly used today, largely

“Besides, his stories are very simple, related to the Japanese rural life of a bygone era. Today, such life and times are difficult to find. They can probably be re-experienced only through Kurosawa’s films.”

Published 18 March 2013, 14:28 IST

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