Scandal (1950)

I’ve seen complaints that Kurosawa movies can get frustratingly melodramatic and morally didactic before, but I’ve never really noticed it, nor has it bothered me, even if his early propaganda films. Well, I’m disappointed to say I’ve finally had the same thing bother me, with this film, Scandal. Perhaps it’s because his earlier films covered cultural…

Stray Dog (1949)

Stray Dog is a kind of prototypical “buddy cop” film. It’s essentially a police procedural with some film noir flavour. Frequent Kurosawa collaborates Toshiro Mifune and Takashi Shimura are in as fine form as ever here, with Mifune in particular delivering some excellent acting in some of the final scenes. This film has a lot…

The Quiet Duel (1949)

A very affecting, emotional film revolving around a doctor (played by Toshiro Mifune) infected by syphilis from a patient during an accident, who then has to grapple with being contaminated with a near-incurable disease of the time. I found the film utterly captivating. Frequent Kurosawa collaborates Toshiro Mifune and Takashi Shimura deliver great performances, especially Mifune,…

And Seven Times Never Kill Man! (1975) by George R. R. Martin

Another dark, fascinating story in George R. R. Martin’s “The Thousands Worlds” setting. It’s interesting reading the story in 2016 because there are two aspects of it that are quite fun to see retrospectively; the first appearance of the term “winter is coming” in Martin’s writing, and the inspiration for the wookie (Chewbacca’s race) in Star Wars. As…