Saturday 11 January 2014

Akira Kurosawa: On filmmaking

Akira Kurosawa's career spanned nearly 60 years. He’s best known for his samurai epics, such as RashomonSeven Samurai, (which inspired The Magnificent Seven and Last Man Standing), Hidden Fortress (which inspired Star Wars), Yojimbo (which inspired A Fist Full of Dollars, among others), SanjuroKagemusha, and Ran (which reworks King Lear).

The following video is organised into 10 chapters. This list shows the subjects Kurosawa discusses and the time each section commences.

Chapter 1: Background   (0:00)
Chapter 2: Screenplays   (13:50)
Chapter 3: Storyboards   (19:19)
Chapter 4: Filming   (24:32)
Chapter 5: Lighting   (31:16)
Chapter 6: Art Direction  (37:21)
Chapter 7: Costumes   (43:17)
Chapter 8: Editing   (47:30)
Chapter 9: Music   (54:57)
Chapter 10: Directing   (63:09)


Unknown said...

If Akira Kurosawa is yet to grasp what a movie is, what hope do we mere mortals have?

Henry, you set so much homework! A person who kept up with your blog would be thoroughly grounded in screenwriting within a year.

It's great that you have effectively divided the interview into chapters. I will be able to dip into them as questions arise.

Unknown said...

Couldn't resist dipping into the screenwriting part. Akiri Kurosawa made his dialogue writing seem easy. He explained he was writing down actual speech he had experienced. But Mr Kurosawa had followed human interest in asking why the bar owners pitied the man, and he had remembered an embarrassing conversation that many of us would have forgotten.

Mr Kurosawa must have great determination to have made good on his declaration that movies must be made with characters beyond the lower middle class.

It is sad to note that it is not only filmmakers in Japan who are focusing on story with formulaic characters.

The take-away message for me in this excerpt is: "A story naturally forms around a well-drawn character."

Thanks for the interview, Henry.