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Fungah!
Apr 30, 2011



This week's Staff Pick:

Red Beard (1965)



Director: Akira Kurosawa
Starring: Toshiro Mifune, Yuzo Kayama, Tsutomu Yamazaki

Summary: "In 19th century Japan, a rough tempered yet charitable town doctor trains a young intern."

Akira Kurosawa is probably my favorite director of all time, and that's not even close to a controversial statement. He had an incredible talent and a level of perfectionism and a lust for a certain type of realism that's difficult to imagine existing in modern cinema (one of the most famous stories about him is that he decided that fake arrows wouldn't look convincing enough at the end of Throne of Blood, so he hired skilled archers to fire actual arrows at Mifune) and found the perfect leading man for his style early in his career (Toshiro Mifune, who played Sanjuro in Yojimbo, Kikuchiyo in Seven Samurai, and the bandit in Rashomon). They made 16 movies together, and both said separately that they were the greatest movies of their respective careers.

Red Beard is the last of those movies. I'm going off of loose summaries here because I haven't seen it (which is why I picked it), so if I gently caress up any of the details please bear with me. The movie centers on an arrogant young doctor named Noboru Yasumoto (Yuzo Kayama) who is forced to intern at a medical clinic devoted to treating the poor of rural Japan and resents everything about the posting. The director of the clinic is Dr. Niide (Mifune), who is gruff, abrupt, patient, and dedicated to the people he cares for. By all accounts this is one of Kurosawa and Mifune's best movies, so just loving check it out. It's in the Criterion Collection, it's up on Filmstruck, and it's probably some other places if you want to find it there.

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From the Staff Picks Archives
January 31st, 2017: Cure
February 7th, 2017: Westfront 1918
February 14th, 2017: John Wick
February 21st, 2017: Red Sorghum
February 28th, 2017: God of Gamblers
March 7th, 2017: The Autopsy of Jane Doe
March 14th, 2017: Perfect Blue
March 21st, 2017: Spring Breakers
March 28th, 2017: Cemetery of Splendor
April 20th, 2017: Parallax View
April 27th, 2017: Right Now, Wrong Then
May 02th 2017: Stalker
May 12th 2017: White God

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In Training
Jun 28, 2008



This is a real cool movie, I watched it sometime last year and I'll probably do it again. Mifune is basically Peace Walker-era Big Boss in this movie.

Plutonis
Mar 25, 2011



Gonna watch this on the weekend since it's a 180 mins one!

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