• Kagemusha St. Patrick's Day

    Congratulations to yesterday’s winner, Caroline! Caroline’s pick for a work of Western literature she wishes Kurosawa had adapted was Oedipus Rex:

    I would love to have seen Kurosawa do Sophocles’s Oedipus Rex. Honestly, I think that he is the only filmmaker who could have successfully adapted the very influential Western work. His directing style and writing sensibilities could have brilliantly rendered the paranoia, alienation, and fated tragedy of the protagonist. I can just imagine the dark mood, eerie period atmosphere, and jarring music that Kurosawa would have used in depicting this story. The chorus would obviously have been done in a really original way, and the climax of Oedipus blinding himself and his final exile seems like it was written with Kurosawa in mind. And finally, Toshiro Mifune would have been fantastic in the role.

    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:

    In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, write a Kurosawa-related limerick.

    Please respond by commenting below, and we’ll choose our favorite tomorrow. You must reside in the U.S. or Canada and leave a valid e-mail address to be eligible for the prize (a copy of Waiting on the Weather: Making Movies with Akira Kurosawa by Teruyo Nogami).

    UPDATE: Our winner is Joren Cain:

    There once was a man named Toshiro.
    In film after film, he’s our hero.
    And then, in Yojimbo,
    A town’s future in limbo,
    He reduces the bad guys to zero.

    Congratulations, Joren!

85 comments

  • By Christopher C.
    March 17, 2010
    07:50 PM

    There once was a man born in Tokyo Whose first was a film called Sanshiro He learned more of his craft Made some classics and aft Ended up with splendid Madadayo.
    Reply
  • By Jose Gallegos
    March 17, 2010
    08:40 PM

    Kurosawa, the light shines on you An auteur, eternal and true. Samurais and kings Filled your nightly dreams While your days, praise you did accrue.
    Reply
  • By Kellie Haulotte
    March 17, 2010
    08:43 PM

    A man named Akiro Kurosawa screenwriter He made the world a lot brighter Editing, directing to produce He was a brilliant man on the loose Being a perfectionist was his right
    Reply
  • By Andrew Wilson
    March 17, 2010
    09:54 PM

    Ran began with a son's vanity, then erupted to a great lord's insanity, as the story grew bleaker, an Ichimonji grew weaker, Kurosawa showed us his greatest film mastery.
    Reply
  • By Jesse Mellott
    March 17, 2010
    10:03 PM

    You are so full of violence and rage You helped give birth to a violent age However, no one can deny you are not a sage Of our modern age Your are a true Samurai: Akira Kuroswa
    Reply
  • By Bill Drummonds
    March 17, 2010
    10:07 PM

    A Japanese man, Kurosawa, Made movies with vigor and powa'; With those dark Samurai And bleak Rashomon, why He must a' been Irish. And howa'!
    Reply
  • By Kristina Bennett
    March 17, 2010
    10:14 PM

    With Yojimbo and Red Beard and Dreams And with famous Shakespearian themes He can show us their hearts So that each film imparts A perspective we'd never have seen
    Reply
  • By Craig Bennett
    March 17, 2010
    10:16 PM

    There once was a man from Japan Who brought a film to Cannes About an impostor Support it did foster The Golden Palm's in hand
    Reply
  • By Alex Zechiel
    March 17, 2010
    10:28 PM

    There once was a filmmaking man Who made many films in Japan They all were so great I stay up too late Watching them and then I miss work in the morning
    Reply
  • By Betsy P.
    March 17, 2010
    10:43 PM

    The hills bleed with movement and power And horses make tender spears shatter The lady is red Her husband is dead. A drum beats that silences laughter.
    Reply
  • By Christopher Mellon
    March 17, 2010
    11:17 PM

    Though the seven were surely outnumbered, They proved that they couldn’t be blundered By the slush of the rain, Or the promising pain, As the hearts of each samurai thundered.
    Reply
  • By Charlie
    March 17, 2010
    11:18 PM

    Tora! Tora! Tora! it was named And Kurosawa was fired and blamed When he hadn't directed How the producers expected What, as if Fleischer could make it acclaimed?
    Reply
  • By billy
    March 18, 2010
    12:19 AM

    Akira, director of Ran Once won an award at Cannes He adapted Shakespeare Including King Lear And also McBain--in Japan!
    Reply
  • By Christopher ENZI
    March 18, 2010
    01:03 AM

    Criterion! Say it's not true! A limerick for A. Ku- rusawa was then Jap/Irish, my friend? You might've just asked for Haiku!
    Reply
  • By Kevin P.
    March 18, 2010
    02:10 AM

    There once was a talented director named Kurosawa, He inspired George Lucas to write Star Wars with the Jawa. 100 years old this year he would be. 50 years and 30 films, directed did he. His cinematic vision has left us with more than just a saga.
    Reply
  • By Matt D
    March 18, 2010
    02:51 AM

    I Ran High And Low for Yojimbo Dreams of Red Beard and Scandal! Sanjuro Doomed now I Live In Fear Of The Lower Depths near And neglect from Those Who Make Tomorrow
    Reply
  • By Dirk
    March 18, 2010
    04:10 AM

    An old master influenced by John Ford Made samurai films with many a sword Inspired by Shakespeare And adapted King Lear By Criterion his triumphs restored
    Reply
  • By Joseph Yeh
    March 18, 2010
    11:41 AM

    "Yojimbo" "Ran" into "The Hidden Fortress," But do "The Bad Sleep well?" In "The Lower Depths ..." "Red Beard" screams: "No Regrets for Our Youth!" "Dreams" of "Heaven and Hell."
    Reply
  • By tenderfoot
    March 18, 2010
    01:50 PM

    The master director from Japan makes magic when with camera in hand his own country may say no but global appreciation did show cinematic magic spread throughout the land
    Reply
  • By Pouya G.
    March 18, 2010
    03:03 PM

    There once was a lad down from Japon And with films he had such a rapport He made one about sleeping and another about creeping And to this day may his name Live On
    Reply

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