The Executioner: By the Neck By David Cairns
Designing for del Toro By Eric Skillman
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.