AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa (1943-1993) [ReUp]

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AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa (1943-1993) [ReUp]

AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa (1943-1993) [The Criterion Collection][2009]
25 x untouched DVD | NTSC | Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1, 1.85:1 | 3063 mins | Book (PDF) - 114 Mb | Total 156 Gb
Audio: Japanese Dolby Stereo / Dolby Mono | Subtitles: English
Genre: Classics | Japan

The creator of such timeless masterpieces as Rashomon, Ikiru, Seven Samurai, Yojimbo, and High and Low, Akira Kurosawa is one of the most influential and beloved filmmakers who ever lived—and for many the greatest artist the medium has known. Now, on the occasion of the centenary of his birth, the Criterion Collection is proud to present this deluxe box set celebrating his astonishing career. Featuring twenty-five of the films he made over the course of his fifty years in movies—from samurai epics to postwar noirs to Shakespeare adaptations—AK 100 is the most complete set of his works ever released in this country, and includes four rare films that have never been available on DVD.

After working in an extensive range of genres, Akira Kurosawa made his breakthrough film in 1950 with the technically perfect Rashomon. It won the top prize at the Venice Film Festival (Golden Lion), and first revealed the richness of Japanese cinema to the rest of the world. Heavily revered in the West, Kurosawa's films have always been more popular there than in his homeland of Japan. His native critics often view his adaptations of Western authors and genres (ex. Shakespearean plays in Feudal Japanese settings) with apprehension. Kurosawa was best know for his utilization of the mis-en-scene - taking advantage of the full widescreen scope to isolate characters and introduce extraneous detail. His films ranged from samurai action to touching dramas. Kurosawa worshipped American director John Ford, signifying him as his primary influence as a filmmaker. He is quoted as saying "For me, film-making combines everything. That's the reason I've made cinema my life's work. In films, painting and literature, theatre and music come together. But a film is still a film."
AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa (1943-1993) [ReUp]

The 25 main features of this boxset are housed in individual unfastened flap book-style cardboard cases inside a beautiful linen-bound box with an Illustrated hard cover book. These are advertised as 'all new transfers'.

Very encouragingly, NONE of the transfers are pictureboxed. Each are coded for Region 1 in the NTSC standard. The transfers are all progressive and in the original aspect ratios. There are no digital supplements and each finish the last chapter with color bars. Audio is monaural, 2.0 channel stereo or in the case of High and Low 4.0 channel Perspecta Surround. Unless otherwise noted (ex. Kagemusha) each disc starts with a wonderful animated 'AK 100' logo followed by the animated Criterion and static Janus logos.

So, while new transfers - some look very similar to previous Criterion or Eclipse boxset releases - however, quite a few are different and may also be from alternate sources. We aren't privy to the details of the availability of prints used by Criterion as sources but can make good guesses if it was the same as the original releases by comparing captures and noting damage marks, framing and other details. To get exact screen capture matches - we move ahead one frame at a time looking for the same position of people, hands or other things that move OR we can also look for the same speckles and/or scratches. This will show if possibly the same source was used and more closely identify if it is a similar, or how similar the appearance is.

AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa (1943-1993) [ReUp]

Public perception has altered quite a bit in the past few years and I believe this is a real positive. This is true for a few companies, like Criterion, who are aware of what their following are desirous of - and what they dislike in terms of transfers. I am referring to digital manipulation (also called 'restoration') where selective contrast adjustment can help remove the prevalence of damage marks and hopefully bring the film closer to its theatrical intent. This is the same thing that occurs with black level or color boosting - trying to increase sharpness or vibrancy of an older, faded print. Consumers at this high-end of film appreciation have become more aware of these alternations that leave telltale deficiencies ex.; brightness that limits scratches and damage marks may also removes detail from parts of the frame, like edge-enhancement from black level boosting, moiring and other unsavory artifacts. Okay - so what I am suggesting is that most of these transfers seem devoid of digital tinkering to alter the perception toward the theatrical appearance. They seem very 'pure'. What that might mean is more grain, and more visible damage but a truer look and for those that inspect that closely a more film-like presentation on DVD or Blu-ray.

