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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: September ::
Re: Kurosawa's Death
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0812  Tuesday, 8 September 1998.

[1]     From:   Stephanie Hughes <
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        Date:   Monday, 07 Sep 1998 09:38:36 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0809  Kurosawa's Death

[2]     From:   Drew Alan Mason <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 8 Sep 1998 17:51:21 +1000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0809  Kurosawa's Death

[3]     From:   Hardy M. Cook <
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        Date:   Tuesday, September 8, 1998
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0809  Kurosawa's Death


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephanie Hughes <
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Date:           Monday, 07 Sep 1998 09:38:36 -0700
Subject: 9.0809  Kurosawa's Death
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0809  Kurosawa's Death

> Just heard that Akira Kurosawa died today.  A great man!  _Throne of
> Blood_ was my intro to Shakespeare.
>
> Jeff Myers

And RAN is the most successful film version of Lear (in my humble
opinion).  Rather than attempt to showcase the Shakespearean language,
like a composer, Kurosawa translated the emotion and sweep of the story
and language into imagery, the true language of film.  Kurosawa had an
enormous influence on Hollywood, far greater than the overly praised
Orson Welles. When viewing an old Hollywood film for the first time, you
can pretty well guess whether it was pre or post Kurosawa by its
direction and cinematography. He changed everything. Alas that Hollywood
has still not learned the lesson he had to teach in the area of music,
or sound, accompaniment, namely that often less is more. We get so
deluged by "music" now that tells us how to feel, that it comes darn
near to ruining some otherwise fine movies.

Stephanie Hughes

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Drew Alan Mason <
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Date:           Tuesday, 8 Sep 1998 17:51:21 +1000
Subject: 9.0809  Kurosawa's Death
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0809  Kurosawa's Death

I feel that with the passing of Kurosawa, we have lost nearly the genius
that the world lost with the passing of Shakespeare himself.  I find it
amazing how he was able to transform Shakespeare's amazing stories, and
yet make them seem uniquely Japanese.  And I agree, Throne of Blood is
amazing.  I show it every semester when I teach  Macbeth.

Drew Mason
St. John's School, Guam

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Hardy M. Cook <
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Date:           Tuesday, September 8, 1998
Subject: 9.0809  Kurosawa's Death
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0809  Kurosawa's Death

I also was greatly influenced by Kurosawa's work.  I still remember my
undergraduate days in the mid-sixties when I saw Rashomon for the first
time. After the experience, I had no doubt that this was what film - and
life - was about, multiple points a view and perspectives, or as the
Jean Renior character in Rules of the Game says, "Everyone has his own
good reasons."

In a way, I owe to Kurosawa my current preoccupation with
articulateness. Early in the second of my three incarnations as a
graduate student, I saw Throne of Blood.  The next morning, I shared my
enthusiasm with one of my professorial role models - Dr. Charles Mish,
telling him "I saw a samurai Macbeth last night and it was INCREDIBLE."
To this, Dr. Mish, always a no nonsense person replied, "Well, did you
like it or not. Was it incredibly bad or good." My embarrassment over my
inarticulate use of what I now term "sixties all-purpose adjectives"
spurned me on to a lifetime commitment of striving to express myself as
forcefully and directly as possible, no small feat for one who came of
age at a time when being articulate identified a person as a member of
the ESTABLISHMENT.

The times they are a changing.

Hardy
 

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