the Looniverse!



Directed by
Akira Kurosawa

Japan-USA, 120 minutes, color

This is a great movie. Very impressive. Having said that, let me kvetsch a bit.

A real pity here is that Kurosawa preaches a bit too much. Again he insists technology is all wrong —
we have to get back to the oh so good pure nature lifestyle, and get rid of technology.
This he tells us in a scene full of plastic flowers, shot in Eastmancolor on a Panavision camera with a battery of lights
and the necessary blimped generator. The background is an, admittedly very idyllic, island full of water-wheels,
symbolic for the simple life, I take it. But what are water wheels but just an earlier, and not so much earlier at that, technology?

I can't keep myself from commenting that Steven Spielberg, much more superstitious and anti-scientific than Kurosawa
(who, after all is said and done, was a humanist), may have had too much influence on all this.

My favorite sequence is "The Tunnel" where someone is faced by his entire platoon from WWII, who all died and now come back,
marching in formation, to spook him with guilt feelings. Great sound! And the way he finally gets rid of them is a big laugh indeed.


Akira Kurosawa's Dreams
Eight mesmerizing tableaus explore the subconscious at various stages of an elderly man's life in this visually stunning work from
the master Japanese filmmaker. A boy's meeting with the spirits of a forest, a snowbound encounter with an "angel of death,"
and a novice painter's search for Van Gogh are some of the fascinating episodes Kurosawa brings to the screen.

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