Friday, June 24, 2011

June 24

Watched Kurosawa's Sanjuro yesterday.  As my wife said, I must be at a point where I've seen nearly all his films.  Funny thing is that the movies of his most people recommend have turned out not to be the ones I most prefer.  Seven Samourai, Ran, Rashomon, High and Low--I've seen and enjoyed them all.  Still, I think that Yojimbo, Hidden Fortress and Ikiru (movies typically not recommended to interested viewers just coming to K) are, in fact, his three best films.  Also realized, watching Sanjuro (which was excellent) something so obvious it's probably not even worth stating: the Jedi Knights of Star Wars ARE samurai.  Forces of good in a chaotic world moving from place to place trying to right wrongs, armed with only a sword and the power of their code.  I know Lucas got the ideas of R2 and C3P0 from Hidden Fortress.  I wonder how many other ideas he took from Kurosawa.

Fantastic day of writing yesterday.  Maybe my best ever, in terms of the number of problems I solved.  Possibly due to my new diet (oatmeal with fruit in morning, light snack at 11 am, no food till light dinner) and new walking regimen, but I feel physically as good as I have in years.  Probably not drinking a bottle of wine every night helps but I think undereating slightly is also a plus.  I'm more cheerful, more motivated, and more energetic.

Also want to talk about a fantastic Chekhov story I read last night ("The Student") but I'll put that for later. I've almost finished my book on cell biology.  Next I'm starting a book I read about on John's Second Pass site--On Growth And Form.  Should be interesting.


JMW said...

I haven't seen a single Kurosawa movie. Not a one. That's kind of embarrassing. I've had Ikiru on my Netflix list for a while on your recommendation. This post makes me want to rent everything of his and just lock myself in a room for two days, emerging with similarly strong opinions.

Interested to hear about the Chekhov story. Would you have any interest in resurrecting our "two readers" project where we regularly discuss a short story? Maybe for the Second Pass?

ANCIANT said...

If you do start watching some Kurosawa I'd start with Yojimbo or Hidden Fortress. I also love Ikiru, of course, but it's one of his more atypical movies (if that can be said to make sense). Although I have to say that of the 20 plus movies of his that I've seen, I don't think I've regretted watching any of them (although I remember thinking that "Ran" went on at least a half hour too long. "Throne of Blood" didn't do much for me either.)

I would, in theory, love to resume the Two Readers project. I'm not sure it's something I can commit to right now; until I have a draft of the play written I think that has to be my sole focus. [ Unless the Second Pass wants to fund us on a fact-finding trip to Vegas. That may change the situation :-) ]

ANCIANT said...

Actually, check that about Ikiru. You should watch it first, especially if you think you might not cotton to samurai films.

I never thought I care about samurai until recently. Now I'm struck by a sudden craving to watch a bunch of samurai movies. I just added ten of them to my queue. Should be interesting.