Toshiro Mifune played the iconic samurai (anti)hero in well over 100 films, but viewers often forget just what a unique and versatile artist he was. Oscar® winner Steven Okazaki’s documentary examines the legendary actor’s dominance in Japanese cinema's golden age and his influence on Western films, contextualizing his career in the swordfight film genre and the cataclysm of the Pacific Wars. Lured to Toho Studios by ambitious auteur Akira Kurosawa, Mifune amassed a brilliant filmography over 15 years, inspiring the likes of Sergio Leone, George Lucas, and Steven Spielberg. Packed with rare archival footage and clips from such masterpieces as Rashômon, Seven Samurai, and Inagaki's Samurai Trilogy, the film includes testimony from crew members, costars, and a swordfight choreographer “killed” by Mifune over 100 times. The documentary illuminates the collaborative alchemy between Kurosawa and Mifune, whose charisma was described as coming from the earth: like the ocean, boundless but turbulent, or like a caged tiger.
Guest in attendance 10/14 & 10/16:
Steven Okazaki (director)