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SEVEN SAMURAI (1954) - Kurosawa/Mifune: The Samurai Films

  • year. 1954
  • country. JAPAN
  • run-time. 3h 27min
  • rating. A

£5.00 (£3.50 conc.)

Doors 11:30 - Film 12:00

Deptford Cinema pays tribute in 2017 to Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa- one of the world’s greatest directors, who helped catapult Japanese cinema onto the global stage. Though he turned his hand to many genres over his long career, it is undeniably his period action films, or "jidaigeki", that have left the greatest mark on world cinema. His epic tales of samurais, warlords and thieves drew not only from his country's history, but from Western pop culture, and likewise found willing audiences back across the oceans. Before long, directors like Sergio Leone and George Lucas were drawing on Kurosawa's work for their own hit films; Lucas mined the plot of The Hidden Fortress when it came creating the story of his own 1977 sci-fi hit, Star Wars. Perhaps most famously, the iconic western The Magnificent Seven is a direct adaption of Kurosawa's Seven Samurai.

Kurosawa also gifted the world one of the great director-actor collaborations, tapping the ferocious energy and charisma of star Toshirô Mifune over a dozen times. All the films in our season see Mifune in a leading role.

When the residents of a small Japanese village terrorised by bandits seek protection, they turn to seven unemployed ‘ronin’ to guard and train them. Paid only in handfuls of rice, these masterless and mismatched samurai nevertheless stand their ground, even though they know that their assignment may be their last. Unanimously hailed as one of cinema’s greatest masterpieces, Seven Samurai's simple-but-compelling plot and setting, memorable characters (including Mifune as a wily peasant joining up with the samurai) and well-crafted action sequences made it a touchstone action film, and it went on to inspire countless other films and filmmakers, most notably the 1960 western The Magnificent Seven.