As one example - this may be true for a title in this collection like Rashomon. While it may not be a different print - it may have had less in the way of digitally covering-up of damage BUT grain visibility improves and it tends to look more textured akin to real film. This may also be true because the discs do not share the feature transfer with supplements - this can increase the bitrate for the feature. This is what many fans desire in the current climate of home theater expansion. Personally, I am less concerned with light damage than I am with obvious manipulation. From my inspection so far - I'd say these are less manipulated than some of the original releases.

The important releases for many are the ones new to Criterion - Sanshiro Sugata (1943), The Most Beautiful (1944), Sanshiro Sugata Part Two (1945), The Men Who Tread on the Tiger's Tail (1945) and Madadayo (1993). I suspect they are all the best DVD transfers of each of these 5 films in the entire world. I was especially keen to see Madadayo as it is one of my favorite Kurosawa works.

Also, Drunken Angel (1948), Seven Samurai (1954) and Dodes’ka-den (1970) are NOT pictureboxed as they were in their latest, or original Criterion release. This can be quite consequential for some individuals.

AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa (1943-1993) [ReUp]

The included book, 25 Films By Akira Kurosawa, is magnificent. Awkwardly long in size but fits appropriately in the linen-bound case - where, for me, it will continue to reside. It's about 90 pages with an 'intro' entitled Kurosawa at 100 - by Stephen Prince - then 2 pages with photos on each of the 25 films with notes again by Stephen Prince finishing with 4 pages by Donald Richie on 'Remembering Kurosawa'. It's a great keep sake and interesting reading.

So - what do we have? 25 films by one of the most renowned directors of all time. Masterpiece after masterpiece - looking and sounding improved, as good as possible, or as existing previously competent on the SD-DVD format. FIVE NEW films transferred with Criterion's high standards - 3 more with pictureboxing removed and a handful looking a tad purer and more film-like. No commentaries or digital extras - no trinkets like replica Sanjuro sandals or a plastic Samurai sword included - so, it is bare-bones and reminiscent of the Eclipse sub-label. Will these all come out on Blu-ray next year? Highly unlikely - especially the five new titles. Will any of those five be released individually? Unknown - with nothing scheduled on the calendar at present.

Is it worth it? That is the big question. You tell me - at the current price it amounts to about $11 a film. Titles like Seven Samurai (NOT pictureboxed), Ikiru, High and Low, Yojimbo, Red Beard, Kagemusha, Stray Dog, The Hidden Fortress, The Bad Sleep Well, Throne of Blood, I Live in Fear, Madadayo, etc. etc. etc. Most individuals will look to see how many they already own and 'calculate' the value - which is fair enough. I'm extremely pleased with the set - maybe more so than Ford at Fox or Murnau, Borazge & Fox, but the decision essentially lies with your personal preference and film/DVD diet. I'm just here to tell you that it maintains Criterion's high standards with great transfers - so be fearless in your potential purchases.

Gary Tooze, DVDbeaver

Comparisons, Screenshots and Some technical details is on DVDbeaver.

Akira Kurosawa on Wikipedia and IMDB.

amazon.com

Criterion

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AK 100: 25 Films of Akira Kurosawa

Sanshiro Sugata (1943) –- The Most Beautiful (1944) –- Sanshiro Sugata Part Two (1945)
The Men Who Tread on the Tiger's Tail (1945) –- No Regrets for Our Youth (1946) –- One Wonderful Sunday (1947)
Drunken Angel (1948) –- Stray Dog (1949) –- Scandal (1950) –- Rashomon (1950) –- The Idiot (1951)
Ikiru (1952) –- Seven Samurai (1954) –- I Live in Fear (1955) –- Throne of Blood (1957)
The Lower Depths (1957) –- The Hidden Fortress (1958) –- The Bad Sleep Well (1960)
Yojimbo (1961) –- Sanjuro (1962) –- High and Low (1963) –- Red Beard (1965)
Dodes’ka-den (1970) –- Kagemusha (1980) –- Madadayo (1993)


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AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa (1943-1993) [ReUp]

[01] Sanshiro Sugata (1943) aka 'Judo Saga'
1:18:44 | 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio | Average Bitrate: 7.14 mb/s | NTSC 720x480 | Monaural | 4,28 Gb

Akira Kurosawa’s dazzling debut as a director is about the rivalry between judo and jujitsu, and it concerns the moral education and enlightenment of Sanshiro, played by Susumu Fujita.



