Tag Archives: Akira Kurosawa

The 100 Greatest Foreign Films courtesy of BBC Culture – Number one? Seven Samurai

Seven samurai posterThree years ago, the BBC polled critics across the world to identify the greatest 100 American Movies, followed by Films of the 21st century and Comedies.

Finally, the spotlight fell on ‘Foreign’ films – those not made in the English language. 209 critics from 43 countries took part.

Bicycle thieves poster

The results were not a surprise to Mamoun, who has given and recorded masterclasses on and introductions to many of the films on the list, particularly the first three.

Above all, Mamoun has given masterclasses on The Seven Samurai in many different countries: from Sydney in Australia to Zimbabwe in Africa; the UK, Greece, Denmark, Norway and Bosnia in Europe; Mumbai in India; Colombo in Sri Lanka; Havana in Cuba; Santiago in Chile, South America; and in California, where the masterclass was given in three different venues (UCLA Extension, CalArts, The Psychoanalytic Centre for California).

Tokyo Story posterA 65-minute version (edited from a four-hour session) was recorded for Channel 4’s series Movie Masterclass. Kurosawa productions acquired the licence for the Channel 4 programme, which was screened on Japan’s NHK.

Mamoun’s brief ‘Encounter with Kurosawacan be read here.

 

 

 

 

 

The BBC top 10 list:

10. La Dolce Vita (Federico Fellini, 1960)
9. In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-wai, 2000)
8. The 400 Blows (François Truffaut, 1959)
7. 8 1/2 (Federico Fellini, 1963)
6. Persona (Ingmar Bergman, 1966)
5. The Rules of the Game (Jean Renoir, 1939)
4. Rashomon (Akira Kurosawa, 1950)
3. Tokyo Story (Yasujirô Ozu, 1953)
2. Bicycle Thieves (Vittorio de Sica, 1948)
1. Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa, 1954)

In the top twenty foreign films are Pather Panchali (Satyajit Ray, 1955) and The Battle of Algiers (Gillo Pontecorvo, 1966).

Mamoun has contributed a 45-minute video  to Criterion’s amazing restoration of The Apu Trilogy.

Mamoun produced The Battle of Algiers for C4’s Movie Masterclass, and he presented it as a masterclass at the BFI Southbank. The film was one of more than 25 films that he has presented at the European Film College, including Ozu’s Tokyo Story and de Sica’s Bicycle Thieves.

Masterclasses and introductions can be accessed on Vimeo.

The full list of films can be seen here

 

Leave a comment

Filed under News - Masterclasses

Movie Masterclass Revisited – Stray Dog

On June 13 2013, we posted an introduction to Kurosawa’s STRAY DOG at the National Film & Television School.
At the time the question of the use of clips was not clear and we chose not to risk infringing copyright.

We now include clips under the conditions of ‘Fair Dealing’ in the UK, or ‘Fair Use’ in the US.

So we are here with the first, ‘Revisit’ to Movie Masterclass introductions.

Leave a comment

Filed under Lecturing, News - Masterclasses

Movie Masterclass – Ozu’s ‘Tokyo Story’ at the European Film College

We are pleased to share Mamoun’s masterclass on Ozu’s masterpiece, Tokyo Story. Mamoun has revisited this film several times, but this most recent visit at the European Film College in Ebeltoft allowed him to discuss the film with the students in detail.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Lecturing, News - Masterclasses

An introduction to Stray Dog filmed at National Film and Television School

Mamoun Hassan and Dominic Power I paid a visit to the National Film Television School in Beaconsfield last week where I introduced Kurosawa’s Stray Dog‘  to students as part of the Screen Arts course led by Dominic Power (pictured left with me). The movie genre is ‘Gendai Geki’ – which means modern (i.e. set in post-1868 Japan). It deals with crime and social issues in post-war Tokyo under American occupation.

In particular I wanted to highlight composer Hayazaka’s  unusual working relationship with Kurosawa and alert the students to how his use of sound contributes to story-telling.   You can watch a film of the introduction here:

Mamoun’s introduction to Stray Dog, 1949, Dir. Akira Kurosawa –   recorded at the National Film and Television School.

Stray Dog, Censorship and the Occupation of Japan (1945 – 1952)

Still from Stray Dog titles showing censor's number

Stray Dog title sequence

In the title sequence of Stray Dog, the opening shot of a dog’s head, open mouthed and panting, is superimposed by the censor’s number as having been approved. It is important to know that the American Censor forbade any reference whatsoever, good or bad, to the Allied Occupation of Japan. I have written about its particular relevance to the film in an article published in The Final Cut –  the Yearbook of the European Film College in 2005. You can read it here.

With Dominic Power at NFTVSA while ago Dominic invited me to  introduce Kurosawa’s The Bad Sleep Well‘, another Gendai Geki film, as part of Passport to Cinema – the NFTS joint programme with the National Fim Theatre. (The story has references to Hamlet, played by Toshiro Mifune, and  centres on corporate corruption.)

I’d also like to thank Lee Evans for his video and stills photographic services at the event.

Leave a comment

by | June 24, 2013 · 9:51 pm

Introduction to Kurosawa’s ‘Stray Dog’ at NFTS

Stray Dog DVD CoverDominic Power,  the  Head of Screen Arts at the world- leading National Film and Television School (NFTS) has asked Mamoun Hassan to introduce Stray Dog – directed by Akira Kurosawa – to NFTS students on Monday 17 June.

The Japanese police thriller is set in the gangster underworld of 1940’s Occupied Tokyo.  It was the film that catapulted the dynamic Japanese actor Toshiro Mifune to world fame. 

Kurosawa’s contemporary subjects (including Stray Dog, Ikiru and High and Low) have been shaded by his Samurai films although they stand comparison. Stray Dog influenced Dirty Harry in which Clint Eastwood’s character also has his gun stolen and used for murder.

Mamoun has previously introduced Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood at British Film Institute (BFI), and led his Movie Masterclass on The Seven Samurai at films schools around the world.

View the movie details online at the BFI Shop.

  

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Hayazaka Masterclass at the European Film College postponed

Film maker and educator Mamoun Hassan recently had to postpone his live Movie Masterclass  on composer Fumio Hayazaka: instead the invited audience of students at the European Film College in Denmark requested more time to work with him one to one on their final pieces!

Mamoun nevertheless intends to explore the subject in depth with a Masterclass audience at some point in the future. This will be the first Masterclass dedicated to a film score.

Leave a comment

Filed under Lecturing, News, News - Masterclasses

Mamoun returns to the European Film College,

Mamoun is providing editing consultancy to the graduating students at the European Film College, Ebeltoft, Denmark, from April 18 – 23. The students present final projects at the end of the 8 ½ month course.

He is also doing a masterclass on Carol Reed‘s Third Man on the 19th, and another masterclass on composer Fumio Hayazaka, one of Cinema’s most original and influential figures and close collaborator with Akira Kurosawa. This is the first masterclass that focusses on a composer – a new direction for masterclasses.

Leave a comment

Filed under Lecturing, News, News - Masterclasses