The 80s birthed a golden age of production design and practical FX, and this personal project from Kurosawa, supported by Lucas and Spielberg, shows how such tools could be put to lyrical use. It's all hit and miss, but the effect has its own intoxication: we see a mind at work, and like analyzing our own dreams, we see links, meaning, and progression where none may exist. At 80, Kurosawa was trying something new.
Honestly the vibrant usage of color in Kurosawa's later films are not emphasized enough, since they are some of the most visually beautiful I've ever seen with this film being no exception. Uneven yet the last dream more than makes up for the slightly deficient dreams.
Ultimately the message of this film is no different than the one in Ran. Kurosawa is clearly outraged at the first signs of modern society and uses his lavish imagery to highlight the contrast between his personal ideas of harmony (the "ideal present") and chaos (our present). All of these ideas finely subdued under the guise of "dreams" in one of the most subtle films of his career. I liked it a lot.
This film is evocative of masterful style of directing developed over a great many number of years, an approach versed in communicating the lush landscapes of the Eastern world while at the same time displaying a skilled/developed attention to the acting style/blocking ,etc... This film is perhaps most wonderful in its ability to captivate the viewer without any regard for conventional use of narrative structure...
i looooved loved loved the first dreams. the second part of the movie wasn't so interesting but i still kept watching hoping for something dreamy to happen. the first dream is my absolute favorite! i can't think of anything else so emotionally moving in the whole cinema i've watched
That kind of weird mood of Kurosawa's childhood dreams just like my dreams when I was a child. So seeing this film first time when I was still in primary school feels like watching my own dreams projected on screen.