Monday, May 24, 2010


I recently watched (again) Dersu Uzala, Akira Kurosawa’s 1975 film taken from the 1923 memoir of Captain Vladimir Arseniev, a Russian surveyor who explored the mountains of eastern Siberia in the early 20th century. Dersu, a forest-dwelling hunter, comes upon the surveying party at their camp fire, sits down and lights his pipe, and in the years and field trips to come, saves their inexperienced hides more than once. It’s a swash-buckling wilderness adventure, the biography of a man with a great heart, and the chronicle of a friendship.

If you’ve been meaning to catch up on your Kurosawa, APL has an extensive collection of his movies on DVD. We also have critical essays, books on “the making of”, and biographies, including Kurosawa's own: Something Like an Autobiography.

Here are links to APL's copies of just Kurosawa's most famous films; search FindIt for even more (notice Dersu Uzala isn't here; until APL can order another copy, we can get it for you through interlibrary loan):

Kagemusha (The Shadow Warrior)

Throne of Blood
Seven Samurai
Kurosawa (a documentary about the director)

Kurosawa did not make impenetrable art-house films (not that there's anything wrong with that!); his movies are accessible and current; his subjects: change, perception, relationships, fear, greed--the way humans operate. If you're not familiar with Kurosawa, borrow a Kurosawa movie from APL and find out why he's so admired.


Bubba said...

Great post! Kurosawa is one of my favorite directors. "Dersu Uzala" is one of the few films by him I haven't seen yet. Now I know what I'm going to be looking for at the library today!

tim snead said...

Aaak! Our DVD is gone! Interlibrary loan should be able to get it to you in about two weeks. Sorry about that. It's truly worth the trouble, though.