The Most Beautiful (1944)

Unlike Kurosawa’s first film (but like his third), this is a propaganda film made during the Japanese war effort in the¬†1940s. There’s plenty to say about the principles behind the film, the metatextual elements speaking to the Japanese government and social expectations of the time, but I’d rather just focus on Kurosawa and the film…

Sanshiro Sugata Part II (1945)

More dated than its predecessor,¬†Sanshiro Sugata Part II is an overt propaganda film, made at governmental suggestion. That’s not to say it’s inherently a poor film or anything, but it definitely lacks the ambition or creativity of Kurosawa films drawn from his own inspirations. The film is hobbled by the first film in no way…

Sanshiro Sugata (1943)

Akira Kurosawa’s first film is a fairly simple tale that follows the titular character learning judo, and learning about himself, life, and the world along the way. I was intrigued by how Kurosawa had the world and nature reflect the character’s state of mind, displaying his mood and state through the environmental context. Some other…