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AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa (1943-1993) [ReUp]

[02] The Most Beautiful (1944) aka Ichiban utsukushiku
1:25:09 | 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio | Average Bitrate: 6.58 mb/s | NTSC 720x480 | Monaural | 4,27 Gb

Akira Kurosawa’s patriotic World War II morale booster focuses on a volunteer corps of women working at an optics factory to produce lenses for binoculars and targeting scopes, and was shot on location at the Nippon Kogaku factory in Hiratsuka.



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AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa (1943-1993) [ReUp]

[03] Sanshiro Sugata Part Two (1945) aka 'Zoku Sugata Sanshiro'
1:21:48 | 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio | Average Bitrate: 6.92 mb/s | NTSC 720x480 | Monaural | 4,31 Gb

This sequel to Akira Kurosawa’s first film, which Kurosawa was compelled to make under studio pressure, reunites most of the principal cast members from the original.



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AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa (1943-1993) [ReUp]

[04] The Men Who Tread on the Tiger's Tail (1945) aka Tora no o wo fumu otokotachi
0:59:06 | 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio | Average Bitrate: 8.8 mb/s | NTSC 720x480 | Monaural | 3,64 Gb

The story of Kurosawa’s The Men Who Tread on the Tiger’s Tail derives from Noh and Kabuki plays depicting a famous twelfth-century incident in which the lord Yoshitsune and a small group of samurai cross enemy territory disguised as monks and must persuade border guards to let them through.



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AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa (1943-1993) [ReUp]

[05] No Regrets for Our Youth (1946) aka Waga seishun ni kuinashi
1:50:12 | 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio | Average Bitrate: 8.8 mb/s | NTSC 720x480 | Monaural | 6,56 Gb

In Akira Kurosawa’s first film after the end of World War II, future beloved Ozu regular Setsuko Hara gives an astonishing performance as Yukie, who transforms herself from genteel bourgeois daughter to independent social activist during a tumultuous decade in Japanese history.



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AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa (1943-1993) [ReUp]

[06] One Wonderful Sunday (1947) aka Subarashiki nichiyobi
1:48:46 | 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio | Average Bitrate: 8.0 mb/s | NTSC 720x480 | Monaural | 6,42 Gb

This affectionate paean to young love is also a frank examination by Akira Kurosawa of the harsh realities of postwar Japan. During a Sunday trip into war-ravaged Tokyo, Yuzo and Masako look for work and lodging, as well as affordable entertainments to pass the time.



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AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa (1943-1993) [ReUp]

[07] Drunken Angel (1948) aka 'Yoidore tenshi'
1:37:51 | 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio | Average Bitrate: 7.14 mb/s | NTSC 720x480 | Monaural | 5,77 Gb

In this powerful early noir from the great Akira Kurosawa, Toshiro Mifune bursts onto the screen as a volatile, tubercular criminal who strikes up an unlikely relationship with Takashi Shimura’s jaded physician.



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AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa (1943-1993) [ReUp]

[08] Stray Dog (1949) aka Nora Inu
2:02:08 | 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio | Average Bitrate: 7.83 mb/s | NTSC 720x480 | Monaural | 7,04 Gb

A bad day gets worse for young detective Murakami when a pickpocket steals his gun on a hot, crowded bus. Desperate to right the wrong, he goes undercover, scavenging Tokyo’s sweltering streets for the stray dog whose desperation has led him to a life of crime. With each step, cop and criminal’s lives become more intertwined and the investigation becomes an examination of Murakami’s own dark side. Starring Toshiro Mifune, as the rookie cop, and Takeshi Shimura, as the seasoned detective who keeps him on the right side of the law, Stray Dog (Nora Inu) goes beyond a crime thriller, probing the squalid world of postwar Japan and the nature of the criminal mind.



