Akira Kurosawa: The Toho Years

The Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa (1910-1998), who filmed Scorsese in the enigmatic Dreams, made his débuts with the great production company Toho. During this period, he directed some of his most important works in a variety of genres (film noir, samurai films, intimate films...) offering a captivating world, inspiring many filmmakers from Sergio Leone to Martin Scorsese. All films are in restored version thanks to Wild Side, including - a huge event! - four previously unreleased films. Re-released in theaters in 2016 by Carlotta Films.




The Most Beautiful (Ichiban utsukushiku, 1944, 1h27)
During the war, young female Japanese workers sacrifice to speed up the production of canons... One of the first feature films of Akira Kurosawa - a commissioned film of propaganda with its strong sense of patriotism.
La Fourmi Tue. 2:45pm  | CNP Bellecour Wed. 4:45pm

The Men Who Tread on the Tiger's Tail (Tora no o wo fumu otokotachi, 1945, 59min)
A lord and his retinue, forced to flee the country, disguise themselves as monks to cross the border... An inspired work with early glimpses of recurring themes of Kurosawa, such as the transgression of the rules of feudalism.
CNP Bellecour Wed. 7pm  | CNP Bellecour Thu. 5:15pm

No Regrets for Our Youth (Waga seishun ni kuinashi, 1946, 1h50)
The daughter of a university professor falls for an anti-government activist... A political post-war film, based on real events of Japanese youth in a society rapidly becoming democratic.
CNP Bellecour Tue. 2:15pm  | Cinéma Opéra Fri. 2:30pm  | Pathé Bellecour Sun. 5:15pm

One Wonderful Sunday (Subarashiki nichiyôbi, 1947, 1h49)

A young couple wanders through a city in ruins, dreaming of a future beyond reach... Filmed like a documentary, the film depicts the unflinching drama in exploring the violent reality of Japan and the societal ills of the time.
CNP Bellecour Wed. 3pm | La Fourmi Thu. 2:45pm  | Pathé Cordeliers Sun. 10:30am

Drunken Angel (Yoidore tenshi, 1948, 1h38)
Birth of a friendship tinged with violence between a sick gangster and an alcoholic doctor... First collaboration with Toshiro Mifune, the future fetish actor of the filmmaker, combining realism of film noir and symbolism in a personal work.
Pathé Bellecour Tue. 10pm | Comœdia Thu. 10:30am | Pathé Bellecour Fri. 7:30pm | CNP Bellecour Sun. 4:45pm

Stray Dog (Nora inu, 1949, 2h02)
A police officer in search of his stolen gun gets immersed in the city's slums and the abysses of the human soul... A breathless thriller with an erotic tinge that questions the limits between good and evil in a Japan ravaged by the war.
CNP Bellecour Mon. 2:30pm  | CNP Bellecour Tue. 4:30pm | Pathé Cordeliers Fri. 10:30am | Comœdia Sat. 4:45pm

To Live (Ikiru, 1952, 2h23)

A man suffering from a disease discovers a taste for life, when it escapes him... A personal and ambitious film, sober and free, one of the great public and critical successes of Kurosawa.
Cinéma Opéra Mon. 5:15pm | CNP Bellecour Tue. 7pm  | CNP Bellecour Thu. 4:15pm | Institut Lumière Fri. 7pm  

I Live in Fear (Ikimono no kiroku, 1955, 1h43)

An industrial man, traumatized by nuclear threat, decides to sell his business and exile himself to Brazil... An engaged film with satirical accents, evoking the social consequences of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Pathé Bellecour Mon. 5pm | CNP Bellecour Tue. 10:15pm  | Cinéma Opéra Fri. 5pm | Pathé Bellecour Sat. 7:15pm

The Hidden Fortress (Kakushi-toride no san-akunin, 1958, 2h19)
A general (Toshiro Mifune) escorts a princess through an enemy province. They cross the path of two quarrelsome peasants... A turn toward the burlesque and away from a traditional story, a work that would later inspire George Lucas for Star Wars.
Pathé Bellecour Mon. 10:30am | Pathé Bellecour Wed. 2pm | Cinéma Bellecombe Sat. 8:30pm  | Comœdia Sun. 4:30pm

The Bad Sleep Well (Warui yatsu hodo yoku nemuru, 1960, 2h31)
Scandal is invited to the wedding of the daughter of a real estate tycoon... A political film on authority, a story of revenge that condemns the Japanese political and economic system and denounces corruption.
CNP Bellecour Tue. 10pm | Institut Lumière Wed. 2pm | Pathé Cordeliers Thu. 3pm | Cinéma Opéra Sat. 9pm

Yojimbo (1961, 1h50)

A ronin, a wandering samurai (Toshirô Mifune), sells his services in a city torn between two rival gangs ... A landmark film, dark and modern, that inspired Sergio Leone's western A Fistful of Dollars.
Comœdia Wed. 10:15pm  | Pathé Bellecour Thu. 10:30am | CNP Bellecour Fri. 5:15pm | UGC Cité Internationale Sat. 8:30pm  

Sanjuro (Tsubaki Sanjûrô, 1962, 1h36)
The return of the hero Yojimbo, taking under his wing a young samurai outraged by the corruption of their clan... Kurosawa renews the genre, introducing an element of comedy in a sword film with multiple twists.
Comœdia Mon. 11am | Pathé Bellecour Wed. 7:30pm | Caluire Sat. 8:30pm  | Pathé Cordeliers Sun. 2:30pm  

High and Low (Tengoku to jigoku, 1963, 2h23)

A rich shareholder must choose between paying the ransom for the son of his chauffeur or following his personal ambitions. A dilemma of breathtaking visual beauty, questioning morality and capitalism. Inimitable in atmosphere and style.
Comœdia Tue. 10:30am | UGC Astoria Wed. 8:30pm  | CNP Bellecour Sat. 2:45pm  | Pathé Bellecour Sat. 9:45pm  

Ran by Akira Kurosawa (1985, 2h42)

A former lord divides his estate among his three sons, but peace will be short lived... A beautiful interpretation of King Lear, a merciless chronicle of the destructive quest for power. One of Kurosawa's masterpieces.
Pathé Cordeliers Tue. 8pm | CNP Bellecour Wed. 8pm | Villeurbanne Thu. 8:30pm  | UGC Astoria Fri. 8:30pm

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