A small celebration of a film maker whose work I have enjoyed greatly and who inspired a large number of film makers in Hollywood and Italy. So today I raise a glass to Akira Kurosawa. Unlike many people my introduction to his work was largely with the later works Kagemusha and Ran in the 1980s only getting to see some of the older films on a big screen in the 1990s with a season sponsored by the BFI.
His influence was pronounced particularly on western films many of which took themes or elements from the many samurai films that he made in the 1950s and 60s. Among the notable remakes or inspirations from Kurosawa's films are:
- Seven Samurai inspired The Magnificent Seven
- The Hidden Fortress inspired Star Wars: A New Hope
- Yojimbo inspired A Fistful of Dollars
Of course Kurosawa took a lot from earlier artists with Ran including elements from Shakespear's King Lear and Yojimbo having echoes of Dashiel Hammett's Red Harvest.
My personal favourites from Kurosawa's films are Ran, Seven Samurai and Rashomon.