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The Seven Samurai and Other Screenplays

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These three screenplays are based on Kurosawa's shooting scripts. "Ikiru "(1952) tells the painful and intimate story of a Japanese civil servant coming to terms with old age and death. In "Seven Samurai "(1954) the inhabitants of a small Janpanese village employ a roaming band of samurai to defend them. In "Throne of Blood" (1957), based on "Macbeth," a samurai is encoura These three screenplays are based on Kurosawa's shooting scripts. "Ikiru "(1952) tells the painful and intimate story of a Japanese civil servant coming to terms with old age and death. In "Seven Samurai "(1954) the inhabitants of a small Janpanese village employ a roaming band of samurai to defend them. In "Throne of Blood" (1957), based on "Macbeth," a samurai is encouraged by his wife to kill his lord. This edition also includes a critical introduction to each screenplay.


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These three screenplays are based on Kurosawa's shooting scripts. "Ikiru "(1952) tells the painful and intimate story of a Japanese civil servant coming to terms with old age and death. In "Seven Samurai "(1954) the inhabitants of a small Janpanese village employ a roaming band of samurai to defend them. In "Throne of Blood" (1957), based on "Macbeth," a samurai is encoura These three screenplays are based on Kurosawa's shooting scripts. "Ikiru "(1952) tells the painful and intimate story of a Japanese civil servant coming to terms with old age and death. In "Seven Samurai "(1954) the inhabitants of a small Janpanese village employ a roaming band of samurai to defend them. In "Throne of Blood" (1957), based on "Macbeth," a samurai is encouraged by his wife to kill his lord. This edition also includes a critical introduction to each screenplay.

30 review for The Seven Samurai and Other Screenplays

  1. 5 out of 5

    B. P. Rinehart

    "The important thing, therefore, is that [Kurosawa's characters] concern themselves with this search for meaning and do not allow themselves too be misled by illusion. Kurosawa knows perfectly well that illusion is necessary...At the same time, he would invite us--in the very face of apparently certain defeat--to pursue the real in so far as we are able, to face life, and to settle for nothing less." - Donald Richie As much as I've regarded myself as a cinephile, my film criticism-game has been l "The important thing, therefore, is that [Kurosawa's characters] concern themselves with this search for meaning and do not allow themselves too be misled by illusion. Kurosawa knows perfectly well that illusion is necessary...At the same time, he would invite us--in the very face of apparently certain defeat--to pursue the real in so far as we are able, to face life, and to settle for nothing less." - Donald Richie As much as I've regarded myself as a cinephile, my film criticism-game has been lacking. I've decided that one of the ways to remedy that is to review some books on film. So here is a book edited by the late great Western scholar of Japanese cinema Donald Richie that has English translations of three of Akira Kurosawa's films, including his most famous film Seven Samurai. Kurosawa is my favorite film maker so it it always a treat for me to watch these films with the script in front of me and two of these films have Richie give introduction to them. I'll review the three movies below: Ikiru (1952) is Kurosawa's adaptation of The Death of Ivan Ilyich. Kurosawa was a big fan of Russian literature and adapted Tolstoy and Fyodor Dostoyevsky in his movies. As with the original Tolstoy, this movie is about a burreaucrat who finds out he is dying and struggles to wrestle with that fact. Unlike with Tolstoy, Kurosawa's protagonist has (possibly) read Jean-Paul Sartre and decides that he can still get's something done with the time he has left. This movie was made as Japan was at the end of its post-war recession. Ever the leftist, Kurosawa used this old Tolstoy tale to show that even if the hard times weren't going to last, one group was going to be left out of the cold while another group prospered. Seven Samurai (1954) is one of the greatest movies of all time. It pretty much invented the language of the action film and the posse film. It is also one of my top 5 films. This is a film that ask what we fight for in life. This film takes place at the end of the Sengoku era 100 years of disunited civil war was being replaced with a re-establishment of feudalism under the samurai class. While this is going on, a coalition of 7 ronin (master-less samurai) come together to defend a village from bandits. This movie is a swan song to the sort-of co-mingling of different social classes in Japan before the Tokugawa-era ends that forever. This movie has everything in it--it meditates on everything and it still is filled with action and drama. It was the start of Kurosawa's re-imagining of the samurai film and it is still the benchmark of any film that shows a bunch of heroes coming together to save the day. Interesting to note is that the film-script in this book is of a mangled 160 minute-cut of the film. It wasn't until the 1990s that the full film was found and most people who have seen the complete film have probably seen it after 2001, since Toho abridged the film after its premiere-run because of its 3.5 hour runtime. Throne of Blood (1957) is Kurosawa's adaptation of Macbeth. As much as Kurosawa liked Russian literature, he may have liked William Shakespeare more. The bulk of his adapted work comes from Shakespeare and this movie was his first. This is also my favorite adaptation of Macbeth. It is such an amazingly gothic and stylized working and it has one of the most shocking and electrifying endings in movie history. The translation of the film-script in this book was not translated by Richie which is interesting because his translation is used in The Criterion Collection release of this movie. "Kurosawa has given us beauty in the midst of knowledge, a kind of reassurance while questioning all reassurances. At the same time that he questions deeds, hopes, thoughts, he has purposely played upon our emotions and we too have become open and childlike. More, in this profoundly subtle and mysterious final sequence...he has indicated hope. We are all, after all, human; we all feel the same--we are all peasants at heart."

