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Author Topic: Red Beard  (Read 2796 times)
Silenzio
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« on: October 08, 2006, 04:24:47 PM »

I just got done with it. Kurosawa, as usual, delivers a powerful, compelling, and excellent film.

SYNOPSIS (don't worry, no spoilers):

Basically, the plot revolves around a young, up-and-coming doctor named Yasumoto who was trained at some prestigous medical schools and wants to become the personal doctor of the Shogun. He is assigned to a hospital under the direction of Kyojio "Red Beard" Niide (Toshiro Mifune), a compassionate clinic director with some unorthodox methods, and appears to be fairly tyrannical at first. At first, yasumoto is insubordinate, not approving of Dr. Niide, and tries to be as much of a nuisance as possible so that he'll be fired. But, spending time around the hospital turns him on to what being a doctor is really all about, and that helping people is more important than being a rich, prestigous medical practitioner. And you gradually see his changes in personality throughout the film.

END OF SYNOPSIS

Basically, this film has earned it's place as my fifth or sixth favorite Kurosawa. It's a very compelling film, as was Ikiru. It seems to me that both of them have a similar basic theme, in that they both are kind of about how a man has his life changed and discovers the true meaning of something. In Ikiru, the true meaning of life, and in Red Beard, what it really means to be a doctor: to be a savior of the people, and a role model. Of the two, I think I would say I prefer Ikiru.

Toshiro Mifune plays "Red Beard" and he delivers a magnificent performance. One of his best, in my opinion. Yuzo Kayama is also very convincing as Yasumoto. I liked all of the acting in this film, right down to minor characters such as the little thief. The direction is great, of course, since it's Kurosawa. One thing I always liked about the Cinematography of these kinds of movies is the way shots tend to be very, very long. Does anybody know the ASL (average shot length) of this movie? I'd like to know it.

Highly recommended.

« Last Edit: October 08, 2006, 05:23:04 PM by Silenzio » Logged
The Firecracker
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« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2006, 08:45:11 PM »

Just poppin in to see if there were any jabs taken at me here. Everything seems clean so I'll just leave you to your own devices.

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Sanjuro
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« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2006, 09:47:05 PM »

I'm so glad you saw this great film too. For many years, Kurosawa's films had a pattern of master and apprentice relationship in his drama. This is its peak and the last of its kind. Through the eye of Yasumoto, we learn about life by witnessing people's agony, unspoken pain, poverty and good will.  Most importantly helping others.

The impact of this film is infinite. Kurosawa made this film with a strong sense of mission. He felt humanity being twisted and deteriorated at the time thus urgency to put the world on a right track. His intention was recognized and as a result, he won a Magsaysay Award that is for people who made a contribution to the world community. His name as an awardee is lined up with Mother Teresa.

The more people see this film, the better world we can make.


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<br />\"Be bold like an angel, meticulous like a devil.\" (Akira Kurosawa)
The Firecracker
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« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2006, 10:53:56 PM »






Devado Savada!

Love the poster!

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Sanjuro
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« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2006, 11:30:15 PM »

Devado Savada!


You said those words elsewhere, but what does that mean?

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The Firecracker
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« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2006, 10:54:03 AM »

You said those words elsewhere, but what does that mean?
It's gibberish said by the mock Paul Mccartney character in this Beatles parody...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jh-lmIS40P4

It's been an inside joke between me and Silenzio for about a month. We use the word to describe something good,fantastic sexy, etc.

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marmota-b
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« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2006, 11:12:57 AM »

One thing I always liked about the Cinematography of these kinds of movies is the way shots tend to be very, very long.

That's exactly what I love on them, too!

I don't know the average shot length, so I also would like to know. Wink

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dave jenkins
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« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2006, 05:34:32 PM »


Basically, this film has earned it's place as my fifth or sixth favorite Kurosawa. It's a very compelling film, as was Ikiru. It seems to me that both of them have a similar basic theme, in that they both are kind of about how a man has his life changed and discovers the true meaning of something. In Ikiru, the true meaning of life, and in Red Beard, what it really means to be a doctor: to be a savior of the people, and a role model. Of the two, I think I would say I prefer Ikiru.
But the ending of Ikiru is a cheat. Do you really think the kiddies get to play happily ever after in that playground? I can assure you, that ground is today the site of a pachinko parlour.

Red Beard, on the other hand, being episodic in nature, plays like a TV pilot. You just know that the kind Dr. Niide and his devoted staff will return week after week to help the ailing poor, pro bono. I'd really like to see the one where Red Beard's old flame shows up, and he has to decide whether or not tell her troubled son who his real father is!

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Sanjuro
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« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2006, 01:20:14 AM »

But the ending of Ikiru is a cheat. Do you really think the kiddies get to play happily ever after in that playground? I can assure you, that ground is today the site of a pachinko parlour.


Suppoe the park site is a pachinco parlor today, that doesn't mean the movie is a cheat. It's not Kanji's fault if the park becomes a pachinco parlor in later days and it has nothing to do with him. The point is that he did something meaningful, something to contribute to his community before his death. That's what makes his life worthwhile. And that's the whole point of the film. 

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