By Stephanie Zacharek
By Simon Abrams
By Michelle Orange
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Nick Schager
By Amy Nicholson
By The Invisible Woman
By I Used to Be Darker
The long collaboration between the great Japanese director Akira Kurosawa and his alter ego, actor Toshiro Mifune, was one of the most fruitful in all of film history: The ideal vessel for Kurosawa's ideas and obsessions -- from the definition of classic Samurai honor to modern man's need for compassion -- Mifune was more than an actor; he was the embodiment of Kurosawa's Dostoyevskian view of the world.
Between December 27 and January 9, 2003, Landmark's Mayan Theater, First Avenue and Broadway, will show eight Kurosawa-Mifune classics (mostly in double features) that represent this unique artistic relationship at its best and nimbly reveal its range. These are all-new 35-millimeter prints. The schedule:
December 27-28: Throne of Blood (1957), Kurosawa's reinterpretation of Macbeth, transported to medieval Japan, and Stray Dog(1949), a vivid policier set in the underworld of post-war Tokyo. December 31-January 2: Rashomon(1950), the master's masterpiece, in which he examines the nature of truth as four people give different accounts of the same crimes, and High and Low(1963), a slick thriller (from an Ed McBain detective novel) in which a wealthy businessman is faced with a hard moral choice.
January 3-7: Seven Samurai (1954), the greatest swordplay epic of them all, and the inspiration for many imitations and remakes, including John Sturges's enduring Western, The Magnificent Seven. January 8-9: Yojimbo(1961), Kurosawa's beautiful hybrid in which Mifune's clever Samurai turns a land war between two bloodthirsty clans to his own advantage (remade as A Fistful of Dollars and Last Man Standing), and Sanjuro(1962), the vivid sequel to Yojimbo, in which the heroic swordsman aids a band of young idealists dedicated to ridding their clan of evil.
For further information, call 303-744-6796.
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