Akira Kurosawa's Dreams
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|Contributor||Akira Kurosawa, Martin Scorsese, Harada, Mieko, Mieko Harada, Akira Terao|
|Language||Japanese, English, French|
Academy Award-winning director Akira Kurosawa ("The Seven Samurai," "Ran"), whose cinematic genius has inspired such classic films as "Star Wars" and "The Magnificent Seven," presents his 28th, and most personal, film. Visually splendid, Kurosawa's film consists of eight powerful vignettes, one of which features acclaimed director Martin Scorsese as painter Vincent Van Gogh. "Breathtaking... dazzling," says The New York Times.
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- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- MPAA rating : Unrated (Not Rated)
- Product Dimensions : 7.5 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches; 3.5 Ounces
- Item model number : 883316379158
- Director : Akira Kurosawa
- Media Format : NTSC
- Run time : 2 hours
- Actors : Akira Terao, Martin Scorsese, Mieko Harada
- Subtitles: : English
- Studio : Warner Archive
- ASIN : B005JJCMN0
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #69,558 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Anyone who has gotten this far should know that the movie is about eight dreams that the director himself experienced, but I'm not going to focus on them. Instead, I will point out three themes that are explored in the movie. The first theme is the relationship between man and nature: many of the dreams involve humanity violating nature and Kurosawa being forced to actively engage with nature as a consequence. Others involve people who live in harmony with nature, but that harmony includes a caveat that is the basis of the second theme. The second theme is an exploration of the reason to live, even though it will inevitably lead to death. This theme picks off where "Ran" ended, where multiple strategies strike with no moral justification. But whereas "Ran" argues that the universe is devoid of meaning and purpose, "Dreams" argues that the purpose of life its own ends. Artists, farmers, and Kurosawa himself say at one time or another in the movie that life is worth living in its own right, that it is miraculous in itself, even though it ends in death. The fear of death, the movie seems to argue, must not sully the joy of living.
The third theme may not have been intentional, but it involves the role of women in films by Kurosawa. Women have gotten a bad rap in some of his previous movies, but in "Dreams," most of the dream sequences involve conflict or tension between a female character and one of the male characters, including Kurosawa. The conflict itself is not consistent, and it is dealt with different levels of catharsis in each dream sequence. However, the dreams at least suggest that Kurosawa's relationship with or regard for women evolved over the course of his life.
In short, if you are a casual viewer you may not enjoy the movie. But if you have a serious interest in film, and especially in Kurosawa, I could not recommend this film any more highly.
Akira Kurosawa , like many Japanese filmmakers, and Asian filmmakers are an important seed in a garden that has a myriad of sustenance for exploration, to build a culture, an understanding to destroy centuries if anger, suppression and misdirection, and there will be new and greater growth a freedom to result from a unbounded totally understood communication between people who need to explore such vitality and kaleidoscopic spiritual essence. It is only the beginning.
Top reviews from other countries
It is a tragedy that Kurosawa and Mifune parted their ways,after "Red Beard". None of their films reached the greatness of the classics they created together. "Kagemusha! and "Ran" are certainly great but do we love them as much as "The Seven Samurai" or "Red Beard", or even "Rashomon" , to name a few? I have purchased the BD of them a few years ago and am still to view them for the second time. I must hasten to add that they are among the many, too many, DVD/BD I played only once.
"Dreams" is a curious film - supposedly dreams he had. I wonder how he got it financed. As a Kurosawa fan I had to have it, but sorry, I find it very boring.
Having written the above, I viewed the film again, but don't have to take back anything. Curious is the episode with Van Gogh: the casting of Martin Scorsese, who did not even look like Van Gogh. The man (the dreamer, presumably) talks to him in French and he replies in English. Well, that kind of thing can easily happen in a dream.
The film the world was not waiting for from Kurosawa.
The other dreams are completely different in style "Sunshine through the rain" is about a boy who sees a foxes wedding and "The peach Orchard" a tale of the cutting down of an orchard. "The Blizzard" is a dream about being lost which is very well done then comes my two favourites "Crows" which is about Vincent Van Gogh brilliantly played by Martin Scrosese and "Village of windmills" a beautiful depiction of a funeral which is full of colour and joy.
The whole disk is a master piece of cinematic genius a fitting disk to be had in anyones collection. The only things to notice is that it's in Japanese with english subtitles but at times you forget the subs because it's so well acted and filmed and that it's region 1 but if you have a player that takes them then get it.