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2,655 Ratings


Akira Kurosawa's Dreams

Directed by Akira Kurosawa
United States, Japan, 1990
Fantasy, Drama, Anthology


Renowned filmmaker Akira Kurosawa directs eight different loosely-related vignettes based on his own dreams, including one which casts Martin Scorsese as Vincent Van Gogh.

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Dreams Directed by Akira Kurosawa
Following the rich and despairing pageantry of Ran, his epic reimagining of King Lear, Akira Kurosawa opted to turn inward, resulting in Dreams, an intimate anthology film that finds its raw source material in the director’s own inner experience.
December 07, 2016
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Watching it today, however, for all its purported serenity, the film’s effect is deeply unnerving. Its prevailing mood feels more like one of helplessness—of humans at the mercy of a mercurial world and the consequences of their own carelessness. It is at once one of the calmest and one of the most terrifying works of Kurosawa’s career.
November 15, 2016
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Like the magic lantern that evokes childhood’s fascination with moving images in the films of Ingmar Bergman, the whole of Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams seems to take us back to the medium’s infancy, to its primal pleasures and terrors. It is a film in which the shot, the sequence, and every element of cinematic storytelling feel newly invented.
May 21, 2015
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What are people saying?

  • dionysus67's rating of the film Dreams

    Kurosawa's last major accomplishment is an unashamedly personal statement and testament, one that makes splendid use of a wide color palette. The latter picks up from the doom of Ran and Kagemusha, adding blossoming fields and pristine villages. Its limitations reside in the persistent didactism in some of the episodes and the artificiality that is enhanced by the US production values. Yet, his dreams are ours too...

  • Lights in the Dusk's rating of the film Dreams

    While it might have benefited from a more cohesive through-line, Kurosawa's film nonetheless charts a startling & often surrealist journey from birth to death. Although the instalments are separate & episodic, they do add up to a singular narrative commentary on the cycle of life; leading the viewer through recollections past & present; between dream & memory; to themes of war, destruction, nature & creative pursuit.

  • Duncan Gray's rating of the film Dreams

    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.

  • apexa's rating of the film Dreams

    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.

  • Francisco R.'s rating of the film 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.

  • HEDONIST's rating of the film Dreams

    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...

  • emichan's rating of the film Dreams

    the movie itself is based on the actual dreams of the film director... why haven't i thought of this idea before?!

  • VENIMOS LOS JODIMOS Y NOS FUIMOS's rating of the film Dreams

    Después de la apocalíptica Ran, pocos imaginaban que el director daría una nueva esperanza al género humano con esta fantasía ecológica, producida bajo los auspicios de los incondicionales gringos de Kurosawa, George Lucas y Steven Spielberg. Quizá se trate de un trabajo desigual a ratos, pero cuenta con momentos verdaderamente fascinantes. Este hubiese sido el film ideal para cerrar con broche de oro su carrera.

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