The Magnificent Seven (1960)

Kurosawa was enormously influential to western cinema in so many ways, but nowhere more obviously than in the very genre of westerns. Sergio Leone’s A Fistful of Dollars comes from Kurosawa’s Yojimbo. George Lucas’ Star Wars draws its unique aesthetic from synthesising western elements with, among other sources, Kurosawa’s influence (particularly from The Hidden Fortress), and it’s no coincidence that those…

Seven Samurai (1954)

Seven Samurai is one of those works so genre-establishing, so mimicked and adapted, that it would be easy for it to feel worn, or tired, or overly conventional – it may have invented so many of the conventions that are typical to popular stories today, but that doesn’t stop it from feeling “conventional” to audiences…

Stop Making Sense (1984)

A brilliant, energetic, cerebral film that transcends the “concert movie” genre. It’s a film in its own right, not just a carefully orchestrated documentation of a live show with the requisite saccharine cutaways to interviews backstage or audience member testimonials (oh, how I appreciate how the film breaks away from the cliche and avoids shots…