To celebrate the centennial birth of Japan’s most beloved film director Akira Kurosawa, VIZ Cinema and New People are showing his six Samurai classic films in San Francisco’s Japantown. General admission tickets are $10. No discounts apply.
Seven Samurai, August 20th – 22nd
(Directed by Akira Kurosawa, 1954, 207min, 35mm, Japanese with English Subtitles)
One of the most popular films of all time, Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai tells the story of a sixteenth-century village whose desperate inhabitants hire the eponymous warriors to protect them from invading bandits.
Rashamon, August 21st – 25th
(Directed by Akira Kurosawa, 1950, 88min, 35mm, Japanese with English Subtitles)
Brimming with action while incisively examining the nature of truth, Rashomon is probably the finest film ever to explore the philosophy of justice. Kurosawa reveals the complexities of human nature as four people recount different versions of the story of a man’s murder and the rape of his wife.
Yojimbo, August 23rd – August 28th and also August 31st
(Directed by Akira Kurosawa, 1961, 110min, 35mm, Japanese with English Subtitles)
The incomparable Toshiro Mifune stars in Kurosawa’s visually stunning and darkly comic Yojimbo. To rid a terror-stricken village of corruption, wily masterless samurai Sanjuro turns a range war between two evil clans to his own advantage.
Sanjuro, August 25th – August 30th
(Directed by Akira Kurosawa, 1962, 96min, 35mm, Japanese with English Subtitles)
Toshiro Mifune again snarls to brilliant comic effect in Kurosawa’s tightly paced, beautifully composed drama. In this companion piece to Yojimbo, jaded samurai Sanjuro helps an idealistic group of young warriors weed out their clan’s betrayer, and in the process turns their image of a “proper” samurai on its ear.
Throne of Blood, August 28h – September 2nd
(Directed by Akira Kurosawa, 1957, 109min, 35mm, Japanese with English Subtitles)
One of the most celebrated screen adaptations of Shakespeare into film, Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood reimagines Macbeth in feudal Japan. The film tells of a valiant warrior’s savage rise to power and his ignominious fall.
The Hidden Fortress, August 28h – September 2nd
(Directed by Akira Kurosawa, 1958, 139min, 35mm, Japanese with English Subtitles)
A general and a princess must dodge enemy clans while smuggling the royal treasure out of hostile territory with two bumbling, conniving peasants at their sides, it’s a spirited adventure that only Kurosawa could create.
For screening times and more details, visit www.vizcinema.com.