Kurosawa and Mifune Equals Great Adventure


Oh my, it’s been a terrible while since my last entry. I originally planned this blog to test my commitment. Now I see I failed…yet again. This is nonetheless another one of my attempts to prove to myself that I can commit to something.

But moving on…

Toshiro Mifune and Machiko Kyo

I have been in a Kurosawa month. I’ve been indulging myself to his cinematic masterpieces, and plan to watch all his movies before I move on to another master (not exactly what I consider a master but I must say that I plan to watch James Cameron’s Avatar, tomorrow). I’ve been enthralled by how masterful Kurosawa made his movies. It isn’t comparable to the movies of today. I found that I cannot appreciate true cinema if I confine myself to the garbage offered today. I must go back. Turn the hands of time and experience the past. Fortunately, the journey was and is worth it.

Although I missed plenty of new movies, I cannot compare watching Rashomon for the first time to any of my other movie experiences. My eyes were opened to what the true meaning of movie really is: art. Kurosawa’s movies never fail to captivate me, and I keep asking for more. And more Mifune, too.

I must admit, part of the reason why I like Kurosawa’s movie is because of Mifune. I’ve yet to watch Ikiru and experience a Kurosawa movie bereft of the Mifune charm. I’m sure it’s still going to be beautiful. But I may need to brace myself for the withdrawal that might come next.

Takashi Shimura

Rashomon was the first Kurosawa film I viewed. From beginning to end, the film was pure heaven. It magnificently portrayed the most basic of human deficiencies: selfishness. Heck, even in the afterlife, humans are still willing to do anything to save their own skin or, in this case, ghost-skin. Kurosawa creates a breathtaking journey to the human psyche and encourages everyone to see it for all its stark realities. He forces us to view ourselves from the other side, and tells us that, in the end, salvation awaits for those who are courageous enough to accept his own faults. It’s just human nature, nothing more.

Mifune and Kyo were a sight to behold. And so was the amazing Takashi Shimura, the woodcutter who knew everything and was the only person bold enough to embrace absolute contrition; he was rewarded with a return to innocence.

The film brought me closer to film appreciation. Mifune will trap you in every scene where he is in. He will capture your attention and wrap you in his charms. And so will Kurosawa: the genius and the master.

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