Only recently learned that BFI have a streaming service with a pretty good library of classic films, so I spent the two week trial period watching as many as I could.
Paths of Glory (1957) - *****
The Seventh Seal (1957) - ****Scanners (1981) - ***
Stephen Lack's acting is the highlight of this film. It feels like he walked out of an old FMV game.Paris, Texas (1984) - ****
This is on the cusp of being 5 stars and could very well become one after a rewatch, it's great. The 'Mirror' sequence is one of the most memorable things I've seen in a film.
The Silence (1963) - *8½ (1963) - **
I'm being overly harsh with this one, if I'm honest. It's undeniably an expertly made film and there are some very creative and funny moments, but I simply found myself disinterested for most of it. Probably a similar situation with The Silence above; I'm not sure I could point to anything I think it did especially wrong, I was just bored as strawberry float and waiting for it to be over.
Smiles of a Summer Night (1955) - ****
Eyes Without A Face (1960) - ***
Suspiria (1977) - ****Late Spring (1949) - ***
I wasn't massively engaged for the majority of this film but the last 30 minutes or so has some fantastic scenes and the ending is superb.
Tokyo Story (1953) - ****
Late Autumn (1960) - ***Akira Kurosawa films:
One Wonderful Sunday (1947) - *****
Drunken Angel (1948) - ****
Stray Dog (1949) - ****
Rashomon (1950) - ****
Ikiru (1952) - *****
Seven Samurai (1954) - *****
Throne of Blood (1957) - *****
The Lower Depths (1957) - ****
The Hidden Fortress (1958) - *****
Yojimbo (1961) - *****
Sanjuro (1962) - *****
High and Low (1963) - *****
Ran (1985) - *****
Holy gooseberry fool, the strawberry floating consistency there.
His films are better than the hype. Most directors are fortunate if they create a single masterpiece, and that's just the ones who are good. I count at least five from the above list and a handful of others I could probably make a strong case for; not only that but everything left over ranges from very good to excellent as well. You've got one of the best adventure films ever in Hidden Fortress, one of the best crime films in High and Low, a couple of the most entertaining action films ever in Yojimbo/Sanjuro, and perhaps the best adaptations of Shakespeare I've seen in Throne of Blood and Ran, the latter of which is also an amazing period epic.
Seven Samurai seems to unanimously be considered his best film, or at least the most popular, but Ikiru was the one that resonated with me the most. It is quite possibly my new favourite film of all time and I would consider it essential viewing for anybody.
The work is brilliant but it's also crazy how I could constantly feel the influence it all had on so many of my favourite films. Kurosawa is undoubtedly now my personal favourite director. Oh, and as far as long-running director/actor collaborations go, Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune or Takashi Shimura have to be among the greatest.
Alright, that's enough gushing.