Masters of Japanese Cinema: Kurosawas' Drunken Angel

Posted on: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - 7:48pm

Pickford Film Center and Western Libraries present...
Masters of Japanese Cinema

Masters of Japanese Cinema series at the Pickford Film Center, shines a light on the rich history of Japanese cinema, from old masters such as Ozu, Akira Kurosawa and Naruse, to modern masters such as Miyazaki, Kore-eda, and Kiyoshi Kurosawa. It is curated by Jeff Purdue, a librarian and professor at Western Washington University. In addition to his library duties, he occasionally teaches classes on popular music at Fairhaven College. He is an avid fan and student of Japanese film and popular music.

   The next film in the Masters of Japanese Cinema series
is a relatively early work from Kurosawa.

   Drunken Angel
   6:30pm Tuesday, November 20th
   Pickford Film Center, 1318 Bay Street.

It stars Kurosawa stalwarts Mifune Toshiro and Shimura Takashi. Kurosawa shot this film in 1948, and the destruction from the war is readily apparent.  In fact, the location almost rises to the same level as the characters as something that draws our attention – and Kurosawa’s flamboyant style in this film adds to the tension.  Mifune gives a riveting performance as a gangster operating under multiple death threats, and Shimura is a doctor who tries to help him; the film’s title refers to his character.  In some ways, this film plays as a mashup between film noir and German Expressionist filmmaking.  I hope this makes it sound exciting to you, because it is a very exciting film to watch.  It will be introduced by Julia Sapin, who teaches Asian Art History at Western.  Further details can be found here: 

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