Mad dog ofAkira Kurosawa, it is this kind of work near-perfect, which might make you reconsider the concepts of “good movie”, or “classic”.
A pinnacle of consistency between: a historical context-strong social (post-war japan), a powerful story, a scenario intelligent, what we can expect in terms of depth, emotion or underlying complexity of the characters, as well as a narration fluid and panting. Kurosawa actually interact and merge many components, while developing a history and issues film strong. This genius, this talent of producer mastering each of the aspects of his film, it is something that we can name, address, editor… but it will always be much more impressive to see in action.
Don’t miss under any pretext, the out room, of the films of Kurosawa by Carlotta, the January 25, 2017.
As very often in the movies thought on several levels of reading (such as the recent Interstellar and his “Cornfield Chase”, of which we will discuss in our topic ONE WEEK A SCENE, or Benjamin Button and his “scene of the watchmaker”), there has from the beginning of the movie a perfect summary of the thematic and formal.
MAD DOG , therefore, begins not with a presentation of the protagonists, but by that of the major fact which gives meaning and direction to the film: a cop, Murakami, stolen his gun. The staging is organizing a skilful pass pass narrative to, in the same spirit of continuous improvement, we present the past, the present and the future of this event, propelling us directly into the unrestrained race of Murakami. Are already palpable, the concepts of suspense and dilation/contraction of time, personal investment through the effort and/or mind, of suffering, of honor. More subtly, we can guess already diving into the unknown, urban and social, in the image of this race or Murakami, in white suit with pins pulled, sinks, pursuing the “thief”, in a poor neighborhood that he knows, and finds himself lost at a crossroads. Linking these aspects, the history, depth and allegory, there is the technical mastery of Kurosawa. Camera, framing, editing also recount something. So many things are already present, and yet so little: it is in the long development of this program that will nest an incredible amount of sub themes and emotions. This basic appearance a pretext, to come about, for example, one scenario polardeux the most exciting of the 7th item In the development also, MAD DOG will take us to a reflection humanist from characters that were thought to be unidirectional – Murakami in particular. In short: just three minutes from the beginning of the film, and we already know that we are dealing with a masterpiece.
Past so this presentation is coming in gasps, begins the immersion made in Kurosawa in the daily and the instant, in a unit of space and time and yet very remote from ours. We follow therefore Murakami, who follows the trail of his gun. Who stole it ? Who is the sponsor of this flight ? Who will he sell this gun ?… Each track requires more investment on the part of Murakami. If it is purely physical with the thief (the chase of the first 3 minutes), the sponsor will, in addition, a mental effort (mill, where reflexes, patience, and intelligence will be put to the test). Then, the fence even more, since it will literally immerse themselves in the lowest depths of the city, until to succeed to pretend to be someone sufficiently desperate to need a gun.
Kurosawa proves again with Mad Dog, his excellence on all levels Click To Tweet
Kurosawa in these scenes of immersion, dilates completely time as well as the pace of the film, and we hang ten minutes during in a sort of tourist visit fascinating by its realism, of an environment we can no longer exotic: l’envers du décor poor and ultra-crappy of a megalopolis in japan after the war. It explains that poverty does not exist just on the fringes of society, but is a universe in itself, with its codes, its specificities, its organization. The filmmaker also shows us that Murakami spends a time out of the ordinary for this task immersion and infiltration (through work to the screen, many days and nights), indicating his psychology, his character, determined his or her personality, but also what degrees of freedom to define its work and, by extension, what is the importance of this story, the theft of a gun, may have for him or his superiors. And then in terms of gross staging, the framing, the lighting, the camera movements, the music, the editing and the pace… Everything is involved in our immersion, by constructing a kind of bubble hypnotic which we envelope, like Murakami himself. Nothing is free in these 10 minutes: not only Kurosawa generates an empathy purely visual with the protagonist AND the city, but it offers us a social reality is very strong, while crédibilisant the chance fabulous by which Murakami will find the trail of his gun lost. Nowadays, in cinema, a character never seeks a long time the solution to his problem. Ellipses and shortcuts scriptwriting him chew on typically the work, that hurt more or less the credibility of a scenario. In DOG RABID, this concept of randomness is built in to the narrative and its staging, and participates in the narrative of the characters within the story. The illustration of the genius of Kurosawa to handle multiple levels of reading.
15 minutes later, the successor to these scenes rather contemplative, a pure moment of tension; Always following the trail of the gun through the different actors of her disappearance, Murakami uses the track of the fence. A track distant because before the find, Murakami must convince the trader of the fence to get a gun. Unfortunately, one step forward = two steps back: Murakami, dog crazy (but not rabid), scares the fence looking too soon to get information. Moreover, in addition to that, in parallel, tic-toc-tic-toc time is running out: the gun, Murakami has served to break the bank, and then to murder someone and his new owner seems to take the opportunity to launch squarely on the path of crime !
