IMDB Description: “A collection of [eight] tales based upon the actual dreams of director Akira Kurosawa.”

Critic Christopher Null called Akira Kurosawa’s dreams “perhaps the biggest and most painful vanity project ever put to film.”  Yeah, okay, so maybe it is a bit self-indulgent, but you know what?  When you’re a leading candidate for being the best director ever, not only do you get to do your vanity project, you get people like Martin Scorsese to play your bit parts and Industrial Light and Magic to do your effects.   My point being that the guy has earned the benefit of the doubt.  And as far as it being painful, really?  Slow and plodding I can accept.  Boring even, as it’s often obscure and lacks traditional narrative structure.  But painful?  Go watch Uncle Boonme Who Can Recall His Past Lives and then we’ll talk.  Personally, I found it hypnotic, interesting, moving, and beautiful.  Hypnotic in its depiction of Japanese ritual and dance.  Interesting in its contrast of the solitary individual confronting and being confronted by the group.  Moving in its depiction of the sadness and stupidity of humans as a force of destruction.  And beautiful in its imagery and portrayal of death as an occasion for acceptance and celebration rather than fear.

Watch the trailer.


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