• Congratulations to yesterday’s winner, Rotem! Rotem’s favorite use of music or sound in a Kurosawa film is:

    In Ikiru, after his visit to the doctor where Kanji is notified about his situation, and that he has only a few months to live, we follow him in the next scene walking in the street. Instead of adding a sad tune to the scene, or introducing us to his thoughts via voice-over, all we get is silence: we hear nothing, not the people walking around him, not the cars, not the birds—absolutely total silence. But after a few seconds, the sounds burst back in: a loud sound of cars and people all mixed together is suddenly introduced to us—because they are now a threat on Kanji, who crossed the street while there is danger around him—a danger which he didn’t notice because he was overwhelmed by the doctor’s diagnosis he got moments ago. This is a brilliant use of sound, or un-use of it: In the most difficult moment of a man, what can words say? What meaning does music have? All we are left with is the nothingness of the acceptance of the upcoming death.

    We also liked Doug Bray’s description of this moment in The Hidden Fortress:

    Kurosawa’s use of the same song twice in The Hidden Fortress, first as a lighthearted celebration at the fire festival, then as a eulogy the princess sings awaiting death; she sings the whole song with not one cut or movement. Using the same song to express a moment of happiness and one of utter despair, brilliant.

    March is Akira Kurosawa month at Criterion. On the twenty-third, the great Japanese filmmaker would have been one hundred years old. For this centennial celebration, we will be posting trivia questions and other contests all month, and giving away a different prize every weekday.

    Today’s prompt:

    Create an anagram using the title of a favorite Kurosawa film, or an actor or character’s name.

    Please respond by commenting below, and we’ll choose our favorite tomorrow. You must leave a valid e-mail address to be eligible for the prize (a Criterion or Janus T-shirt).

141 comments

  • By Brent S.
    March 10, 2010
    11:29 AM

    TOSHIRO MIFUNE = IRON SUMO THIEF
    Reply
  • By NAJIRAH
    March 10, 2010
    12:13 PM

    TOSHIRO MIFUNE (from Yojimbo) I'm So Fun To Hire or So, I'm Fun To Hire IKIRU I Irk U
    Reply
  • By anand
    March 10, 2010
    12:42 PM

    THRONE OF BLOOD = Lo, both done for. TOSHIRO MIFUNE = Oh, misfortune! (hoping the "i" can be used as an exclamation point)
    Reply
  • By Thom S.
    March 10, 2010
    12:52 PM

    Takashi Shimura = Samurai has kith.
    Reply
  • By GORDOLF
    March 10, 2010
    01:03 PM

    I LIVE IN FEAR of AIRLINE FIVE
    Reply
  • By Seth Just
    March 10, 2010
    01:17 PM

    Toshiro Mifune - HEROISM IF UNTO perfect.
    Reply
  • By Eugene Golbin
    March 10, 2010
    01:51 PM

    The Bad Sleep Well = We led belle paths.
    Reply
  • By Nikki Dawn
    March 10, 2010
    02:26 PM

    Averse Animus = Seven Samurai
    Reply
  • By Scott Stewart
    March 10, 2010
    02:42 PM

    Toshiro Mifune= "Heroism Of Unit" This recalls his role in "Seven Samurai"
    Reply
  • By Dan Shank
    March 10, 2010
    02:58 PM

    No Regrets for Our Youth - Sorry, Hero. Fortune: Gout.
    Reply
  • By Mark Hendrix
    March 10, 2010
    03:00 PM

    The Idiot = I hid tote
    Reply
  • By joshua jordon
    March 10, 2010
    03:23 PM

    Dreams = Ms Read
    Reply
  • By Michael
    March 10, 2010
    03:27 PM

    SANSHIRO SUGATA = AUTHORS IN SAGAS
    Reply
  • By Adam S.
    March 10, 2010
    03:57 PM

    yard togs
    Reply
  • By Marshall Muse
    March 10, 2010
    04:54 PM

    I Live In Fear --> I Fare In Evil muahahahah!
    Reply
  • By Kevin P.
    March 10, 2010
    05:01 PM

    Tho I diet... menu: woks aura if dry goats (tho diet i - the idiot, dry goats - Stray Dog, menu if - mifune, woks aura - kurosawa)
    Reply
  • By Ricky B.
    March 10, 2010
    05:27 PM

    Sanjuro Tsubaki Urbana is just OK Just Rub in Osaka Burt Oak is Janus
    Reply
  • By JHW
    March 10, 2010
    07:11 PM

    To Live (translation of Ikiru) = I Love it Toshiro Mifune = Noisome if Hurt
    Reply
  • By JHW
    March 10, 2010
    09:23 PM

    Oops! A typo on my first entry, sorry! Here is the correct version: To Live (translation of Ikiru) = Love it
    Reply
  • By Jaclyn Lynyak
    March 10, 2010
    09:45 PM

    Rhapsody in August = A Daring Youths Ups
    Reply