Film scholars and enthusiasts should welcome this third edition of Donald Richie's study. The introduction and filmography contain updated information, and Richie has added chapters on "Ran", "Dreams", "Rhapsody in August", and "Madadayo". Kurosawa remains as arguably one of the 20th century's greatest film directors. Through his long, distinguished career he has managed, like very few others in the teeth of a huge and relentless industry, to elevate each of his films to a distinctive level of art. His "Rashomom" one of the best-remembered and most talked-of films in any language - was a revelation when it appeared in 1950 and did much to bring Japanese cinema to the world's attention. Kurosawa's films display a breadth and an astonishing strength, from the philosophic and sexual complexity of "Rashomon" to the moral dedication of "Ikiru", from the naked violence of "Seven Samurai" to the savage comedy of "Yojimbo", from the terror-filled feudalism of "Throne of Blood" to the wit of "Sanjuro".
Donald Richie is the Arts Critic for The Japan Times.