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August 7, 2011: Yojimbo

1962, Akira Kurosawa, Japan, Black & White

Wandering ronin Mifune realizes a skilled Yojimbo (bodyguard) could rake in the ryo in a small town. And after checking out the sake merchant’s thugs squaring off against the silk merchant’s goon squad, twice as much, if he hires out to both sides.

August 13, 2011: High and Low

1963, Akira Kurosawa, Japan, Black & White, 142 mins

Toshiro Mifune is unforgettable as Kingo Gondo, a wealthy industrialist whose family becomes the target of a cold-blooded kidnapper in Akira Kurosawa’s highly influential High and Low, a compelling race-against-time thriller and a penetrating portrait of contemporary Japanese society.

August 14, 2011: The Hidden Fortress

1959, Akira Kurosawa, Japan, Black & White, 139 minutes

Two constantly bickering farmers on the run from clan wars are dragooned by General Toshiro Mifune into aiding his rescue of fugitive princess Misa Uehara and her family’s hidden gold. Acknowledged by many as one of the inspirations behind Star Wars!

August 27, 2011: _*Stray Dog

*_1950, Akira Kurosawa, Japan, Black & White, 122 minutes

During a sweltering summer, a rookie homicide detective tries to track down his stolen Colt pistol. Kurosawa adapts his unpublished novel for his first detective film, which ultimately leads to the creation of the popular Japanese crime film genre.

August 28, 2011: Rashomon

1950, Akira Kurosawa, Japan, Black & White, 88 minutes

Brimming with action while incisively examining the nature of truth, _Rashomon _is perhaps the finest film ever made about the philosophy of justice. Through an ingenious use of camera and flashbacks, Kurosawa reveals the complexities of human nature as four people recount different versions of the same story: the murder of a man and the rape of his wife. Starring Toshiro Mifune in another commanding performance, Rashomon revolutionized film language and introduced Japanese cinema to the world.

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