No filmmaker, no storyteller has taught me more about movies, about fiction, or about life. His work is minimal and fractal simultaneously, reflecting the world even as it projects itself into it, creating depth from seemingly simplistic motifs.
He knew Toshiro Mifune was the motherfucker before anyone else did.
Every time someone approaches me about my Seven Samurai tattoo, I end up babbling a bit about why I have it and try to impart how elegantly how his most popular work thrillingly presents seven men that are willing give to so much for so little reward and how it codifies a moral stance that I would only hope to live up to, given the circumstances. It also involves swords and cutting dudes, which is something that also codifies a stance I hold.
If you can sit through Ikiru without losing by completely at the end, you’re probably at least 1/3 robot.
The early melodrama The Quiet Duel or the bloated, too-fanciful Dreams may be among his lesser works, but his fingerprints are all over the final product, making them worth a viewer’s respect and study.
Without Akira Kurosawa, I wouldn’t have the drive to tell stories that I do. He inspires me more than anyone else and I can’t imagine a world without his films and his spirit. He will always be The Master to me.
“One thing that distinguishes Akira Kurosawa is that he didn’t make a masterpiece or two masterpieces, he made, you know, eight masterpieces.” – Francis Ford Coppola