It is here that he meets the cop Sato all the points of its opposite (old, patient, friendly), that will help him to get back on the track of the fence. During the examination of the passeuse guns of the fence, Sato will obtain this information as a sub-text: the fence is extremely baseball fan. New track is very whimsical: go to the next big game, and manage to find the fence.
This hunt for the fence has not, in and of itself, not of great importance within the story; it is not used to find a character very device. However, the magnitude given by Kurosawa demonstrates his design of the characters by their actions (as well as by the dialogues), as well as this very special way to merge issues in narrative, moral, psychological, and cinematic. This scene ddu baseball game (once again to see in several reading levels), shows us what is the japan of 1948, modern at the time: baseball, a popular sport in the country since the beginning of the century, brings together the japanese in a fervor common – notions of class disappear in this place, giving an account of what is in Japan: impressive as a whole, but consisting of invdividus – like, Honda, that seek Murakami and Sato. Kurosawa plays with scales and codes: In terms of danger, what is an individual among 50000 ? In physiological terms, how to find an individual among 50000 ? These spectators are almost all the same (dressed in white, wearing a hat), how to identify a Honda ? Once the solution to these questions is found, remains only to apprehend the suspect; the against-the-watch resumes its rights, with a notion of danger related to the immense crowd on the stage. Tension, fluidity, rhythm, depth, allegory. A further illustration of the genius of Kuro.
Another specificity of the DOG RABID, what are these scenes-the contrasts that punctuate the film, usually after a piece of bravery (such as the one described above), or after a passage purely pictorial. In these moments, Kurosawa is his efforts on the characters. Sometimes the protagonists (fabulous scene of meal between Sato and Murakami), sometimes on the secondary characters in the space of just a few minutes, leave an indelible imprint on the film. Sometimes melancholic, sometimes denunciatory of a system flawed, sometimes nostalgic, sometimes full of regret, sometimes all at once. Beautiful moments or introspection takes a sudden all over the place on the screen, or the characters take the time to question it. The humanism of the film, the one that allows you to include a universal scope, from the story of a few individuals, just those bubbles of emotional, that taken in hand may be free, but that discounts in the context of the film, this chase panting against the watch and the great evil that eats away, undeniably, the soul of the city, takes its meaning from breathing. A trademark also in Kurosawa, at least in most of his early films.
MAD DOG contains a great many other things that he seems to damage or difficult to list here, such as the quality of its script and its fluidity, the science of the stage, the tension is crazy in some way, the delicacy of the other.
That said, beyond his mastery, the film returns us – as often in Kurosawa – in our collective unconscious film; a bit like when we saw Yojimbo for the first time, and we have thought of For a fistful of Dollars – THE film that was revolutionary thus far; discover MAD DOG, it is once more calling into question our credentials and realize to what point Kuro , it’s a bit like their dad, these great of our modern cinema.
Just before discovering RABID DOG, for example, we had watched/reviewed the major works of the huge Martin Scorsese ( Taxi Driver, the Departed , passing by Raging Bull or New York New York, our critics see HERE). A personal retrospective that, in addition to shoving number of received ideas that we had of it (a movie filled with gimmicks, capturing gangsters, killing), we were especially convinced of his genius. The intelligence of the approach of the author depicting more or less allegorically to each film, a facet disillusioned of his country. Of its sensitivity toward male AND female characters, able to translate by a certain science to writing, aspirations, neuroses, psychology, or the persistence of a lived experience. Who was using the staging, sometimes classic, sometimes revolutionary, to translate the emotions of non-spoken characters or the different facets each with a theme and story to multiple levels of readings. Which projected in a actor chameleon charismatic, all kinds of fantasies, obsessions, and neuroses. That iconisait this actor through a number of roles that the capital of the 7th art, themselves, moving within the movies-univ… OH WAIT
Scorsese ? Kurosawa ? Of who you’re talking to already ? QED
YOUR OPINION ?
AKIRA KUROSAWA: PORTRAIT
– The More dignity (1944) ★★★☆☆
– Walking on the tail of the tiger… (1945) ★★★☆☆
I have no regrets for my youth (1946) ★★★★☆
– One wonderful Sunday (1947) ★★★★☆
– Angel drunk (1948) ★★★★★
– Mad dog (1949) ★★★★★
– Live (1952) ★★★☆☆
– Live in fear (1955)
– The hidden Fortress (1958) ★★★★☆
– The Bastards sleep in peace (1960) ★★★★☆
– Yojimbo – The bodyguard (1961) ★★★★★
– Sanjuro (1962) ★★★★☆
– Between heaven and hell (1963) ★★★★★
• Achievement : Akira Kurosawa
• Screenplay : Ryuzo Kikushima, Akira Kurosawa
• Main actors : Toshirô Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Keiko Awaji
• Year of origin : 1949
• Exited : January 25, 2017
• Duration : 2h02min