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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: March ::
Re: PBS Kurosawa
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0884  Friday, 29 March 2002

[1]     From:   Nancy Charlton <
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        Date:   Thursday, 28 Mar 2002 10:16:03 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0870 PBS Kurosawa

[2]     From:   Mike Jensen <
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        Date:   Thursday, 28 Mar 2002 10:35:22 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0870 PBS Kurosawa

[3]     From:   Paul E. Doniger <
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        Date:   Thursday, 28 Mar 2002 20:58:56 -0500
        Subj:   SHK 13.0870 PBS Kurosawa


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Nancy Charlton <
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Date:           Thursday, 28 Mar 2002 10:16:03 -0800
Subject: 13.0870 PBS Kurosawa
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0870 PBS Kurosawa

Richard Burt asks:

>A PBS special on Akira Kurosawa was scheduled, according to ET Weekly,
>to air last Thursday at 9.  It did not air on my two PBS stations.
>Anyone see it?

I saw part of it, under distracting circumstances. It seemed to follow a
typical timeline format for such shows: commentary, snippets (too short
and tantalizing), more commentary. From what I saw, I felt that it
really added little of anything new to our knowledge or understanding
either of Kurosawa's films or his sources. Then I realized that there is
a whole new generation who haven't grown up with these films and for
whom Seven Samurai and its ilk need some explanations. I would hope that
the all too brief snippets would inspire a trip to Blockbuster.

Nancy Charlton

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <
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Date:           Thursday, 28 Mar 2002 10:35:22 -0800
Subject: 13.0870 PBS Kurosawa
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0870 PBS Kurosawa

Richard,

I'm not sure I should humiliate myself by making such an uninformed
post, but on the chance it will be more helpful than not posting, here
goes:

I saw it while groggy with jet lag in the Minneapolis Hyatt.  It seems
like a bit much to give an overview here, and as I said, I was groggy.
I'll be happy to go into specifics if you have specific questions not
answered by others responding--assuming I remember the answers.

I can tell you that the three Shakespeare derivatives were discussed,
but the show was more about how he made his films than what they mean.
There were occasional bits on why particular decisions were made,
including the make-up of the Lady Macbeth character in *Throne of
Blood/Castle of the Spider's Web.*  The intent was to look just like a
particular Noh mask, so she was made-up thus, and instructed not to
mover her face.  I'm sure that mask had particular significance, but I
don't remember it.  I hope another will.

All the best,
Mike Jensen

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Paul E. Doniger <
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Date:           Thursday, 28 Mar 2002 20:58:56 -0500
Subject: PBS Kurosawa
Comment:        SHK 13.0870 PBS Kurosawa

Yes, I saw it. It was a good program, but -- like most programs of this
nature -- it wasn't enough for those of us who are big fans! I could
have taken another hour or more. I think Kurosawa should be counted as
one of the 5-10 greatest filmakers we've ever had. His adaptations of
Shakespeare are superb "translations" to film. In fact, _Ran_ (_King
Lear_, Japanese style) is one of the best movies I know.

The program spent a good deal of time on Kurosawa's problems with time
and money (he constantly went over budget and beyone the schedule) and
on his consequent struggles to regain the independence he lost in the
1960s. The most interesting part (for me, anyway) was the discussion of
the making of _Seven Samurai_, perhaps Kurosawa

 

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