Last night I caught this documentary by Adam Low on Japanese auteur Akira Kurosawa, the man responsible for such seminal films as RASHOMON, SEVEN SAMURAI, and RAN. It was a fascinating look into the life and career of the man with many turning points in his own story. The doc talked about him being born into a samurai family, his father being less than thrilled with his bohemian lifestyle, and his falling out with Toshirô Mifune, the great actor he had collaborated with for so long, all the way up to their final film together RED BEARD. The film is also chock full of vintage footage of a Japan we may have never seen through traditional Western media including rare glimpses at post WW2 Japan. Here’s a nice cross-section to Kurosawa’s classic RAN, not only one of the greatest films ever, but the film that set the bar for an epic battle scene. My father took me to see it in 1985, at the classic theatre on Western, where as a little kid, the gore freaked me out. If you think BRAVEHEART is raw, you’ve been in a cave.

The basics.