After his successful direction of his first film Sanshiro Sugata, and subsequent rise through the ranks of Toho assistant directors in the 1940s, Akira Kurosawa was pressured to make a sequel. The result was 1945’s Sanshiro Sugata II, set five years after the original film and picking up Sugata’s tale as he faces challenges from practitioners of other styles of martial arts.
The film begins with a sequence that mirrors the opening of the first film: Sugata saves … (read more)
I’ve been a huge fan of Akira Kurosawa’s work for a while now, since devouring his samurai films (The Seven Samurai, Yojimbo, Sanjuro and others), then moving on to his later work — in particular, the stunning Ran and Kagemusha. Every one has been an excellent film, on all counts: cinematography, writing, acting and direction. Throne of Blood, as well, has some of the most wonderful black and white cinematography I’ve ever seen. So, I … (read more)