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The directors/ Akira Kurosawa


I am every much enjoying SKY ARTS series on film directors.

It has the same line up of critics Ian Nathan and Neil Norman with the addition of Stephen Armstrong and Bonnie Greer as their series on film stars.

Ian Nathan rightly says that The Seven Samurai  was the father of then Hollywood action movie, notably The Magnificent Seven.

Personally I do not take as much exception as some critics do to the adaptation of an outstanding world film.

Enter the Dragon was much the best of the Bruce Lee films, benefiting from Hollywood slickness.

Similarly the Seven Samurai in black and white and with melodramatic facial shots is not as sophisticated a production as The Magnificent Seven. 

As with Ingmar Bergman and Max Von Sydow, Kurosawa developed a brilliant creative relationship with actor Toshira Nifune who appeared in many of his films.

No one is quite certain why they fell  out, something to do with exaggerated Japanese notions of pride is one one theory.

He did direct Tora ! Tora Tora! – one of those war films that showed both sides of the conflict – in colour for Hollywood but is best known for his work in black and white for the Japanese cinema.

Aside from the erratic Sam Peckinpah  who directed violent movies and  those elegiac westerns that go on for ever, I thoroughly approve the list of directors in this series: Fritz Lang, Alfred Hitchcock, William Wyler, Howard Hawks, George Cukor, Billy Wilder and Kurosawa . It tells you everything you need to know about the Oscars that Kurosawa  never received one.

About Neil Rosen

Neil went to the City of London School and Manchester University graduating with a 1st in economics. After a brief stint in accountancy, Neil emigrated to a kibbutz In Israel. His articles on the burgeoning Israeli film industry earned comparisons to Truffaut and Godard in Cahiers du Cinema. Now one of the world's leading film critics and moderators at film Festivals Neil has written definitively in his book Kosher Nostra on Jewish post war actors. Neil lives with his family in North London. More Posts

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