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AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa (1943-1993) [ReUp]

[09] Scandal (1950) aka Shubun
1:44:32 | 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio | Average Bitrate: 7.45 mb/s | NTSC 720x480 | Monaural | 5,92 Gb

Akira Kurosawa's Scandal — as relevant now as when made — is a pointed attack on the rising power of the press and their practices in the newly-Americanized postwar Japan of 1950. Kurosawa was outraged by the gutter press' actions, where "personal privacy is never respected", and by how the public's voyeuristic tendency to delve deeper into the lives of celebrities only encouraged this disrespect. Stirred to broaden his film's scope, Kurosawa made the film a study of personal honour, one which highlights the need for ordinary individuals to speak out against injustice and corruption.

On holiday in the snow-covered mountains, young painter Ichiro Aoye (Toshiro Mifune) has a chance meeting with the popular singer Miyako Saijo (Shirley Yamaguchi). After giving her a ride back to the hotel where they are both staying, Ichiro is photographed with Miyako by paparazzi. A magazine creates an exposé of their 'secret romance' based around this photograph, and the brooding Ichiro ignites a bitter and dirty libel case in order to restore their honor.

Scandal stars many great Japanese actors of the time including Noriko Sengoku (Drunken Angel, Seven Samurai) and Takashi Shimura (Ikiru, Seven Samurai), who delivers one of his finest performances as the defense lawyer emotionally torn between right and wrong. Kurosawa's film stands as a fascinating one-man blast against the origins of press intrusion.



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AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa (1943-1993) [ReUp]

[10] Rashomon (1950)
1:27:45 | 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio | Average Bitrate: 8.1 mb/s | NTSC 720x480 | Monaural | 5,34 Gb

Kurosawa had for a long time wanted to make a film out of the stories of Ryunosuke Akutagawa, and had actually written a script, but Toho found it too great a risk, so Kurosawa left Toho to film what would become ”Rashomon” at Daiei, even though Nagata, the studio head, had no idea what the film was about.

And exactly what “Rashomon” is about is still today its main attraction, as its not so much about story, but more about, as suggest by Donald Richie, human action undistracted by plot. Told thru elliptic arranged tableaux, its dreamlike quality demands us to observe, rather than to follow.

It all begins with a woodcutter finding the body of a samurai, which subsequently leads to the arrest of the assumed killer, Tajomaru, and a court case, where several versions of the event is told, from their unique perspective: Tajomaru’s, the wife’s and the dead Samurai (through a medium).

Winner of the Golden Lion at Venice 1951, “Rashomon” became the film to break down the wall between Japanese film and the west, despite its Japanese response. Japanese critics didn’t like the film and the industry had not made it for exports, as they believed that foreigners wouldn’t be able to understand Japanese film, which in turns lead Kurosawa to speak up and critique the industry for being afraid of supporting Japanese film.

Today, a good fifty years later, “Rashomon” stands one of cinema’s greatest masterpieces and the film by which “we”, the west, discovered Kurosawa by, who in turns made “Ikiru” and “Shichinin no Samurai”. It is a strange film, but nonetheless fascinating and hypnotic, and for those who just don’t get it, it will still be around in fifty years. That is the great comfort about art, it never ages, it never goes away, it always invites us back.
Henrik Sylower
IMDB - Top 250 #81


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AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa (1943-1993) [ReUp]

[11] The Idiot (1951) aka Hakuchi
2:46:10 | 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio | Average Bitrate: 5.54 mb/s | NTSC 720x480 | Monaural | 6,99 Gb

"Of all my films, people wrote to me most about this one… …I had wanted to make The Idiot long before Rashomon. Since I was little I've liked Russian literature, but I find that I like Dostoevsky the best and had long thought that this book would make a wonderful film. He is still my favorite author, and he is the one — I still think — who writes most honestly about human existence." - AKIRA KUROSAWA.

Akira Kurosawa's The Idiot, his only adaptation of a Fyodor Dostoevsky novel, was a cherished project on which it is claimed he expended more effort than on any other film. A darkly ambitious exploration of the depths of human emotion, it combines the talents of two of the greatest Japanese actors of their generation — Toshiro Mifune (Seven Samurai, Yojimbo) and Setsuko Hara (Tokyo Story, Late Spring). The Idiot is perhaps the most contemplative of all Kurosawa's works, a tone which is heightened by the unusual, trance-like performances.



