I could only have guessed as much that Belladonna of Sadness had played a critical factor in bringing attention to adult animation back when it had come out but for as beautiful as it may have looked, I also had found it extremely unappealing. It was a troubling experience because I recognized that there was so much about Belladonna of Sadness that was absolutely masterful, but it also mixes together with so much that also did nothing else but leave a bad taste in my mouth as they went on. Considering how this subject matter was taboo at the time for an animated feature, there’s still a reason to find one’s interest in Belladonna of Sadness growing because if went beyond such for the time, and it still does feel provocative but not for the best.
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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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I love samurai films. They were among the first foreign films which I have watched, but namely I would focus on those of Akira Kurosawa, particularly Seven Samurai, which was an influential part of my own life for it brought onto myself a new means of appreciating cinema in all regard. As I were to venture into more samurai cinema, I decided to look into more that were not from Kurosawa and that was how I stumbled across Masaki Kobayashi’s Harakiri for a change. When I finished up, something hit me about Harakiri in a way that I wouldn’t have expected from samurai films. In some strange manner, Harakiri was almost a rather philosophical experience. As it continues to reside inside my own thought, my own love for it grows much stronger, for it truly is a masterful accomplishment on many grounds. Continue reading →
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 →