Akira Kurosawa

Film News: Japan’s Hot Film ‘Fly Me to Saitama’ Opens 8th Asian Pop-up Cinema, Mar. 12, 2019

APUC Season Eight 2019

CHICAGO – Right out of the gate, the Asian Pop-Up Cinema (APUC) of Chicago proves they are one of the top cultural connections in the city. Season Eight opens on Tuesday, March 12th with “Fly Me to Saitama,” one of the hottest films in Japan, with three consecutive weeks as a top box office draw.

Film Review: Akira Kurosawa’s ‘Ran’ is a Must-See Masterpiece

Ran Front

CHICAGO – The master director Akira Kurosawa (1910-1998) gave us a treasure trove of cinematic wizardry, to savor and revisit for years to come. Rialto Pictures is distributing the latest 4K restoration of one of his greatest pictures, “Ran” (1985). As part of a nationwide road show, it’s currently at the Gene Siskel Film Center of Chicago.

Blu-ray Review: ‘At the Gate of the Ghost’ Offers Fresh Take on ‘Rashômon’

At the Gate of the Ghost Blu-ray

CHICAGO – Two short stories conceived by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa were brilliantly fused in Akira Kurosawa’s 1950 masterpiece, “Rashômon,” a picture destined to eternally rank alongside the all-time greatest films. Like “12 Angry Men,” it’s the sort of universally relevant morality play that can be adapted countless times and still retain its power in full.

DVD Review: Akira Kurosawa’s ‘Rashomon’ Redefined Cinema

Rashomon

CHICAGO – The Criterion Collection has had a long relationship with Akira Kurosawa fans, releasing several of his films in the past, including “The Seven Samurai,” “Yojimbo,” and “Ran.” They have chosen “Rashomon” as the latest in their line of films to upgrade for Blu-ray and re-released on Criterion DVD. We got the latter and it’s another beauty.

Blu-Ray Review: Akira Kurosawa’s Riveting Thriller ‘High and Low’

High and Low

CHICAGO – Very few films from 1963 have the timelessness of Akira Kurosawa’s perfect thriller “High and Low,” a daring piece of tension-building work that takes place almost entirely in one room and in real-time. With people like Martin Scorsese, Mike Nichols, and David Mamet circling a potential remake for years, it’s no wonder the film was chosen for the Blu-ray upgrade this month by Criterion. It’s a classic from one of the form’s best directors.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Seven Samurai’ Lives Up to Legendary Reputation

Seven Samurai

CHICAGO – If one looks at the spine of a Criterion Collection release, he will see a number that indicates the order in which films have been inducted into the most important DVD/Blu-ray series in history. With over 500 films in the collection (this week’s “Paths of Glory” is #538), one might wonder where it all began. “Grand Illusion,” which Criterion no longer has rights to, is #1 but their second inductee has recently been transferred to Blu-ray and the two-disc release for “Seven Samurai” is a beauty.

Akira Kurosawa’s ‘Ran’ a Must-See on the Big Screen

Akira Kurosawa of "Ran"

CHICAGO – Of all the cinematic variations on Shakespeare’s “King Lear,” Akira Kurosawa’s “Ran” is one of the few that, dare I say, improves on the Bard’s original blueprint.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Contempt,’ ‘The Ladykillers,’ ‘Ran’

Contempt

CHICAGO – I have to admit to a bit of trepidation every time a studio outside of the widely acknowledged masters tries their hand at catalog releases but the Lionsgate/StudioCanal Blu-ray releases of “Contempt,” “The Ladykillers,” and “Ran” are spectacular. Not only do the films look amazing in HD but they’ve been given copious special features. Don’t miss them.

Blu-Ray Review: Criterion Edition of Akira Kurosawa’s Legendary ‘Kagemusha’

Kagemusha

CHICAGO – Now that he is widely recognized as one of the best filmmakers of all time, it’s almost hard to believe that there was a period in the career of Akira Kurosawa when he couldn’t get financing to make a film. Kurosawa went through a very dark time in the ’70s, punctuated by his disastrous experience with “Tora! Tora! Tora!,” and needed the weight of Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas to help with his comeback, “Kagemusha,” now available in a beautiful Criterion Collection Blu-Ray release.

Interview: Producer Bill Kong on Latest Film ‘Blood: The Last Vampire’

Blood: The Last Vampire

CHICAGO – Bill Kong can rightly be considered the producer King of the Modern Samarai Film. After cutting his teeth on the seminal “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” his latest release is a new spin on the genre with “Blood, The Last Vampire.”

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