Skip to main content

Rashomon, Mifune, Machiko

The Japanese left-leaning film critic Akira Iwasaki narrates a story connected to the filming of Rashomon. “While Kurosawa’s staff was at a loose end in its Kyoto hotel waiting for the completion of an open air set…they saw a 16 mm film of an expedition to Africa. One shot showed a lion staring at the cameraman from the edge of the jungle. “Look, Mifune!” cried Kurosawa. “ That’s how Tajomaru (the bandit) should be!” in that instant, he had seen the bandit Tajomaru as he was to appear in the film, peering out at the woman with piercing eyes from the bamboo grove.
Iwasaki also tells how they all went to see a film featuring a black panther at the local cinema on the recommendation of the actor who played the husband (Masayuki Mori). “When the panther at last appeared, Machiko Kyo, the actress who played the part of the young wife, covered her face with her hands in alarm. It was this gesture that crystallized in Kurosawa’s mind the image of Masago, confronted by two men fighting over her like wild beasts in the thicket.”

Mifune and Machiko Kyo in RashomonImage credit:found the poster at movietreasures.
Toshiro Mifune's raw physicality was later used to great effect by Hiroshi Inagaki for his Samurai Trilogy (1954-56).
Recommended read:
Film Criticism and The Study of Cinema In Japan: A Historical Survey By Kenji Iwamoto

More about Akira Iwasaki quoting above source:

[...] Akira Iwasaki (1903-1981), a militant Marxist. Iwasaki's first book, Eiga Geijyutsushi (History of Film Art), 1930, was honestly speaking, just a hodgepodge of undeveloped discussions (actually written as a series of article for a magazine named Shinseinen ( "New Youth")). The next book, Eiga to Shihonshugi (Cinema and Capitalism), 1931, revealed the author's characteristics. Before that, he had contributed two articles, "Senden Sendo Shudan to shiteno Eiga (Cinema as Means of Propaganda)" and "Eiga Ideology (Cinema and Ideology)" to an anthology, Eiga no Tenbo (A View of Proletarian Cinema), in 1930. The former article, which was translated into Chinese by Lu Hsun, a prominent Chinese novelist, shows Iwasaki's main interests clearly in his chapter titles such as "audience", "propaganda", "war", "patriotism", "religion", "bourgeoisie", "petit bourgeois", etc. His strong political attitude was completely foreign to most film critics and journalists who were previously carefree moviegoers. It caused his arrest, and was the only arrest of a film critic by the police and ideological police in wartime.


Popular posts from this blog

Famous Old Faces of Doordarshan

Some people recall the faces and some people recall the names. Here are images of some of the famous readers and presenters of Doordarshan down the years. If you recognize any of them, leave a comment. [ Update 1 : Most of the faces now have names thanks to helpful comments by olio-gallimaufry ] [ Update 2 : Included image of one of the earliest presenters, Gopal Kaul. Send in generously from personal collection by son, Ashutosh Kaul. Sept, 2010.] [ Major Update 3: Got a tip-off about a documentary about the famous faces of Doordarshan from the makers   of     “The Golden Trail , DD@50 :Special feature on Golden Jubilee of Doordarshan ” from which these caps were taken. I managed to catch the incredible documentary and am adding some more faces/name and part of the docu here. New ones can be found after the image of  Narotam Puri. 30th Oct, 2010]  Pratima Puri. Believed to be the first Doordarshan reader.

Indian Cigarette Vintage Ads

He put a cigarette in his mouth and, as a matter of silent routine, offered one to Gwyn, who said ‘No thanks.”Richard looked at him.”I packed it in.”"You what?”"I stopped. Three days ago. Cold. That’s it. You just make the life choice.” Richard looked up and inhaled needfully. He gazed at his cigarette. He didn’t really want to smoke it. He wanted to eat it. Almost the only thing that he still liked about Gwyn was that he still smoked…Paradoxically, he no longer wanted to give up smoking: what he wanted to do was take up smoking. Not so much to fill the little gaps between cigarettes with cigarettes (there wouldn’t be time, anyway) or to smoke two cigarettes at once. It was more that he felt the desire to smoke a cigarette even when he was smoking a cigarette. The need was and wasn’t being met… While it would always be true and fair to say that Richard felt like a cigarette, it would now be doubly true and fair to say it. He felt like a cigarette. And he felt like a cig

Woman by Arun Kolatkar

a woman may collect cats read thrillers her insomnia may seep through the great walls of history a lizard may paralyze her a sewing machine may bend her moonlight may intercept the bangle circling her wrist a woman my name her cats the circulating library may lend her new thrillers a spiked man may impale her a woman may add a new recipe to her scrapbook judiciously distilling her whimper the city lights may declare it null and void in a prodigious weather above a darkling woman surgeons may shoot up and explode in a weather fraught with forceps woman may damn man a woman may shave her legs regularly a woman may take up landscape painting a woman may poison twenty three cockroaches - a poem by Arun Kolatkar from year 1967. Translated by Adil Jussawalla. Found it in New Writing in India (1974) ed. by Adil Jussawalla.