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Akira Kurosawa's Dreams (1990)

Akira Terao , Mitsuko Baishô , Akira Kurosawa , Ishirô Honda  |  PG |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (173 customer reviews)

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Akira Kurosawa's Dreams + Seven Samurai (The Criterion Collection) + Rashomon
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Product Details

  • Actors: Akira Terao, Mitsuko Baishô, Toshie Negishi, Mieko Harada, Mitsunori Isaki
  • Directors: Akira Kurosawa, Ishirô Honda
  • Writers: Akira Kurosawa
  • Producers: Allan H. Liebert, Hisao Kurosawa, Mike Y. Inoue, Seikichi Iizumi, Steven Spielberg
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Japanese, Georgian, Chinese, Thai
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: March 18, 2003
  • Run Time: 119 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (173 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00007G1ZC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #155,781 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Akira Kurosawa's Dreams" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

One of the most visionary, deeply personal works in the 60-year career of the master behind Rashomon, The Seven Samurai and Ran. Featuring eight episodes rich in imagery and insight (and casting MARTIN SCORSESE as a feisty Vincent Van Gogh), it explores the costs of war, the perils of nuclear power and especially humankind's need to harmonize with nature. You will be enchanted ... and enthralled.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
61 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great film more people should watch February 22, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
This film has in it some of the most beautiful cinematagrophy I have ever seen. If reviews where it is criticised as being slow or arrested worry you as to whether you should rent or buy it I would judge it like this: if the thought of walking through an art gallery and taking several minutes to sit or stand in front of some pictures to fully study and appreciate their beauty seems "slow" or "arrested" to you then you might not like it, if you can imagine yourself enjoying watching an expresionist/art noveau/surrealist set of pictures come to life on your tv screen then you might like it. I am dissapointed in those critics who can't imagine the medium of movies having value unless they are built around a fast paced linear plot line. These are the same people who probably think poetry is a bunch of rubbish and "Finnegan's Wake" is an unreadable waste of time. I hope and pray and fantasize that the studio that owns the rights to this movie will release it in greater numbers, drop the price, and (glory of all glorys) release it on dvd. It is one of the greatest movies of one of the greatest directors of all time and should be more accesible.
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91 of 95 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In Dreams I walk with you September 16, 2003
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Akira Kurosawa's dreams are better than mine. If this is what he saw when he closed his eyes, then I can understand how from that mind sprang the Seven Samurai and the rest.
"Dreams" is maybe the most personal, most "Japanese" of Kurosawa's films, and along with that it is perhaps the most difficult one for Western audiences to appreciate. This is saying nothing against Western audiences, but many of the themes and myths on display may not be familiar, and the imagery and metaphors may be lost without the appropriate background. I definitely appreciated it more after living in Japan, and becoming familiar with the countries folklore and literary story-telling style. Hina Dolls, the Yuki Onna, the mountain villiges like islands of tradition amongst concrete modern Japan...
"Dreams" is beautiful, on a purely visual level. The cinematography is exquisite and the colors and light are displayed with the eye of a painter. It is appropriate that Van Gogh plays a role in one of the many dreams. Like Van Gogh, the stories in "Dreams" are expressionistic and vivid, yet with the subdued emotions that is the hallmark of Japanese literature. This is not the wild, raw statement of a younger Kurosawa.
Story-wise, the dreams play with the themes of death and loss, both human and of nature. The displacement of Japanese forests, the lack of safety standards at nuclear power plants, the loss of traditional Japan, the pointless loss of lives in war...melancholy themes at best. Yet at the end, hope is offered, in a small nook and cranny, like a flower blooming amongst concrete.
The DVD itself is a small disappointment, and I would rather have this belong to the Criterion Collection, but better to have it than not have it.
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A trip through a genius' dreams August 16, 2006
With an eight-stories sequence, Kurosawa expresses the magic of chilhood, the importance of perseverance and resistance, the beauty created by Van Gogh, war and atomic menace unleashed spreading their horror, and, last but maybe most important, hope an joy when the travel finishes. A film not to be seen once but many times, and getting amazed on each.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking Beauty. Glorious and a Masterpiece! June 13, 2003
