July 31, 2008

The Most Beautiful (1944 film)

Written & directed by Akira Kurosawa.

In a story somewhat similar to then contemporary situations in the U.S., propagandist banners hang from the rafters as the wives and daughters of Japan pick up the slack in the factories when the men go out to fight in WWII. With it come the additional burdens of leaving their families behind to live in state dorms, of being required to simultaneously form a marching band to play moral-boosting anthems on the streets, and of dealing with a constant "always increase production" mentality which looks upon sickness and injury as dishonorable acts committed against family, company, and nation.

July 30, 2008

Sanshiro Sugata (1943 film)

Written & directed by Akira Kurosawa. Based on the novel by Tsuneo Tomita. Kurosawa also worked on the film as an editor.

Legendary director Kurosawa made his debut with this little known martial arts film about a young man who sets out to master a new form of fighting, Judo, and finds himself involved in an old rivalry between schools.