Akira Kurosawa – Composing Movement

Posted By yonghow on March 26th, 2015

Akira Kurosawa - Composing Movement

Tony Zhou’s excellent series of “Every Frame A Painting” continues with the work of legendary Japanese director Kurosawa Akira, using various film clips from his repertoire of work to illustrate his brilliant use of movement in his camera work and cinematography to accentuate the story :

I’ve not seen all of Kurosawa’s films but my favourite among those that I have is seen is still Kagemusha ( Shadow Warrior ), in part due to the rousing and dramatic soundtrack. If you’ve yet to see it I give it my highest, highest recommendations. The Criterion collection’s blu-ray edition (cover image below) is an excellent format to watch it in.

Criterion Kagemusha blu-ray

Posted in Cinematography, Film

3 Responses to “Akira Kurosawa – Composing Movement”

Tyler P

This is a really great breakdown, thanks for posting.


I’ll give it a watch, I can always count on a Kurosawa film being easy on the eyes. Not sure what is my favourite Kurosawa film is, I’ve only seen a few, but Ikiru is the most affecting of his films, maybe not so much at first but the more time passes by the more it lingers in my head.


Kagemusha is also my favorite of his period dramas. I know a lot of people go Ran, and given that even Kurosawa sort of viewed Kagemusha as an artistic prototype for Ran, most people agree with that. Kagemusha, though, feels deeper to me, and the use of color is just as strong as Ran. My favorite Kurosawa still has to be High and Low, though.

If I can be a bit of a jerk here, I will say, as much as I love Kurosawa, if I had to choose, I’m going Kobayashi every time. His films instilled a sense of subversiveness that admittedly carried less adventure and accessibility than Kurosawa’s, but his camera movement, action, drama, humanity, not to mention overall storytelling, are by no means inferior. Kobayashi may never have commanded armies like Kurosawa, but he never let us forget their destructive power and the sadness they were caoable of.