Tuesday lectures by Jon Cates! Film Series : The Western: How It Was Never One



1961, Akira Kurosawa, Japan, 110 min. With Toshirô Mifune, Tatsuya Nakadai.

Show Times

  • Fri, Sep 7th 6:00pm
  • Tue, Sep 11th 6:00pm

"A landmark in the director's career - if not for its devilish hybrid of styles, inversion of genre conventions, and sly political commentary, then certainly for sheer entertainment value." - Rob Humanick, Slant

A lone swordsman-for-hire turns up in a nowhere village torn by a violent feud between two merchants and sells himself to both sides, becoming the catalyst for mayhem. Kurosawa's elegant and darkly cynical reworking of the plot of a Hollywood western made YOJIMBO one of the most imitated films of all time, and the direct inspiration for Sergio Leone's A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS. As the stranger, the powerfully nihilistic Mifune is paradoxically the film's moral center, plying his venal trade among the monstrously caricatured and infinitely expendable villagers. Kurosawa graphically poses the conflict in formal terms, demonstrating his mastery of widescreen composition. In Japanese with English subtitles. 35mm widescreen. (BS)

Tuesday lecture by Jon Cates, Associate Professor of Film, Video, New Video and Animation at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

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