Produced with assistance from George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, Dreams is an omnibus of eight short stories and parables that spell enchantment at every turn. The opening story, “Sun Under the Rain,” emerges from director Akira Kurosawa’s personal memories, as a child (whose house is modeled after Kurosawa’s childhood home in Koishikawa) witnesses a fox’s wedding ceremony in a magical forest. The Garden of Eden motif continues in “The Peach Orchard,” while Lucas’s ILM special effects group shines in the glorious “Crows” segment, in which an art admirer finds himself living within the paintings of Van Gogh (played with concentrated energy by Kurosawa enthusiast Martin Scorsese). In the idyllic closing fable, “The Village of the Watermills,” a centenarian claims that “people nowadays have forgotten that they are also part of nature.” The equally wise Kurosawa reinforces the old man’s claim through these vivid but ultimately life-affirming tableaux. –Kevin Mulhall
The son of an army officer, Kurosawa studied art before gravitating to film as a means of supporting himself. He served seven years as an assistant to director Kajiro Yamamoto before he began his own directorial career with Sanshiro Sugata (1943), a film about the 19th century struggle for supremacy between adherents of judo and jujitsu that so impressed the military government, he was prevailed upon to make a sequel (Sanshiro Sugata Part Two). Following the end of World War II, Kurosawa’s career gathered speed with a series of films that cut across all genres, from crime thrillers to period dramas. Among the latter, his Rashomon (1951) became the first postwar Japanese film to find wide favor with Western audiences. It was Kurosawa’s The Seven Samurai (1954), however, that made the largest impact of any of his movies outside of Japan. Although heavily cut for its original release, this three-hour-plus medieval action drama, shot with painstaking… read more
Ishirō Honda (本多 猪四郎 Honda Ishirō), sometimes miscredited in foreign releases as “Inoshiro Honda”, (May 7, 1911 in Yamagata Prefecture – February 28, 1993) was a Japanese film director. His early film career included working as an assistant under the famed director, Akira Kurosawa.
Alongside his film duties, he was drafted into the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II in China and was a prisoner there when the war ended.
He is probably best known for his tokusatsu films including several entries in the Godzilla series. He directed the original Godzilla along with King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962), Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964), All Monsters Attack (1969) and many others until 1975. He also directed such tokusatsu films such as Rodan and Mothra. His last feature film was Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975).
The following years were spent directing various sci-fi TV shows. The superhero shows Return of Ultraman, Mirrorman and Zone Fighter were also his. In addition, he… read more
8 Short films that don't connect at all but deal with man's relationship with the environment. These films resemble dreams that Kurosawa once had and like dreams they all have surreal visual feel to them. The one thing that really stood out for me was the music, minimalistic and very beautiful. Martin Scorsese plays Vincent Van Gogh in one of the short films called "Crows" and is one of my favourites of the 8 stories told.