U of M Kurosawa film festival finale: "Yojimbo" and "Sanjuro"
From the Center for Japanese Studies website: “In the 1950s, Akira Kurosawa (1910-1998) led Japanese cinema onto the world stage, astonishing viewers with the emotional depth and the technical adroitness of his films. On the centennial of his birth, this series provides a once-in-a-generation chance to see Kurosawa’s classics again—including his incomparable early samurai films—in fresh, new 35mm prints.”
This Friday, Nov. 5, from 7 to 9 p.m., the 1961 “Yojimbo,” starring Toshiro Mifune, will be shown. The film is a dark comedy about a masterless samurai or ronin who is hired as a yojimbo or strong-arm man but who has a mind of his own. With his wit and with his sword, he clears the town of all gangsters, “including those with the temerity to hire him.”
Next Friday, Nov. 12, from 7 to 9 p.m., the 1962 “Sanjuro” will be shown. In this film, the same masterless samurai of “Yojimbo” returns in another comedy with swords to impose his brand of justice on a corrupt clan. In the process, he also teaches a group of young people what it really means to be a samurai.
Both films are in Japanese with English subtitles and will be shown at Askwith Auditorium, Lorch Hall, 611 Tappan St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109.
Frances Kai-Hwa Wang is a second-generation Chinese American from California who now divides her time between Ann Arbor and the Big Island of Hawaii. She is editor of IMDiversity.com Asian American Village, lead multicultural contributor for AnnArbor.com, and a contributor for New America Media's Ethnoblog. She is a popular speaker on Asian Pacific American and multicultural issues. Check out her website at franceskaihwawang.com, her blog at franceskaihwawang.blogspot.com, and she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.