May 20, 2016 at 1:38PM

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Akira Kurosawa: Breaking Down the Master’s Directing Techniques

Some of my favorite directors of all time are Stanley Kubrick, Martin Scorsese, David Fincher, and of course Akira Kurosawa. Ever since I watched the Criterion Collection Laserdisc (yes I’m old) of Seven Samurai and Rashomon I was hooked.

Even in high school I knew that no one else in the world of cinema could frame a shot like Kurosawa. This is why George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Francis Ford Coppola all called Akira Kurosawa “The Master.”

The emotion, the composition, the framing, and the camera movement was perfection in film after film after film throughout his over 50 years crafting films. I’ve studied almost everyone of his films I could get my hands on.

Some of Akira Kurosawa earlier work is still hard to come by unless you live in Japan, his home country. Though the great folks over at Criterion Collection have been adding Kurosawa’s titles to the collection for years now. They have, by far, the best transfers, picture and sound quality available.

If your a filmmaker you must get your hand on as many Criterion Collection DVD, Blu-rays or digital downloads as possible. Each title is a compact film school with a dense film theory education that revivals any class in the best film schools in the world.

Check out this video series on the master's work: https://www.indiefilmhustle.com/akira-kurosawa-composing-movement/

2 Comments

For UK viewers, there is now an economical and easy way to watch Kurosawa films. BFI Player+ has over twenty of his films to stream, including most of his best-known classics, and it costs only £4.99 per month!

May 23, 2016 at 4:41PM

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Hey Alex, thank you for sharing this article.
Akira Kurosawa's phase was the revolution in the film industry.

June 22, 2017 at 9:01AM

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Dilip Suthar
Editor and Cinematographer
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