I’m sending a special Happy Birthday to Akira Kurosawa. A film director that is arguably one of the greatest filmmakers in film history who helped define and shape films and one that has inspired me greatly.
Kurosawa was a filmmaker, much like Alfred Hitchcock, who knew how to blend the personal expression with the entertainment aspect of movie making. His films are just as intimate as they are entertaining. His style is almost perfect where every frame could be captured and hung on the wall as a piece of art. He knew the power of the frame and utilized it like so few others. His artistry is so powerful that a friend of mine and I always said that if either of us ever felt like we were too full of ourselves as filmmakers all we had to do was watch a Kurosawa film and we would be humbled awfully quick.
His inspiration on me is almost too much to put into words. I’ve often emulated him both knowingly and unknowingly. A shot from my film Distortion is very much like his trademark side shot close ups.
Here is a shot from Rashomon:
Here is a shot from Yojimbo:
Here is a shot from my film Distortion:
His films have inspired filmmakers all over including giants such as Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola, and George Lucas. He continues to inspire and entertain. Last year I was lucky enough to finally see Seven Samurai in 35mm on the big screen. Having seen it several times over the years on home video this was the first time in a theatre. It was a truly incredible experience. Arguably one of the greatest films ever made.
Happy Birthday Akira Kurosawa. Thank you for years of inspiration and for some of the most amazing films ever created for the medium.