The Magnificent Seven doesn’t start with fanfare. No blaring horns to signal the American West, no soaring strings to complement the vast vistas before the camera, no cinematic shots of warring bandits cresting a hill, no legends and no heroes. Instead: ominous tones and close, shaky shots of a wagon delivering gold to a heavily watched bank. Cut to a church where a debate rages between the parishioners. Should they stay or should they go? Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard) is coming to pay pennies on the dollar for their land — which he will strip-mine and pull every last ounce … Continue reading THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN


The movie opens and closes with a similar image, the ruins of a fortress, built at the foot of Mt. Fuji, enveloped by fog. A visual cue from famed Japanese director, Akria Kurosawa reminding viewers that what goes around, comes around, and that the only thing that truly lasts, are the elements. Throne of Blood, playing at the Landmark Chez Artiste on Wednesday, April 29, is Kurosawa’s interpretation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Three times, Kurosawa looked to the Bard for inspiration — Hamlet became The Bad Sleep Well (1960) and King Lear lent itself to Ran (1985) — but it is … Continue reading THRONE OF BLOOD

Born On This Day – March 23, 1910

“A film is never really good unless the camera is an eye in the head of a poet.” “My way of creating, my style if you want to call it that, is something I was born with: it comes naturally. For that reason, it’s not something I’m overly aware of while I’m doing it. I don’t force any picture of mine to be a Kurosawa film. I just tell the actors to be honest with themselves and true to their feelings, not to think about unnecessary things, and to let their actions flow naturally. This is my philosophy of film … Continue reading Born On This Day – March 23, 1910

In Their Words – Monday, April 15, 2013

“With a good script, a good director can produce a masterpiece. With the same script, a mediocre director can produce a passable film. But with a bad script even a good director can’t possibly make a good film. For truly cinematic expression, the camera and the microphone must be able to cross both fire and water. The script must be something that has the power to do this.” –Akira Kurosawa Continue reading In Their Words – Monday, April 15, 2013