November 03, 2002

The Seven Samurai, by Akira Kurosawa

The Seven Samuria is a good flick. Dave Jaffe brought it over on Friday night, and we watched it and ate popcorn and (it's a loooong show) I went to bed rather later than I usually do. I'm afraid I'm not enough of a film buff to understand why it's considered such a classic, though I will say that Kurosawa certainly understood how to let the images tell the story. The dialog is kept to a minimum, and used pretty much only to impart information that couldn't be gotten across visually. The acting was good, too, with the exception of the early scene where the villagers are falling all over themselves emotionally because the bandits are coming. That was a little too far over the top, a little too pathetic for words.

If you've never seen The Seven Samurai, as I hadn't, a plot summary would be helpful.

You see, there's this small community that's being preyed upon by bandits. The bandits are just waiting for the harvest before they make another attack; until harvest, the community won't have anything worth stealing. The community sends out one of their number, a positive-thinking if slightly odd fellow, to go find some warriors to protect them from the bandits. He finds a troupe of warriors and brings them back home, only to find out that they are in fact a troupe of travelling circus performers. Still, with luck and a little ingenuity, they manage to drive off the bandits for good, and all is well.

Oh, wait...that's not The Seven Samurai, it's A Bug's Life. The Seven Samurai is somewhat different--the village sends out several men who manage to enlist one samurai, who enlists the others needed, and the successful battle owes everything to the skill of the samurai and little to any particular peasant. There's no "Flick the Ant" in this movie. But there's a distinct family resemblance.

And I guess that just goes to show how influential Kurosawa is.

Posted by Will Duquette at November 3, 2002 03:13 PM