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)
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.
A 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.
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.
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.
Mamoun will be at The European Film College, Ebeltoft, Denmark to give Masterclasses – 1oth & 11th October.
Mamoun Hassan will be at the European Film College in Ebeltoft, Denmark on the 2nd and 3rd of May, where he is providing his services as an assessor.
Mamoun will be evaluating the students’ final projects. They will also have a chance to enjoy one of his top-rated Movie Master Classes – on Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation. The thrice Academy-nominated 1974 thriller starring Gene Hackman will be discussed by Mamoun, with help from the students. The event will be recorded by the European Film College.
See here for more about Mamoun at the European Film College.