Akira Kurosawa Collection 33DVDS Boxset
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After training as a painter (he storyboards his films as full-scale paintings), Kurosawa entered the film industry in 1936 as an assistant director, making his directorialdebutin 1943. After working in a wide range of genres, he made his breakthrough filmRashômon(1950) in 1950. It won the top prize at the Venice Film Festival, and first revealed the richness of Japanese cinema to the West. The next few years saw the low-key, touchingIkiru(1952) (Living), the epicShichinin no samurai(1954) (Seven Samurai) and the barbaric, riveting Shakespeare adaptationKumonosu jô(1957) (Throne of Blood), the later two showcasing the magnetic personality ofToshirô Mifune, who also starred in the two samurai comediesYojimbo(1961) andTsubaki Sanjûrô(1962). After a lean period in the late 1960s and early 1970s, though, Kurosawa attemptedsuicide. He survived, and made the Russian co-productionDersu Uzala(1975) and, with the help of admirersFrancis Ford CoppolaandGeorge Lucas, the samurai epicKagemusha(1980), which was in many ways a dry run forRan(1985), his second Shakespeare adaptation. He continued to work into his eighties with the more personalDreams(1990),Hachi-gatsu no kyôshikyoku(1991) andMadadayo(1993). Kurosawa's films have always been more popular in the West than in his native Japan, where critics have viewed his adaptations of Western genres and authors (William Shakespeare,Fyodor Dostoyevsky,Maxim GorkyandEvan Hunter) with suspicion - but he's revered by American and European film-makers, who remadeShichinin no samurai(1954), asThe Magnificent Seven(1960),Yojimbo(1961), asPer un pugno di dollari(1964) andKakushi-toride no san-akunin(1958), asStar Wars(1977).