Friday, February 20, 2009

Ever wonder what Akira Kurosawa's favorite films were? Wonder no more...

by Chris MaGee

Wildgrounds is a site that any Japanese film fan or Asian film fan for that matter would have a great time spending a night surfing through. Not only do they keep up to date with what's new in the world of Asian cinema, but they also post such gems as this: a list of Akira Kurosawa's Top 100 favorite films.

Where did this come from? Apparently it was published in a French magazine, Positif, but regardless where it came from it gives not only a fascinating glimpse at not only the films that influenced one of cinema's master filmmakers, but also films that he obviously just enjoyed sitting and watching... and it's a pretty eclectic mix. There are obvious picks like Robert Wiene's 1920 silent horror film "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" (above left) and John Ford's 1946 western "My Darling Clementine" (above center) as well as Sadao Yamanaka's early chanbara materpiece "Tange Sazen" and long time Kurosawa friend Ishiro Honda's 1954 "Gojira", but there are also some really odd picks. Like what? Well, how about Sidney Lumet's "Running on Empty" (1988) starring River Pheonix, Woody Allen's "Annie Hall" (1977) or Martin Scorsese's underappreciated 1983 film "King of Comedy" (above right)?

Check out the full list of Kurosawa's top picks here and then maybe pick and choose a few to look for at the video store this weekend.

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