Kurosawa’s Birthday Month, Day 15

Mar 19, 2010

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, and giving away a different prize every weekday. To see yesterday’s winner, check out the update on yesterday’s post.

Today’s prompt:

Cast an imaginary remake of your favorite Kurosawa film.

Please respond by commenting below, and we’ll choose our favorite on Monday. You must reside in the U.S. or Canada and leave a valid e-mail address to be eligible for the prize (a DVD of Ikiru).

UPDATE: Our winner is Alex Zechiel, who had this to say:


Ikiru would make for an interesting American remake, mainly because to understand the real drama in the third half of the film, an understanding of Japanese culture and societal norms are necessary. To see a director manage to translate the courage that Watanabe’s character had into our American culture would be astounding.

I think Gene Hackman would make for a good American counterpart to Watanabe; hell, we’ve already seen him faking stomach cancer in The Royal Tenenbaums, in which he gives one of my favorite performances of the last decade.

Anna Kendrick would be a fine choice for Kimura; she’s just proven herself in Up in the Air, and using a still somewhat unknown actress could better detach the audience from any preconceptions.

Watanabe’s son could be portrayed by Tobey Maguire; we’ve seen him in only one role in which he’s deviated from the norm, and that was in The Good German, in which his character dies much too quickly. Not that his character would be evil as in that film, per se, but I don’t recall liking Watanabe’s son too much on my first viewing of Ikiru.

Finally, the novelist who Watanabe meets in the bar and who takes him out for a good time could be played by none other than Crispin Glover, one of our finest, strangest, and most underrated actors. I think he could bring a believability and quirkiness to the role that would suit the story very well.

Wow, I actually kind of want to see this now.


Congratulations, Alex!