  2. 4 out of 5

    Juan José

    This three screenplays by Kurosawa deal with three important themes in art: redemption, valour and tyranny. They represent the soul of mankind as a sort of trinity. The screenplays try to make sense of this three human traits with great ability. The three screenplays should be read to understand men in all it's complexity. This three screenplays by Kurosawa deal with three important themes in art: redemption, valour and tyranny. They represent the soul of mankind as a sort of trinity. The screenplays try to make sense of this three human traits with great ability. The three screenplays should be read to understand men in all it's complexity.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Realini

    Seven Samurai, written and directed by Akira Kurosawa Nine out of 10 One of the most magnificent motion pictures of all time, Seven Samurai is nevertheless unfamiliar to audiences that know about The Magnificent Seven, which is actually a good adaptation of the Akira Kurosawa classic that has been included on The New York Times’ Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made list Seven Samurai presents an unforgettable story of valor, sacrifice, humanity, kindness, love, but also hatred, cowardice, villainy and oppres Seven Samurai, written and directed by Akira Kurosawa Nine out of 10 One of the most magnificent motion pictures of all time, Seven Samurai is nevertheless unfamiliar to audiences that know about The Magnificent Seven, which is actually a good adaptation of the Akira Kurosawa classic that has been included on The New York Times’ Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made list Seven Samurai presents an unforgettable story of valor, sacrifice, humanity, kindness, love, but also hatred, cowardice, villainy and oppression. The people in a village in medieval Japan are constantly under attack and find they are unable to cope with the marauders that come constantly to take away their livelihood, the crops they grow in the fields, for which they toil and work hard are gone about as soon as they are harvested, for the monstrous invaders know when they can come to collect one crop and then take a break, long enough to arrive in time for their next prize. The peasants are good at their daily work, but they lack the skills to oppose those who are professional fighters and have the means to kill not just simple people…we would discover that they have three muskets in their panoply and thus can dispatch enemies from a distance. Advised by the wise elder, the villagers consider hiring some samurai to help them face the plague of the constant robbery, but they lack the means to pay, except for some food, and this would be an obstacle they would have to surmount. Eventually, they get the crucial support of Kambei Shimada, who would be the leader, mastermind of the defense, the one who would say where the fence needs to be raised, that three houses would have to abandoned, for the good of the community, because they are situated outside the line that they could protect reasonably. Kambei Shimada would also be the one who would talk with other potential candidates for this Dream Team of Avengers – since this has recently become the new holder of the box office record, such a popular feature, albeit not with the undersigned. Nonetheless, when told that they would have to fight for food and pay would be practically nonexistent, most samurai pass on this opportunity, even if it would be a sensitive, heavy moment when within the circle of the Seven Samurai they discuss the fact that they get good, white rice, whereas the poor peasants are forced into what looks like malnutrition. The locals are very worried about the situation of their daughters and wives, who could become the target of these alien men, samurai used with having it their own way and superior in status in medieval Japanese society to ordinary folk. Indeed, even today, modern Japan is a place of paradoxes, with many aspects of daily life apparently descended from the future, while other issues seem to be still part of the distant past – the justice system appears quite unfair – the case of Carlos Ghosn has thrown some light on that – people with a handicap do not enjoy the rights and benefits they have elsewhere – according to an article in the most recent issue of The Economist. When six of the Seven Samurai are gathered, they have a maverick joining forces with them, or at least trying to be part of the group to begin with, the outsider, outré Kikuchiyo aka the most famous Japanese actor of the period – the film was released in 1954, in black and white. The confrontation would be difficult, for even with the group of Seven Expert fighters that is now in charge of the defense of the village, they are still outnumbered and they face a better-equipped enemy that is sending three spies to study the terrain. These first reconnaissance men are found and killed, but the battle would cause many victims among the peasants, albeit the strategy devised by the formidable Kambei Shimada is to allow individuals from the attacking group to penetrate the fence and then isolate and kill them. One samurai falls in love with a young woman, but her father is viciously opposed to the idea and the discovery of the secret relationship – the two lovers met furtively – causes a scandal. Finally, Kambei Shimada talks about the fact that it is the villagers who are the ultimate heroes, it is their fight and if it is a victory – let us not get into that – they would deserve all the glory. The Seven Samurai is part of the history of cinema, to be found in the pages of glory.

  4. 4 out of 5

    era nusantari

    setelah liat filmnya juga, buku ini yang awalnya lama dan membosankan buat g, ternyata isinya sangat menarik dan akhirnya g benar-benar bisa ngikutin ceritanya dari awal sampai habis. banyak banget nilai-nilai tentang hidup juga budaya masyarakat jepang yang g dapet dari buku ini.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Windry

    ^^ interesting! how the cultures and live styles pictured in this screenplay ^^ well, i loved the movie anyway so i was attached so easily with this book

  6. 5 out of 5

    Antonije Ranđelović

  7. 5 out of 5

    James

  8. 5 out of 5

    Dave Russell

  9. 4 out of 5

    Wylie

  10. 5 out of 5

    Fereshteh d

  11. 4 out of 5

    Dr S Edroos

  12. 4 out of 5

    Breins

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ljubica

  14. 4 out of 5

    Freddy

  15. 5 out of 5

    Pavel

  16. 5 out of 5

    Faustine

  17. 4 out of 5

    sahar

  18. 5 out of 5

    deva

  19. 4 out of 5

    Hani Iskadarwati

  20. 5 out of 5

    Malt

  21. 4 out of 5

    Reza roudbari

  22. 4 out of 5

    Gilbert

  23. 4 out of 5

    Boris

  24. 4 out of 5

    Last Randall

  25. 5 out of 5

    Bahman Bahman

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nicholas Zeltzer

  27. 5 out of 5

    Rhiannon

  28. 5 out of 5

    Alisa Gaston-Linn

  29. 5 out of 5

    Arash

  30. 5 out of 5

    John Ervin

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