Monday, 25 July 2016

60s Reviews: High & Low

High & Low is a film with a truly exceptional concept: After a rich businessman quarrels with his fellow executives, who want him to help take over their company with the group's combination of shares. As the men leave, they threaten to oust him if he does not comply. The businessman reveals that he has purchased enough shares to take them all out- but has staked his entire fortune and all his family's possessions on it. Suddenly: Kidnappers call to say they have captured his child. 

However soon after, it is revealed that they got the wrong kid- snatching away the son of the businessman's servant. With no personal connection to the boy, the businessman must choose to either pay 30 million yen to save him- or ignore the problem and secure control of the company. If he pays- he loses everything to the money-lenders and his job to the greedy executives- his life ruined. If he does not, however, the boy is sure to die.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Top 15 Movie Deaths

Be they fun, freaky or fucking horrific- movie deaths are always an interesting topic to talk about. So: Why don't we share...?

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Kurosawa & Editing

Let’s talk about a simultaneous weakness and strength of Akira Kurosawa: His editing. The man personally edited several of his features (primarily his finest work) and thus both the praise and blame for this style falls directly on his shoulders. It’s a tricky beast to talk about, considering how much I admire many of his techniques- but Kurosawa commits a cardinal sin in often becoming tedious...

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Sixteen Walls of Scandal

Breaking the fourth-wall is an art I've grown pretty tired of in recent years. Deadpool satisfied me to no end several times over and its jokes were strong enough and 'natural' enough to hold up but other works like The Big Short and especially Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang have failed on multiple levels to keep their wall-breaking entertaining, rather than contrived or absurd. This is a weird direction to take this in but: Enter Akira Kurosawa's 1950 film Scandal

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Kurosawa & Framing

Happy 18th Birthday to me I guess! Thanks to all who've read thus far- now get ready for a clunky picture post that would work a hell of a lot better in video format. Over the next few months, that might just happen... ;) 
Ever since seeing Rashômon as a 'youngin- I've always adored Akira Kurosawa's framing. Before I was conscious of what it meant, or even that there was a pretty important concept we call 'cinematography'- I've loved the way he composes shots and scenes. Why? The power of action and re-action...

Thursday, 7 July 2016

80s Reviews: Ran

One of several Kurosawa Shakespeare adaptations, Ran follows the plot of King Lear save for the setting: In which an old lord entrusts his lands to his three sons and they slowly fall into chaos as the greedy young men vie for ultimate power. Honestly: I hated Ran the first time around. I hated the fact that I had waited quite literally years to find this final piece of Kurosawa’s ‘greatest work’ only to be greeted with an unengaging and overlong mess that had no direction or drive behind its story. That in mind, I recently went to see Ran at the BFI on its massive NFT1 screen as part of the ‘Shakespeare on Film’ season and everything I thought I knew about the film was blown out of the water. Well, almost everything…

Monday, 4 July 2016

Anatomy of a Moment: Ran

I think its important to note that there have been some incredible straight-forward battle scenes in cinema, ranging from the admittedly masterful Helms Deep from LotR: Two Towers to the thrilling battle on the Ice from Alexander Nevsky. but here at MMM whilst skill is doubtlessly appreciated- I believe the more 'profound' work of the filmic medium deserve a bigger share of the spotlight. Its all well and good being a brilliant battle- but what about going above and beyond, and how exactly do we achieve this? Today, I hope to find out...

Friday, 1 July 2016

My Journey with Akira Kurosawa

Its Kurosawa Month! The next ten posts will be dedicated to director Akira Kurosawa and track his style, work through a couple of his films in reviews and pick apart the best scenes he ever put on a screen. Most importantly, this is a personal month. Others might pick Orson Welles, Stanley Kubrick or Christopher Nolan (though trust me I've got a lot more of these planned) but Akira Kurosawa is an artist I admire above almost any other- and what better way to begin this celebration of his mastery than with a little anecdote on what he's done to my relationship with film over the years? So: Shall we dance...?