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SANJURO

Japan, 1962 (MIFF 1971, Akira Kurosawa Retrospective)

Director: Akira Kurosawa

A group of young aspiring samurai, all highly serious and idealistic, meet Sanjuro, an older samurai.

His appearance shocks them. He is dirty, unkempt and sloppy, and his manners at times the very opposite of the clean-cut, honourable image of a samurai. The contrast between the spick-and-span boy samurai and Sanjuro - a real samurai - is both amusing and incongruous, and one of the film's themes is this very incongruity. During the course of their association, the younger samurai gradually learn to respect the wisdom and experience of the older man.

As in many of Kurosawa's films, the central subject is that of illusion versus reality (cf. Judo Saga); things as they seem, things as they are, and the muddle that comes from confusing them.

See also...

THE QUIET DUEL

A young doctor contracts syphilis while operating on a soldier during the war. ... On returning to Tokyo, he enters private practice in the family clinic, but has to face the problems of his love for ... More »

HIGH AND LOW

Gondo, the production head of a shoe factory, mortgages his house and belongings to gain control of the company. Before he proceeds, a kidnapper rings and asks for a large amount of money for the ... More »

I LIVE IN FEAR

The head of a large family, a wealthy industrialist, tries to persuade his family, his mistresses and their children, to emigrate to Brazil, where he thinks they will be safe from atomic extinction ... More »

THE IDIOT

Dostoevsky is Kurosawa's favourite author, and in Prince Myushikin, he admires the character's compassion and near godlike quality. ... In The Idiot, Prince Myushikin becomes a Japanese returning ... More »

NO REGRETS FOR OUR YOUTH

The theme of the film is based on the famous Takikawa Incident of 1933, which forced the resignation of Professor Yukitoki Takikawa from the faculty of Kyoto University for his supposed "communistic ... More »

THE BAD SLEEP WELL

The daughter of the president of a government housing corporation marries her father's secretary. At the wedding ceremony, corruption is hinted at in the corporation; there is a police inquiry, and ... More »

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