The Emperor And The Wolf:
The Films Of Akira Kurosawa & Toshiro Mifune

Sundays & Mondays,
September 15 - October 20, 2002

"A young man was reeling around the room in a violent frenzy. It was as frightening as watching a wounded or trapped savage beast trying to break loose. I stood transfixed. But it turned out that this young man was not really in a rage, but he had drawn 'anger' as the emotion he had to express in his screen test. He was acting. When he finished his performance, he regained his chair with an exhausted demeanor, flopped down and began to glare menacingly at the judges... He was, of course, Mifune Toshiro." - Akira Kurosawa describing his first encounter with Toshiro Mifune in Something Like An Autobiography.

Few actor/director combos in the history of cinema have been as potent or as memorable as the one formed by Akira Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune. Post-war Japan's answer to Scorcese and De Niro made 16 films together and most of them are legendary. The Brattle is proud to host the bulk of a retrospective that features brand new 35mm prints with newly translated subtitles courtesy of Cowboy Pictures. Eleven of the duos best works are here, from the exciting action of YOJIMBO to the brooding tension of HIGH AND LOW. While Kurosawa's range is well known, Mifune is often pigeonholed as a gangster or a samurai, but he was a remarkably sensitive performer. As evidenced by his roles as a man driven insane by his fear of Nuclear War in I LIVE IN FEAR and as a dedicated rural doctor in RED BEARD. Also included in this series are Mifune & Kurosawa's first film together (DRUNKEN ANGEL), Kurosawa's Macbeth (THRONE OF BLOOD), inspirations for Star Wars (HIDDEN FORTRESS) and Spaghetti Westerns (SANJURO), and more!

A brand new print of Mifune and Kurosawa's best known film together, The Seven Samurai, will premiere for a one week run at Arlington's Regent Theatre on September 6.

Sunday, September 15 - Monday, September 16, 2002

New 35mm Print!
at 7:30 Sunday matinee at 3:00
1961 Akira Kurosawa w/Toshiro Mifune, Kamatari Fujiwara, Takashi Shimura

A lone samurai wanders into a town divided between two warring crime gangs and decides to hire himself out to both sides, playing them against each other. One of Kurosawa's most popular films, remade three years later as A Fistful of Dollars with Eastwood in Mifune's title role.

New 35mm Print!
at 5:30, 9:45 Sunday matinee at 1:00
1962 Kurosawa w/ Mifune, Tatsuya Nakadai, Keiju Kobayashi

Mifune's unkempt hero returns in this unofficial sequel to YOJIMBO. This time, he helps a group of inexperienced samurai save their chamberlain and his family from an evil superintendent. The comic interactions between the awkward, straightlaced youth and the gruff, outspoken Mifune are classic.

Sunday, September 22 - Monday, September 23, 2002

New 35mm Print!
Stray Dog
at 7:15 Sunday matinee at 2:45
1949 Kurosawa w/ Mifune, Takashi Shimura

Kurosawa was a noted master of film noir. Here, Mifune is a green detective whose gun is stolen by a pickpocket. Racked with guilt, he teams with a senior officer and hunts the sweltering streets for the person using his pilfered weapon.

New 35mm Print!
Drunken Angel
at 5:15, 9:45 Sunday matinee at 12:45
1948 Kurosawa w/ Mifune, Takashi Shimura

Mifune first became famous for this portrayal of a young gangster who goes to a local doctor to have a bullet removed from his hand. The doctor discovers that the criminal suffers from tuberculosis, and insists on treating his disease. Like STRAY DOG, DRUNKEN ANGEL is not only a classic noir, but a study of the violent social structure of postwar Japan.

Sunday, September 29 - Monday, September 30, 2002

New 35mm Print!
Throne of Blood
at 5:15, 7:30, 9:45 Sunday matinee at 3:00
1957 Kurosawa w/Mifune, Isuzu Yamada, Takashi Shimura, Minoru Chiaki

Set in medieval Japan, Kurosawa's take on Shakespeare's Macbeth is inundated with the spirit of the Noh theatrical tradition. Yamada's performance as Asaji (this film's Lady Macbeth) is truly terrifying, the visual depiction of one of the story's prophecies is remarkable, and Mifune's murderous general meets his end in one of cinema's most iconic images.

Sunday, October 6 - Monday, October 7, 2002

New 35mm Print!
Hidden Fortress
at 4:15, 7:00, 9:45
1958 Kurosawa w/Mifune, Minoru Chiaki, Kamatari Fujiwara, Susumi Fujita

A princess and her fortune are on the run from her family's enemy, and she is accompanied by her protector general (Mifune) and two bumbling farmers. George Lucas has said that this grand adventure served as the inspiration for Star Wars, and it's definitely more entertaining than the last two episodes of that series have been!

Sunday, October 13, 2002

New 35mm Print!
Red Beard
at 1:00, 4:30, 8:00
1965 Akira Kurosawa w/Mifune, Yuzo Kayama

In 19th century Edo, a young medical intern, hoping to be assigned to the royal court, is instead sent to work at a public clinic. He ignores the hospital's rules and procedures, and clashes with the clinic's head, Red Beard (Mifune), but soon discovers that he has much to learn about medicine, and about life and death as well.

Monday, October 14, 2002

New 35mm Print!
The Bad Sleep Well
at 1:30, 7:00
1960 Akira Kurosawa w/Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Takeshi Kato

In this tale of corruption and revenge, Mifune's Mr. Nishi marries the daughter of his employer, the president of a wealthy corporation. The corporation is being investigated on bribery charges, and the death of an employee five years ago is beginning to haunt its highest executivesÑand Nishi is involved in bringing the truth to light.

New 35mm Print!
I Live in Fear
at 4:30, 10:00
1955 Akira Kurosawa w/Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Minoru Chiaki

Kurosawa ages his leading man about three decades, having him play an elderly foundry owner who, terrified by the threat of nuclear annihilation, tries to liquidate his business and convince his family to move with him to South America. His family, in response, takes him to court to have him declared incompetent. An acting tour-de-force by Mifune.

Sunday, October 20 - Monday, October 21, 2002

New 35mm Print!
at 7:15 Sunday matinee at 2:15
1950 Kurosawa w/Mifune, Takashi Shimura

A bandit assaults a woman, and her husband ends up dead. When witnesses and those involved in the incident relate what happened, however, their accounts are all substantially different. Mifune is manic and disturbing as the frenzied bandit. An astounding success upon its release, RASHOMON was a watershed release for Japanese film reaching an interntational audience.

New 35mm Print!
High & Low
at 4:15, 9:15
1963 Kurosawa w/Mifune, Yutaka Sada, Takashi Shimura

A rich executive (Mifune) amasses enough money to execute a hostile takeover of his companyÑand then his chauffeur's son is mistakenly kidnapped instead of his own. Split in half between the "high" environment of the executive's house and the "low" city streets where the search for the kidnapper takes place, this is one of Kurosawa's most gripping works, and one of Mifune's best performances.

©The Brattle Film Foundation. All rights reserved worldwide. The Brattle Film Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit, supported in part by a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.