- Kurosawa worked in the USSR (shot on location in Taiga) for Dersu Uzala– his first film in five years, his second in color, first on the larger Sovoscope 70mm canvas
- Shot almost entirely in exteriors – the Siberian taiga – Kurosawa catching the colors of the seasons (certainly his use of weather, all over the place here, a trait throughout his work)
Shot almost entirely in exteriors – the Siberian taiga – Kurosawa catching the colors and changes of the seasons (certainly his use of the elements, all over the place here, a trait throughout his work)
- Flashback narrative style- a voice over by Russian captain (who is a surveyor more than a soldier here) Yuriy Solomin playing the captain- but he’s sort of an empty vessel—the film is all about Maksim Munzuk’s titular character
- Starts in fall/autumn and Kurosawa beautifully captures the foliage—you can feel that every leaf is strategically placed and colored though it falls just short of Sirk or Todd Haynes’ Far From Heaven
- There’s a heavy emphasis on the color red throughout
There’s a heavy emphasis on the color red throughout
- The sun and moon shot in the same shot- a stunner- certainly an influence of Lucas’ shot in Star Wars
The sun and moon shot in the same shot- a stunner- certainly an influence of Lucas’ shot in Star Wars
- Kurosawa does use the Taiga as an obstruction or to frame within the frame in a few instances but this isn’t Letter Never Sent by Kalatozov—and his use of the Taiga
Kurosawa does use the Taiga as an obstruction or to frame within the frame in a few instances but this isn’t Letter Never Sent by Kalatozov—and his use of the Taiga
- Dersu is a rich character- pantheistic almost—changes when he kills the tiger, his haunted past, an honorable character that is tragically cut blind, held captive (sort of) in the end and then struck down by man (fitting right in with Kurosawa’s dog-eat-dog nihilism)
- Kurosawa use of the magic hour is quite an achievement as well- the cutting of the grass sequence – the race against the close to save themselves from the elements is a great short film sequence
Kurosawa use of the magic hour lighting photography is quite an achievement
- “man’s measure is dwarfed by the vastness of nature”- line in text
- Broken into two parts- part 2 starts with the ice breaking in spring and I thought Kurosawa was going to give us all four seasons but no—
- Plotless, a slow-burn the story of a man, of friendship and the exteriors
- All but gone are the complex blocking compositions and deep focus work of the 1960’s from Kurosawa
- Recommend/Highly Recommend border – certainly can’t find a spot in the top 10 of a year like 1975
I’m really curious, after Kurosawa study is over, will you do another one? If so, who will it be?
@Aldo– I’m deciding that now- I have so many names here. I know I’m either going to Kieślowski next or very soon. Atom Egoyan just had some films come available on Criterion that I’ve been trying to get to for years– I haven’t decided if I’m just going to catch those couple films- or do the entire available filmography.
You should do a Emir Kusturica study.His films Arizona Dream,Black Cat,White Cat and Time of The Gypsies are great.
@Chris- Kusturica is on the list- but the only one I’d be able to get my hands on right now is Arizona Dream
I think you should check out the two baahubali films made by SS Rajamouli.SS rajamouli is the best director in India.
Since you have done a Scorsese study a Coppola study would be worth it.I don’t see any pages for Rain People,The Conversation,The Outsiders,Rumble Fish,One from the heart,Gardens of stone,Cotton Club,Tucker,Bram stokers Dracula and Tetro(2009).
Since you are a great admirer of F.F Coppola maybe it’s time for a full fledged Coppola study like Kurosawa.The above films need to have their own pages.
@Chris- many have their own pages already http://thecinemaarchives.com/2017/07/18/one-from-the-heart-1981-francis-ford-coppola/ or http://thecinemaarchives.com/2017/02/09/the-cotton-club-1984-francis-ford-coppola/
sorry they aren’t hyperlinked yet- but you can just search for Francis Ford Coppola in the interim
Do you study directors that you have already seen their work or directors that you do not know?
@Aldo- I try to mix it up. There never seems to be enough time to get to it all. I have wish list I pick from and then I also believe in random — so will go to a list like from TSPDT or something and just pick one randomly.
But no pages for Rumble Fish,The Conversation,Rain People,Gardens of Stone,Tetro,Bram Stokers Dracula,Tucker,They need pages as well.After all this is Coppola the man who made 3 top 25 films.