Akira Kurosawa Research Paper

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Akira Kurosawa was the best-known Japanese film director whose films, particularly Seven Samurai (1954), heavily affected the American Western movies in 20th century. Rashomon (1950) and Yojimbo (1961) are also good examples of his works that had influences on the Western movie production. After his debut as the Japanese Western-movie director, many Western movie directors, even famous ones, started utilizing some of Kurosawa’s techniques and or styles in their movies, and one of his films even lead to the development of a new sort of Western movie called Spaghetti Western. In this research paper, the question: how and to what extent the films of Akira Kurosawa have influenced the American Western movies, will be determined, introducing his…show more content…
The result was not only a terrific success but also a vastly influential film, with its premise eventually retranslated back into the western and gangster genres, most memorably as A Fistful of Dollars (1964) by Sergio Leone. The screenplay for Yojimbo borrowed heavily from American crime novelist, Dashiell Hammett, notably from his works The Glass Key and Red Harvest. In terms of screen composition, it owed a huge debt to Westerns by John Ford and others, with its showdowns on the dusty, wide street of a lawless town. In samurai lore, it marks a clash between the traditional and the modern, pitting its sword-wielding antihero against a pistol-packing villain. That antihero, a ronin without a master or even a name, was something new in samurai movies. Kurosawa was meticulous about the production design. The construction of an entire town from scratch made Yojimbo his most expensive film yet. The film was unusually violent by the standards of the day; the movie is not shy about showing severed limbs, and it's one of the first to use gruesomely realistic sound effects for the sword's blade slicing through flesh. Yojimbo met similar success around the world, catapulting Kurosawa to new levels of international fame. It earned an Oscar nomination for Best Costumes. A Fistful of Dollars was unauthorized, leading to a lawsuit that kept the film out of North American theaters for three years. Nonetheless, 'Fistful' launched a whole genre of revisionist Westerns and made the careers of both its director and the star who played its nameless antihero. At home, Yojimbo inspired a wave of "cruel films," known for their similarly black-comic tone and cavalier approach to violence. Yojimbo's influence continued to be felt far and wide. There was an authorized remake, Walter Hill's Last Man Standing (1996), which

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