Mifune: The Last Samurai



Lark Theatre Fri, Oct 14, 2016 6:15 PM
Century Larkspur 2 Sun, Oct 16, 2016 2:15 PM
Film Info
Section:Valley of the Docs
Running Time:80 min.
Director:Steven Okazaki
Producer:Toshiaki Nakazawa
Yukie Kito
Tôichirô Shiraishi
Cinematographer:Tohru Hina
Yasuyuki Ishikawa
Editor:Steven Okazaki
Print Source:Celluloid Dreams
Note Writer:Frako Loden


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)

Sponsored by:

Thanks to our Community Partner the Center for Asian American Media and  www.EatDrinkFilms.com

Additional Information

Director Steven Okazaki began making films in 1976 and has directed countless documentary films, including Days of Waiting, which won the 1991 Academy Award for Documentary Short Subject, and White Light/Black Rain, which won a 2008 Emmy Award. Other films include Unfinished Business (1985), which was nominated for an Academy Award, as well as The Mushroom Club (2006), which was also nominated for an Academy Award.