No other filmmaker has had as quite the influence on me at a personal level as Akira Kurosawa. His films are deeply personal and have completely changed my perception of not only what cinema can be but what it is.
Akira Kurosawa had a career spanning fifty years and covered not only a range of topics and genres but styles. His cinema is one of constant evolution and change. Watching his filmography straight through will show a progression and variety of style and voice that is nearly unmatched, and is unlikely to be duplicated. He revolutionized the use of long-lens and deep focus photography in cinema, and began using jump-cuts long before Godard ever thought to make Breathless (1960). His visual style was one of grace and fluidity, and has a visceral impact that is difficult to find anywhere else.
While it sounds ridiculous to say so, Akira Kurosawa is nothing-less than my trade-master. It is from him that I have learned what I know of cinema, and it is from him that I will continue to learn. For me, his films are the first-and-foremost school at which I should go to learn the art of filmmaking. I am the apprentice and Kurosawa is the Sensei, and I can only hope to be a quarter of the filmmaker that he was.
24 of his 30 films are streaming on Hulu for free this weekend. Enjoy.
http://www.hulu.com/browse/picks/happy-birthday-akira-kurosawa (edit: the even is over now, sorry)
As for where I’ve been the past few months: school. Rest assured that I’m not gone, and that when my schedule isn’t as tight that I will start updating the blog on a regular basis.