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AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa (1943-1993) [ReUp]

[12] Ikiru (1952)
2:22:35 | 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio | Average Bitrate: 6.75 mb/s | NTSC 720x480 | Monaural | 7,31 Gb

Considered by some to be Akira Kurosawa’s greatest achievement, Ikiru presents the director at his most compassionate—affirming life through an exploration of a man’s death. Takashi Shimura portrays Kanji Watanabe, an aging bureaucrat with stomach cancer forced to strip the veneer off his existence and find meaning in his final days. Told in two parts, Ikiru offers Watanabe’s quest in the present, and then through a series of flashbacks. The result is a multifaceted look at a life through a prism of perspectives, resulting in a full portrait of a man who lacked understanding from others in life.

IMDB - Top 250 #167


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AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa (1943-1993) [ReUp]

[13] Seven Samurai (1954) aka Shichinin no samurai
3:26:16 | 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio | Average Bitrate: 4.99 mb/s | NTSC 720x480 | Monaural | 7,81 Gb

One of the most beloved movie epics of all time, Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai (Shichinin no samurai) tells the story of a sixteenth-century village whose desperate inhabitants hire the eponymous warriors to protect them from invading bandits. This three-hour ride—featuring legendary actors Toshiro Mifune and Takashi Shimura—seamlessly weaves philosophy and entertainment, delicate human emotions and relentless action into a rich, evocative, and unforgettable tale of courage and hope.

IMDB - Top 250 #13


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AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa (1943-1993) [ReUp]

[14] I Live in Fear (1955) aka Ikimono no kiroku
1:43:00 | 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio | Average Bitrate: 8.6 mb/s | NTSC 720x480 | Monaural | 6,31 Gb

I Live in Fear presents Toshiro Mifune as an elderly, stubborn businessman so fearful of a nuclear attack that he resolves to move his reluctant family to South America. Kurosawa depicts a society emerging from the shadows but still terrorized by memories of the past and anxieties for the future.



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AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa (1943-1993) [ReUp]

[15] Throne of Blood (1957) aka Kumonosu-jou
1:49:16 | 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio | Average Bitrate: 8.3 mb/s | NTSC 720x480 | Monaural | 6,89 Gb

Akira Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood reimagines Macbeth in feudal Japan. Starring Kurosawa’s longtime collaborator Toshiro Mifune and the legendary Isuzu Yamada as his ruthless wife, the film tells of a valiant warrior’s savage rise to power and his ignominious fall.



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AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa (1943-1993) [ReUp]

[16] The Lower Depths (1957) aka Donzoko
2:04:32 | 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio | Average Bitrate: 8.30 mb/s | NTSC 720x480 | Monaural 6,33 Gb

Working with his most celebrated actor, Toshiro Mifune, Akira Kurosawa faithfully adapts Maxim Gorky’s classic proletariat play, keeping the original’s focus on the conflict between illusion and reality.



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AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa (1943-1993) [ReUp]

[17] The Hidden Fortress (1958) aka Kakushi-toride no san-akunin
2:18:20 | Anamorphic 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio | Average Bitrate: 6.7 mb/s | NTSC 720x480 | Monaural | 6,38 Gb

A general and a princess must dodge enemy clans while smuggling the royal treasure out of hostile territory with two bumbling, conniving peasants at their sides; it’s a spirited adventure that only Akira Kurosawa could create. Acknowledged as a primary influence on George Lucas’s Star Wars, The Hidden Fortress delivers Kurosawa’s inimitably deft blend of wry humor, breathtaking action and humanist compassion on an epic scale.



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AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa (1943-1993) [ReUp]

[18] The Bad Sleep Well (1960) aka Warui yatsu hodo yoku nemuru
2:30:30 | 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio | Average Bitrate: 5.6 mb/s | NTSC 720x480 | Monaural | 5,79 Gb

A young executive hunts down his father’s killer in director Akira Kurosawa’s scathing The Bad Sleep Well. Continuing his legendary collaboration with actor Toshiro Mifune, Kurosawa combines elements of Hamlet and American film noir to chilling effect in exposing the corrupt boardrooms of postwar corporate Japan.



