Sunday, January 24, 2010

#2: Seven Samurai

(Akira Kurosawa, 1954)

Seven Samurai is another Kurosawa classic, and most likely his most famous movie. I had seen it years ago, but had only remembered two things about it: it was long, and the last shot was of samurai graves, with dust blowing in the wind (late spoiler alert!). In fact, I had remembered it being in letterbox, but it turns out to be in good old 1.33:1. It's just the movie that is expansive, not the ratio.

I prefer a few other Kurosawa movies, but it is hard to argue with just how effective this film is, and how epic the story is. The entire second half consists of the battle to save the village, and it's all spectacular. Mifune, too, is excellent in the film, giving one of his best - and most atypical - performances as the peasant-turned-samurai triangle on the flag.

I'd love to see this one on the big screen, I can't even imagine what it would have been like to see it upon first release.

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