I love this Film! It contains eight Dreams, Sunshine Through the Rain, The Peach Orchard, The Blizzard, The Tunnel, Crows, Mount Fuji in Red, The Weeping Demon and Village of the Watermills. Every Dream is unique, beautifull and Breathtaking.
The Dreams shows us how destructive humans are towards the nature and ourselves. Kurosawa criticizes the past, the presence and the future.
Kurosawa (not the real kurosawa) plays in every Dream, from when he was a child in Sunshine through the Rain to when he is old and visits the Village of the Watermills.
All in all This is the best film ever and my personal favorite Kurosawa film. Its Beauty is so splendid and I loved every single Dream. I encourage everyone in the world to watch this film. The Masters Masterpiece
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivatingly beautiful September 24, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I am a huge Akira Kurosawa fan, I love all of his movies that I have seen. I am always impressed at his masterful story telling and cinematography. "Dreams" holds a special place in my heart because of it's breathtaking beauty. Beyond "eye candy", however, this film speaks intelligently of many things, life, death, solitude, guilt, redemption. This is one of those rare movies that can be discussed and analyzed and questioned for hours after viewing.
The review stated that this movie was "slow". How could one notice when one is busy looking at the amazing color, scenery, and imagery that is so masterfully created? "Preachy"? Perhaps, but they are good subjects to be preachy about - nuclear distruction, environmental distruction, not appreciating what one has... These complaints are the weak wingeing of shallow minds.
After every viewing of his films, I feel compelled to bow respectfully and say "Domo Arigato - Thank you very much".
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
By Jacqui
Format:VHS Tape
One of Kurosawa's strengths as a sensei/master of cinema is his political use of the medium. Dreams, while nothing short of visual spectaculars, gives us a moral perspective of the artist through his luscious dreams. There are anti-war ("The Tunnel") and anti-nuclear power vignettes ("Mount Fuji in Red", followed by "The Weeping Demon") and concerns about environtal conservation ("The Peach Orchard".) There are other goodies as well: Japanese folklores meet the wild imaginations of young Akira ("Sunshine through Rainbow"; the brilliant "Blizzard") and the preachy ideals of an old man most reviews here comment on ("Village of the Watermills.)
What I treasure, as a Kurosawa fan for life, is the very personal glimpses the film allows into the older Kurosawa. It gives me terrible shudders to hear Van Gogh (an okay performance by Scorsese) say, "I don't have much time left to paint." But it is comforting to reach the film's end and listen with Akira Terao at the centenarian's suggestion of "happy funerals", if only to know that the sensei does not reject this life he so scrutinized with a critical eye in his art -- that he is at peace.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very good movie
Published 26 days ago by Yupin
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfection....
A most wonderful visual spectacle. What is not to love about the work of Kurosawa? Now we get to share a little of what went on inside his head.
Published 1 month ago by Gee Emm
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
WOW!!! What a surreal journey through one mans life!!!
Published 1 month ago by Marcus
1.0 out of 5 stars Didn't Understand
Perhaps the Japanese understand the appeal. Neither my husband or I could sit through it. I would be hard pressed to decide between watching this whole movie or taking a moderate... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Neutrino999
5.0 out of 5 stars Provocative like dreams should be.
Wonderfully different.
Published 2 months ago by Chris Horlacher
5.0 out of 5 stars "Peaches can be bought. But where can you buy a whole orchard in...
Right off the top of my head it is hard to think of a more beautiful film. It is slow, haunting, and a departure from Kurosawa's other works though none less brilliant. Read more
Published 2 months ago by sencha
2.0 out of 5 stars Whoever transferred this from film to DVD should be shot
I truly hate to rate this so low...I absolutely love this film, one of Kurosawa's best in my opinion. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Severian
3.0 out of 5 stars a feast for ther eyes
Kurosawa at his best combining story and images together to produce art. All short stories, each a simple truth. All photographed and imagined in pure beauty that needs no words.
Published 6 months ago by Oregon_DC
I could watch this movie every week if I had the time. Kurosawa captures images with such beauty and meaning that they leave you in a changed mood, captivated by his view of the... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Rochelle Warfield
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful
Have you ever wanted to get inside the head of an artist? This film allows you to do so. With breathtaking cinematography, Kurosawa gently unfolds his dreams, taking you on a... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Vanessa Kettering
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