Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Movie of the Week – Seven Samurai

This week’s movie: Seven Samurai (1954).

A poor village in rural Japan is being ransacked by bandits. The elders decide to hire seven unemployed samurai to help defend the people and the livelihood of the village.

Japanese writer-director Akira Kurosawa is considered as one of the greatest filmmakers of all-time (his prime taking place during the 1950s/60s). Seven Samurai is his masterpiece, but he also directed many other fantastic films including: Rashomon, Ikiru, Throne of Blood, Yojimbo (my personal second favorite of his films), High and Low, Red Beard, and Ran. He worked with his frequent collaborators composer Fumio Hayasaka, cinematographer Asakazu Nakai, and production designer Takashi Matsuyama on the film.

The film also stars two frequent collaborators of Kurosawa: Toshiro Mifune and Takashi Shimura.

Seven Samurai is near the top of almost every critical list noting the top 25 films of all-time. It is the classic epitome of the samurai film, and is an absolute must-see of genre fans. The film is also a must-see for those looking to have a strong working knowledge of the greatest films in cinema’s history. Like many Kurosawa films, it was remade (reimagined) as the western The Magnificent Seven (which is nowhere near as good). Seven Samurai is an epic and somewhat difficult to get into initially for those unfamiliar with older films, but it is well worth the time and effort, as once the story gets going it is a very rewarding experience.

Trailer: Here
Available on: Blu-ray and Video On-Demand

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