Re: RARA-AVIS: Kurosawa and English subtitles

From: Mark Sullivan (
Date: 06 Jul 2004

"Yojimbo is most definitely an adaptation of Red Harvest. But with samurai. Pretty good movie, too. Leans a little more towards the comedic than Hammett's novel does, but still effective and fun. The sequel, Sanjuro, which is a reprise of the character from Yojimbo but has no direct connection to Hammett, is even more comic and considerably less successful."

David, it sounds like you know a whole hell of a lot more about Japanese films than I do (not that that takes much), so since you just mentioned the second Yojimbo, have you seen Zatoichi Meets Yojimbo? Any good?

"But I think his samurai pictures are piffle in comparison with his more explicit noirs like "Stray Dog" and "The Bad Sleep Well". "High and Low" is pretty good too."

Bad Sleep Well. That's the title I couldn't remember in my earlier post on Kurosawa films. Very good corporate noir. And Kurosawa's use of B & W in that films rivals Orson Welles.

Have you seen Blackmail is My Life? Sounds very, very noir. Looks like I may have to get that Yakuza movie book you recommended a while ago.

Bringing it back to lit, has anyone read The Ruined Map by Kobo Abe
(author of Woman in the Dunes)? It involves a detective, looks very stragne, but intriguing.


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