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Feature Four Frames

Heat as a psychological and aesthetic motif: Akira Kurosawa’s Stray Dog

Right from his directorial debut Sanshiro Sugata (Sugata Sanshiro, 1943), climate phenomena played an essential role in the films of Akira Kurosawa. In Sanshiro Sugata, for example, it is the wind blowing through the pampas grass, reinforcing the tension in the climactic fight scene between Sanshiro and his rival Higaki. In Kurosawa’s films, human drama […]

Categories
Feature Four Frames

Four Frames: The Friends of Eddie Coyle (Peter Yates, 1973)

You’ve got to have friends. “Keep your friends close but your enemies closer.” We all need to know who our real friends are. “I trust Mr. Brown, I do not trust Mr. Grey.” Friends in high places. “Make him an offer he can’t refuse …” Crime film aficionados will recognise the lingo, and feel they […]

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Feature Thousand Words

Thousand Words: An Inner Journey in a Wintry Landscape (Snow Trail, 1947)

In terms of film history, Snow Trail (Ginrei no hate) is worth looking at simply because it marks the screen debut of Toshirō Mifune. The unusual setting of this gangster film, directed by Senkichi Taniguchi and co-written by Akira Kurosawa, is another significant aspect. The hunt for the criminals takes place not in an urban […]