I just want to take a second here and give a very special Birthday shout-out to my boy, B. Franc. Seriously though, I am very appreciative to Bryan Franco for his friendship as well as for his enthusiam as a reader of my blog (kudos to all 7 of you). I can’t do much for you Bryan, but I can give you some special recognition here on Luminous Vignettes. So here is my tribute to you:
March is quite the birthday month. My father-in-law Bill celebrates his birthday this on March 23rd and I am excited for the opportunity to go share that with him. He’s been great at modeling for me what a Godly husband should look like and I have been grateful for his encouragement and support in our missionary endeavors. I better stop before everyone thinks I’m just sucking up.
March 23rd also marks a very historic birthday celebration. This year would have been acclaimed Japanese director Akira Kurosawa’s 100th birthday, and my regular readers will recognize him as one of my all-time favorite film-makers. The Criterion Collection has been celebrating his birthday all month, as well as Turner Classic Movies, and if you are not yet acquainted with any of his works, I would highly encourage you to peruse some of his top works. I will confess I have not yet checked out all of his movies, but in here is my top selections for where to begin:
1. Rashomon – One of his early groundbreaking works, this was my introduction to Kurosawa.
2. Yojimbo – Incredible to watch the machinations of Toshiro Mifune as he manipulates two rival samurai gangs to destroy each other. The spaghetti western remake of it, A Fistful of Dollars, would later launch Clint Eastwood’s film career.
4. The Bad Sleep Well – One of Kurosawa’s contemporary-set films, here he addresses the corruption and greed of the Japanese business world through a suspenseful, Hamlet-influenced tale of revenge. Toshiro Mifune is virtually unrecognizable as the lead in comparison to his roles in the previous 3 movies I’ve listed. He is a true chameleon here.
5. High & Low – Without a doubt my favorite Kurosawa film to date, you can read half of my review here on my blog (one of these days I will get to the other half, although I am loathe to ruin any details in the film).
To cap off my birthday tribute to Kurosawa, here is a haiku:
breathed life through silver screen’s glow: