Chatt, TN Akira Kurosawa

Discussion in 'South East Regional Discussion' started by Southernjedi, Nov 23, 2002.

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  1. Southernjedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 1, 2002
    star 4
    "You can't help being influenced by his use of camera." -- George Lucas, The Hidden Fortress DVD commentary.

    This thread is for a discussion on all things Kurosawa.

    I thought it was really interesting how Lucas describes AK's use of the camera, the frames, etc., to tell the story. Lucas said he loves how one frame shows so much scenery and action at once.

    In Fortress, GL says the panning and long-lens shots during scenes like the horse chase with the general build the intensity.

    Lucas picked up some wonderful cinematography ideas from Kurosawa, in my opinion. I would love to see more work like this in movies. It really helps tell the story in an interesting way.

    One of the most interesting things Lucas says in the Fortress commentary is how that film influenced him in Star Wars. Lucas was intrigued with the idea of telling the story from the point of view of the "two lowest" characters, in this case two peasants in Fortress. GL simply substituted Artoo and Threepio, of course. This homage to older films is one thing that makes Star Wars unique and a rich tale, other than the special effects.
  2. Allie Fox FanForce CR Macon GA US

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Jan 13, 2000
    star 3
    I watched The Hidden Fortress this weekend for the first time in a long time.

    The viewing experience reminded me of the style of Ingmar Bergman. Nearly every shot leaves you hanging because of the sheer volume on screen. It is nearly impossible to take in at once. It gives the impressioin of actually being there with the characters.

    THF is a great film and I wouldn't mind seeing the DVD with commentary by Mr. Lucas.
  3. Southernjedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 1, 2002
    star 4
    This is only my second viewing of Fortress. But I was hooked the first time when watching my friend's DVD. It's a well-made film, with plenty of techniques to copy from, as Lucas did. You're right -- it is nearly impossible to take in at once.

    I can't wait to watch other Kurosawa films, esp. Seven Samurai. Have you seen that film? It's supposed to also have been an ifluence on Star Wars, and on other films.
  4. Southernjedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 1, 2002
    star 4
    I finally watched Seven Samurai!

    Like Matt said, it's more than an action movie: Philosophy, history, etc. It was fascinating to learn about the former samurai, how their system was breaking down and their fate, either going outlaw or relying on others to hire them, like the village. Interesting too, on farmers and samurai antagonism.
  5. Jar Jar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 1998
    star 4
    Obviously Samurai are a very big influence on the Jedi's overall culture and story. The Samurai were the highest and most respected class in all of Japan under only the emperor. The greed for power and control among the Samurai eventually led to their general distrust and ruin. It will be interesting to see what aspects of their downfall are borwed from in the next Star Wars film.

    It's also interesting to see how he continues to borrow many elements of Asian philosophy and religion for the force. You can see very clearly that Taoist philosophy is a major influence on Yoda's teachings and ideals of the "living force". It's worth checking out if you ever want to see where Lucas gets some of his ideas from.
  6. DarKnight Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 14, 2000
    star 2
    One of the coolest aspects of "Hidden Fortress" was when Toshiro Mifune chased the men who wanted to report his location to a rival General. Watch carefully and you will see Mifune riding that horse as those he belongs in the saddle.

    He holds that katana high in the air with both, not one, but BOTH hands and his shoulders and torso don't budge an inch.

    To achieve such a shot today, directors have to resort to special rigs and stand-ins for actors.
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