• When people think of Akira Kurosawa, the first films that come to mind are usually his jidai-geki—period pieces set in feudal Japan, often featuring samurai. But he was also a master of contemporary dramas and thrillers, as the selections in this week’s festival of free films on Hulu, 20th Century Kurosawa, make very clear. These include Drunken Angel, Scandal, Stray Dog, Ikiru, and The Bad Sleep Well.

    Also here is one of Kurosawa’s least known but most touching films, 1947’s One Wonderful Sunday. In this lovely social realist drama—available in our Eclipse series Postwar Kurosawa—a devoted, financially struggling couple take a day trip to Tokyo in search of work and, if they can afford it, a little entertainment and food. Shot when Japan was still reeling from World War II, One Wonderful Sunday feels like that nation’s corollary to the neorealist films being made concurrently in Italy, by directors like Roberto Rossellini and Vittorio De Sica. You can watch it for free in its entirety below or at Hulu. Sign up for Hulu Plus for just $7.99 a month and you’ll be able to see hundreds of other Criterion films, as well, including many that are unavailable on any home video format.

9 comments

  • By JJS
    October 05, 2012
    04:57 PM

    Great films. It's a shame the weekly 50% off Hulu specials were discontinued.
    Reply
    • By Greg
      October 06, 2012
      10:49 AM

      Ditto
  • By Craig J. Clark
    October 05, 2012
    08:45 PM

    A goodly selection of contemporary Kurosawa this week. I'm surprised you didn't include I Live in Fear, though. And High and Low would have made for another great addition.
    Reply
    • By Russell Fry
      October 05, 2012
      09:43 PM

      Yeah, I've seen almost all of these selections, but I'm still dying to see 'I Live in Fear.' Regardless, it is still a great selection. Love 'Drunken Angel'!
    • By Craig J. Clark
      October 06, 2012
      03:58 PM

      If you haven't seen Scandal, I highly recommend it. That's one -- along with The Quiet Duel and The Idiot -- that has a tendency to get lost in the shuffle.
  • By Gord
    October 06, 2012
    08:26 PM

    Don't much like Hulu, but it's a good week. Two of my least favorite Kurosawa films are here, but also two of my favorites (Ikiru & Stray Dog) and two I haven't seen, Scandal & Sunday. Looking forward to watching them.
    Reply
  • By Michael A.
    October 07, 2012
    05:46 PM

    ONE WONDERFUL SUNDAY Chieko Nakakita's Masako is irrepressible... Isao Numasaki is just great as Yuzo... a moving story of survival, and (true) love... I hardly know where to begin, the film captured me from the very beginning... this one will make you laugh and give a hard tug at your heartstrings... the last 5 minutes is so touching and tender it almost hurts... and, I'm sure that they met again that next Sunday... and again the Sunday after that... and that she would always hear his 'symphony'... ... and eventually, they did get that little place of theirs... and somewhere out in the celluloid universe there is a happy couple sitting on their porch overlooking their garden... and they're having many Wonderful Sunday's. This is Kurosawa's BEST... --Mike
    Reply
  • By Yancy Garrido
    October 08, 2012
    12:24 PM

    Bring back the weekly Hulu special please!
    Reply
  • By Craig J. Clark
    October 09, 2012
    02:10 PM

    Very happy to see that I Live in Fear and High and Low have both been added to the lineup.
    Reply