Tag Archives: Toshiro Mifune

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.

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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.

  

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