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K.'s avatar

K.

Andrei Tarkovsky on Akira Kurosawa & "Seven Samurai" - "The main thing is his modern characters, modern problems, and the modern method of studying life. That's self-evident. He never set himself the task of copying the life of samurai of a certain historical period. One perceives his Middle Ages without any exoticism. He is such a profound artist, he shows such psychological connections, such a development of characters and plot-lines, such a vision of the world, that his narrative about the Middle Ages constantly makes you think about today's world. You feel that you somehow already know all of this. It's the principle of recognition. That's the greatest quality of art according to Aristotle. When you recognize something personal in the work, something sacred, you experience joy. Kurosawa is also interesting for his social analysis of history. If you compare The Seven Samurai and The Magnificent Seven, which share the same plot, it is especially visible. Kurosawa's historicism is based on characters. Moreover, these are not conventional characters, but ones which issue from the circumstances of the protagonists' life. Each samurai has his own individual fate, although each possesses nothing except the ability to use a sword; and, not wanting to do anything else because of his pride, each finds himself serving peasants to defend them from the enemy. There is a text of pure genius at the end of the film, remember, over the grave, when they plant rice: samurai come and go, but the nation remains. That's the idea. They are like the wind, blown this way and that. Only the peasants remain on the earth."
8 years 2 months ago
Dieguito's avatar

Dieguito

Masterpiece from Kurosawa. Amazing acting performances from ToshirĂ´ Mifune and Takashi Shimura. Great soundtrack and cinematography! One of my favorites!
12 years 9 months ago
MrArmistice's avatar

MrArmistice

Frankly, I'm very surprised by the comments here. I'm not going to change any minds on here, but I will say that it's length is justified in its ability to build a complete character arc for each character, and even many of the bit players. Taking the time to ensure that your audience can identify and empathize with the characters is something most action movies fail to do.
13 years 3 months ago
mespinei's avatar

mespinei

Before watching this movie I was afraid it's length would bore me... Still, after watching it I discovered I wouldn't take a single second; Kurosawa truly shows it's maestry taking his time in developing each character in a very subtle way, showing throughout the movie their unique personalities and acomplishing something very rare in foreign movies (specially Asian, since it is more difficult to quickly identify faces), which is recognizing, understanding and developing a bond with each one of the Seven Samurais (probably the choice of devoting a hole hour to the search of the Samurais is key in reaching this). I disagree with a comment below which says the last hour dedicated to the battle is excessive, as I felt it was vital in explaining how this "precarious" group managed to achieve that result, as it was focused a lot on strategy, and I do wonder if hollywood has numbed us into just assuming impossible battles will be won anyway, taking all the thrill out of them. Still it was the reflection done by Kambei Shimada in the final scene which, in my opinion, made this movie a great unforgettable classic! I take my hat off for Master Kurosawa!
11 years 5 months ago
OldBoyFTW's avatar

OldBoyFTW

I don't think I've ever felt so good checking that little box in the right top corner than now, for this perfection of a film that is Seven Samurai.
11 years 10 months ago
missjazzage's avatar

missjazzage

I didn't want this to end.
10 years 5 months ago
thestaulker's avatar

thestaulker

This film is way ahead for its time. Recommend
12 years 2 months ago
mnms's avatar

mnms

I think its deplorable that people could call this film 'too long' or 'boring.' Quite frankly it says a lot for how we are bred to enjoy films nowadays with pieces ending in under 2 hours.
This film dedicates time to its story and its characters and builds a completely unique world that I still feel a part of long after the film has finished. Every moment is crucial to the audience's understanding of the story and every character is an individual masterpiece of loving and artistic creation.
This film is simply perfect; its moving, funny, action-packed, romantic, intelligent, insightful and inspiring.
12 years 6 months ago
jacktrewin's avatar

jacktrewin

the delineation of character is among other things hugely impressive. it is harder to get to know characters in foreign films but here kurosawa creates many different characters each with their own ambition and personalities, making the whole film a delight to watch and see how each one will react to certain circumstances.
would love to see it again
12 years 11 months ago
Shazaaaam's avatar

Shazaaaam

I'm surprised to see all the "meh"s on here. For a movie of this length, the script's amazingly tight; hardly a line of dialogue goes by that isn't setting up for a future incident or event. I've seen in 10-15 times and still never been bored with it.
13 years 7 months ago
Forzelius's avatar

Forzelius

Ever want to witness 3,5 hours just fly by? Watch this.
3 years 8 months ago
Siskoid's avatar

Siskoid

I've now seen Seven Samurai a few times, and I've finally stopped trying to match each swordsman with one of the gunslingers in The Magnificent Seven. That's progress right? The truth is, the western doesn't actually have a one-to-one correspondence with Kurosawa's classic. For my part, I keep finding new things in the film every time I watch. It's so FULL. Full of action, character, humor, tragedy, directorial flair, memorable shots and music cues. It's well worth its reputation. It struck me this week how much it fits my socio-political spectrum too. Like Star Trek (if you'll permit the comparison), it presents a socialist ideal firmly grounded in the importance of individuality, with lordless ronin helping a farming town well below their own class. Not that it's that simple. Kurosawa can be critical and even cynical of his own apparent stance. Ultimately, it's about the characters as much as it is about Japanese society (feudal and of his day). Or enjoy it as a grand drama full of action.
10 years 5 months ago
dpanter's avatar

dpanter

An epic deserves to be viewed with patience. This is not your average Hollywood rush job that has to finish within the ADHD-crowds brief attention span.

One of my all time favorites.
12 years 9 months ago
DisneyStitch's avatar

DisneyStitch

The one that started it all. Seven Samurai would ripple down through the ages of cinema in seemingly unbelievable ways, from Star Wars to Ocean's 11 to A Bug's Life, they all owe something to this spectacular film. Kurosawa knows his craft well, and doesn't waste any moment of the film's colossal runtime. The characters all manage to be built up, and the action scenes are fierce.
3 years 9 months ago
gekarlt's avatar

gekarlt

Akira Kurosawa at his best!
8 years 8 months ago

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