Akira Kurosawa (1910-1998)

“Japanese film director. Kurosawa gained international recognition with Rashomon (1950), which won first prize at the Venice Film Festival in 1951. Other noteworthy films include Ikiru (1952), Seven Samurai (1954; remade by Hollywood as The Magnificent Seven, 1960), Throne of Blood (1957; an adaptation of Macbeth), Yojimbo (1961), Dersu Uzala (1975), Kagemusha (1980) and Ran (1985; an adaptation of King Lear), which received the National Film Critics Award for best picture of 1985.

Widely recognized as one of the greatest directors of all time, Kurosawa helped introduce Japanese film—and Japan itself—to the world. His distinctive ‘international’ style is immediately accessible to foreign audiences, whether the subject is rampaging Samurai or corporate intrigue. In this sense, his work many contrasted with the more understated, ‘quintessentially Japanese’ films of his great contemporary, Ozu Yasujiro.”

Excerpted from: Murphy, Bruce, ed. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, Fourth Edition. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.

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