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Hollywood Walk of Fame Honors Late Samurai Star Toshiro Mifune 

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Hollywood celebrated the life of legendary Japanese actor Toshiro Mifune on Monday, honoring him with a star on its iconic Walk of Fame two decades after his death.

Mifune rose to stardom through Akira Kurosawa’s classics, including “Rashomon” (1950) and “Seven Samurai” (1954), with masculine portrayals of powerful warlords that earned him a reputation as the world’s best samurai actor.

He died in Tokyo at that age of 77 in 1997. He had been mostly confined to his home since suffering a heart attack five years earlier.

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His death shocked Japan’s cinema industry, which took pride in him as its most presentable actor in international cinema, fondly calling him “Mifune of the world.”

Kurosawa cast Mifune in leading roles in all but one of 17 films he made between 1948 and 1965. “Rashomon,” in which Mifune played a cynical bandit, won the Grand Prix award at the 1951 Venice Film Festival.

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Mifune played a peasant-turned samurai leading farmers’ resistance against bandits in “Seven Samurai,” which inspired two Western remakes, both titled “The Magnificent Seven” (1960 and 2016). Read the rest of this entry »

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Movie Poster of the Night: Brigitte Bardot in Jean-Luc Godard’s ‘Le Mépris’ 1963

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Retrogasm – Le Mépris 1963


Two (and Twenty) Alfred Hitchcock Quotes

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“I’m not the sort of fellow you’d want to go camping with.”

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“Conversation is the enemy of good food and wine.”

I’ve always been fond of quotes, and epigrams, and have an odd habit of memorizing them. (though my memory is not always accurate, quotes are often misremembered, I hope I have these two preserved correctly) The first one I probably read in Reader’s Digest when I was a kid. The second one is a personal favorite.

The quote is revealing, too, because Hitchcock—not a small man—obviously loved good food. But also, hated unnecessary dialogue. The director viewed actors as chess pieces. Or spoiled children. Dialogue was almost a necessary evil, secondary to the visual story. As a director, Hitchcock was more of a technician than a dramatist.

Read the rest of this entry »