Go, See, Talk's "12 Days of Kurosawa" Starts Today!!

Hello World, Marc Here:

I’ve been meaning to get into some serious Akira Kurosawa for a long time now. Having only seen Seven Samurai, I realize I am waaay light on my Kurosawa. So what better way to finish off the year/holiday season and become better versed in the work of such a legendary filmmaker (who would have turned 100 this year) than to than make an event around it? That said I am launching something called the 12 Days of Kurosawa.

Starting today I’m going to watch a different film of his (his 12 best) each day which will takes me right to December 24th. On Christmas Day, I’ll post a little blurb about all 12 films. Since I could only name about 3 of his movies, Marcello at Japan Cinema‘s Top 10 Akira Kurosawa Films helped me figure out where to start. For those of you interested, here’s the header for this even and line up below:

  • December 13 – Kagemusha…..(2.5 out of 4.0)
  • December 14 – Throne of Blood…..(3.75 out of 4.0)
  • December 15 – Ran…..(3.5 out of 4.0)
  • December 16 – Madadayo…..(3.0 out of 4.0)
  • December 17 – Ikiru…..(3.5 out of 4.0)
  • December 18 – Drunken Angel…..(3.5 out of 4.0)
  • December 19 – Stray Dog…..(3.75 out of 4.0)/High and Low….. (4.0 out of 4.0)
  • December 20 – Yojimbo…..(4.0 out of 4.0)
  • December 21 – Sanjuro…..(3.75 out of 4.0)
  • December 22 – Rashomon (2.75 out of 4.0)
  • December 23 – The Hidden Fortress (3.25 out of 4.0)
  • December 24 – Seven Samurai (4.0 out of 4.0)
  • December 25 – Christmas Day!!…oh, and the post with my short review of each film:)

Now I’m excited to start this but I don’t have to be the only one having fun. If anyone is interested in taking part, you don’t have to do all 12, you don’t even have to write a review. All this really is an attempt to enjoy some films you’ve never seen before. If you do want to join in, take the header above and place it in your post or share it with friends. Either way it should be exciting and I’ve been looking forward to this for a while now.

Here’s to 100 years of Kurosawa!! Can’t wait to let you know my findings (and fingers crossed that I like Yojimbo/Sanjuro since I bought the Criterion Blu Ray versions sight unseen). Stay tuned, there’s more to come!!


  • rtm

    Did you tell Univarn yet? He must be delighted! I’ve been curious to see which one of his movies to check out so I’ll wait for your reviews, Marc 🙂

    • Castor

      You certainly have a new best friend now: Univarn. I have only seen Rashomon and Seven Samurai so far, both cinematic milestones indeed.

      • MarcC

        One down 12 to go, saving his most popular for last. Looking forward to see patterns or similarities Kurosawa uses from film to film. Check back on the 25th to see the results…and tell Univarn too:)

    • MarcC

      I’ll be sure to let you know which I think are the best. That said I saw Seven Samurai a long time a go and while I thought it was good I was a little exhausted from the nearly 4 hour run time. But looking forward to seeing it again at the end of this. I bet I’ll have a new appreciation. Watched Kagemusa last night and it was really awesome! So far, so good:)

  • Klaus

    Looks like fun! and something I need to do, with only recently having watched The Hidden Fortress and Seven Samurai.

    • MarcC

      Hidden Fortress is coming up near the end and I’ve always wanted to see it since (from what people tell me) it was pretty much Lucas’ roadmap when creating Star Wars:P If it works out well I’ll do it again next year with another 12 I haven’t seen and you can join in if you want:)

      • Klaus

        …and I have no excuses now – I just received the AK 100 Criterion box set of 25 Kurosawa films for my birthday!

        Count me in! 🙂

        • MarcC

          Wow Klaus, now that’s one hell of a birthday present!! So far the only AK film I wasn’t thrilled with was Kagemusha (kind of a rough start to my marathon)…but so far I love everything else. Kurosawa sure likes to take his time with things I’ve noticed. A perfectionist, he frames everything very very well but sometimes things can drag because of it. Reached the halfway mark on this and looking forward to more Toshiro Mifune…such a great actor you can’t take your eyes off him.

          • Klaus

            I’m into day 3 of a planned 25 days of with my AK box set. I’ve decided to watch them chronologically – and so far I have not been disappointed.

            Having only seen Hidden Fortress and Seven Samurai prior to this, I was a little surprised at Kurosawa’s slow pacing – still, the first three films were brilliant.


            You’re “12 Days of Kurosawa” gave me the idea to ask for the box set. Thanks!

          • MarcC

            Wow, so if I tell you “I’m partial to Audi” then you tell Gerta you like Audi, will she get you a car for your next birthday?:P Now that’s mind control Klaus…you sir have a gift:)

            Nah, but I’m really glad I inspired you and I’m even happier to see you’re enjoying it all. It’ll definitely give you a new way at looking at film. You’re spot on, he sure likes the slow approach but it’s done because he sets things up with purpose. I admire that.

            I’ll keep any eye out for your reviews this month. Like I wrote in my wrap up, I’m going to do “12 Days” again at Christmas this year with the other 12 more I’ve never seen. Maybe you can tell me which to start with!

  • Univarn

    12 Days of Kurosawa… sounds oddly familiar hmmmm. On some level I wish I could do something like this with a fresh start on Kurosawa. When I did 23 Days of Kurosawa I had already seen 21 of the movies I reviewed (I’m now up to 24 – hopefully 25 by the end of this week, yes people I haven’t seen them all! :P)

    If you have a chance, or have a hard time getting one – I can’t even begin to recommend substituting in HIGH AND LOW enough. On my list of Kurosawa films it sits at #4 (behind SevenSamurai, Ikiru, and Yojimbo) but depending on my mood it could easily leap over any of them.

    Now I will end it here before I write a fifteen page marathon. Best of luck and enjoy (I’ll be watching you)

    • MarcC

      Well who cares about French Hens and the like at Christmas when you can have samurai and great old time films…and what is a Calling Bird anyway?:P I thought this would be a funner way to try something differnet for the holidays and get a break for the norm of Christmas Story/ Vacation/Wonderful Life.

      Thanks for the comment and Wow, funny enough just this afternoon I added High and Low from Netflix Instant. I was making sure my Netflix discs would be here in time to see the films in order and never having heard of it read nothing but great recommendations for it. If it’s got your praise then I know it’ll be awesome! I’ll throw it in right after Stray Dog and do a double feature of noir before I get back to ronin classics. Hope we agree on some…and welcome to G-S-T!

  • John

    My very first blog entry was about Kurosawa. That’s a heck of a list. I haven’t seen Kagemusha or MadMenYo, but I’ve seen (and loved) all the rest.

    This is just my two cents, but I’d swap out Drunken Angel for The Bad Sleep Well. Also, Red Beard needs to be shoehorned in there somehow.

    • MarcC

      Thanks for the comment John. I’ve been hard pressed to make time for the films on the list to keep schedule but I’ll make sure I watch Red Beard and The Bad Sleep Well afterwards. Glad you stopped by and welcome to G-S-T!