Jaime’s Film Diary: March 15, 2020

As expected, I’ve been keeping my Letterboxd up to date – so here’s yet another update for here in regards to what I have been watching as of late.

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Ran – Review


From the many filmmakers out there who have adapted Shakespeare over the years, no one has understood such works better than Akira Kurosawa has. With Throne of Blood he provides the very best version of Macbeth that the screen has ever witnessed but with Ran comes arguably the finest of all Shakespeare adaptations with its own rendition of King Lear. My own affinity for the films of Akira Kurosawa stems more from the sheer fact he has directed my favourite film of all time but from how he grasps a means of setting up sequences one after another, for no other cinematic storyteller had carried a grasp much like that of his own. With Ran he has only created one of the finest examples of the craft as of yet but even my first exposure could not have allowed me to grab onto what made thus particular film above all else as the greatest Shakespearean tragedy adapted for the screen.

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Seven Samurai – Review


Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai is one of those films that always feels like a breath of fresh air every time I watch it, a little over three hours long but it justifies all of that. In fact, it always feels like quite a breeze upon every viewing. Akira Kurosawa is a master at storytelling, it is continuously engaging and it has left an impact upon cinema like no other, but those are the very least of what Seven Samurai has mastered. It’s looked by some as art, but at a similar degree, it can also be seen as fun. Yet even then, there’s so much more to Seven Samurai that establishes everything it sets out for. Continue reading →

The Magnificent Seven (2016) – Review


Antoine Fuqua remakes another remake with The Magnificent Seven, his latest offering thus far. Being a remake of a remake, there’s always room to turn something into one’s own vision and that’s part of what I was hoping for in this new take on the story inspired from Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, but something about it also feels empty. What happened to the excitement of watching a group of seven fight for good? Sure, there’s fun to be had within certain moments of the film but perhaps they only work because of how the film presents itself out to be as a result of those involved rather than offering much to stand on its own. Quite surprisingly, that is actually not what bothered me most about this re-imagining of the classic tale. Continue reading →

High and Low – Review


As much as I love the films of Akira Kurosawa I admit that outside of Ikiru it is actually rather difficult to go ahead and pinpoint every last thing about his work that continues to reaffirm why I love spending time with cinema in the first place. High and Low was one that I found rather difficult to talk about on one viewing alone, and I would have thought on another visit it would be easier to pinpoint everything but instead it was actually a more difficult task as the thoughts kept shrouding my head as I was falling in love with the film even more. In fact, I’ve already grown to convince myself that alongside Ikiru, Seven Samurai, and Rashomon, High and Low belongs on such high a level as it is easily one of the director’s most undervalued masterpieces. Continue reading →