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AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa (1943-1993) [ReUp]

[19] Yojimbo (1961)
1:50:20 | Anamorphic 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio | Average Bitrate: 7.61 mb/s | NTSC 720x480 | Monaural | 6,38 Gb

The incomparable Toshiro Mifune stars in Akira Kurosawa’s visually stunning and darkly comic Yojimbo (The Bodyguard). In order to rid a village of corruption, masterless samurai Sanjuro turns a range war between two evil clans to his own advantage. Remade both as A Fistful of Dollars and, more recently, Last Man Standing, this exhilarating gangster-Western remains one of the most influential and entertaining genre-twisters ever produced.

IMDB - Top 250 #123


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AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa (1943-1993) [ReUp]

[20] Sanjuro (1962) aka Tsubaki Sanjûrô
1:35:24 | Anamorphic 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio | Average Bitrate: 6.66 mb/s | NTSC 720x480 | Monaural | 4,83 Gb

In Kurosawa’s sly companion piece to Yojimbo, the jaded samurai Sanjuro helps an idealistic group of young warriors weed out their clan’s evil influences, and in the process turns their image of a “proper” samurai on its ear.



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AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa (1943-1993) [ReUp]

[21] High and Low (1963) aka Tengoku to jigoku
2:23:05 | Anamorphic 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio | Average Bitrate: 6.40 mb/s | NTSC 720x480 | 4.0 channel Perspecta surround sound | 6,95 Gb

Toshiro Mifune is unforgettable as Kingo Gondo, a wealthy industrialist whose family becomes the target of a cold-blooded kidnapper in Akira Kurosawa’s highly influential High and Low, a compelling race-against-time thriller and a penetrating portrait of contemporary Japanese society.



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AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa (1943-1993) [ReUp]

[22] Red Beard (1965) aka Akahige
3:04:42 | Anamorphic 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio | Average Bitrate: 5.36 mb/s | NTSC 720x480 | 2.0 Stereo | 7,51 Gb

A testament to the goodness of humankind, Akira Kurosawa’s Red Beard chronicles the tumultuous relationship between an arrogant young doctor and a compassionate clinic director. Toshiro Mifune, in his last role for Kurosawa, gives a powerhouse performance as the dignified yet empathic director who guides his pupil to maturity, teaching the embittered intern to appreciate the lives of his destitute patients. Perfectly capturing the look and feel of 19th-century Japan, Kurosawa weaves a fascinating tapestry of time, place, and emotion.



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AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa (1943-1993) [ReUp]

[23] Dodes’ka-den (1970)
2:19:35 | 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio | Average Bitrate: 7.39 mb/s | NTSC 720x480 | Monaural | 7,83 Gb

By turns tragic and transcendent, Akira Kurosawa’s film follows the daily lives of a group of people barely scraping by in a slum on the outskirts of Tokyo. Yet as desperate as their circumstances are, each of them—the homeless father and son envisioning their dream house; the young woman abused by her uncle; the boy who imagines himself a trolley conductor—finds reasons to carry on. The unforgettable Dodes’ka-den was made at a tumultuous moment in Kurosawa’s life. And all of his hopes, fears, and artistic passion are on fervent display in this, his gloriously shot first color film.



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AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa (1943-1993) [ReUp]

[24] Kagemusha (1980)
3:00:06 | Anamorphic 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio | Average Bitrate: 5.50 mb/s | NTSC 720x480 | 2.0 Stereo | 7,52 Gb

When a warlord dies, a peasant thief is called upon to impersonate him, and then finds himself haunted by the warlord’s spirit as well as his own ambitions. In his late, color masterpiece Kagemusha, Akira Kurosawa returns to the samurai film and to a primary theme of his career—the play between illusion and reality. Sumptuously reconstructing the splendor of feudal Japan and the pageantry of war, Kurosawa creates a historical epic that is also a meditation on the nature of power.



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AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa (1943-1993) [ReUp]

[25] Madadayo (1993)
2:14:04 | Anamorphic 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio | Average Bitrate: 7.5 mb/s | NTSC 720x480 | 2.0 Stereo | 7,63 Gb

Kurosawa’s final film is a tribute to Hyakken Uchida (Tatsuo Matsmura), an educator and writer of enormously popular aphoristic stories. Based on Uchida’s writings, the film pieces a narrative together with distinct episodes—anecdotes and parties, ceremonies and celebrations.



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AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa (1943-1993) [ReUp]


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