In which I attempt to watch every film in The Criterion Collection and end up watching a lot that aren't. Click here for the rating system.


Red Beard

"He's a doctor, not a pirate."

Mifune's last picture for Kurosawa (Kurosawa's 23rd film) is genius. I can only throw my praise onto the pile of universal acclaim for Kurosawa by saying that I have never fast-forwarded any film of his. Which at this point, is pretty amazing. Black and white, 185 minutes and about as philosophical as Kurosawa ever got. The commentary consisted of one man repeating in an awed voice, "... here we see how Kurosawa's signature telephoto lens flattens out the scene and stacks the characters one on top of the other." The commentary also talks at great length about Kurosawa's admiration for two men; his older brother Heigo and Dostoevsky. There's only one fight in this film (unless you count the struggle betwwen the young doctor and the Mantis) between Red Beard and the brothel guards, but it's fairly graphic.

Favorite Moments: Red beard tugging his beard to one side. Otoyo begging on the bridge. Chobo's fairwell speach. The cooks calling into the well.


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