Stray Dog, Akira Kurosawa's noir thriller from Criterion, May-ish

Discussion in 'Asian Horror and Other Pleasures' started by mutleyhyde, Feb 28, 2004.

  1. mutleyhyde

    mutleyhyde Fuck it.

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    Click it!

    One of my favorite Kurosawa films (but then again, there really aren't any that aren't favorites :D ), I highly suggest this for anyone who digs their noir sweltering and stifling. It's a grungy little film that drags your ass through the muck and mire of the slums, bars, and streets of post-war Tokyo, essentially in search of a man's lost dignity. Mifune is great in this as the detective, proving he doesn't need to wield a samurai sword to carry a film ;) . Check it out. [​IMG]
     
  2. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    I saw this one in the theater last year. It was on a double bill with Throne of Blood...I liked it, but I was getting pretty tired by the end.

    It's a little tough on Western audiences, because it's about a cop who loses his gun, and then feels guilty when the gun is used in other crimes. To the Western mind, the criminal who stole the gun and commits the crimes is the one to blame, but the Japanese don't think the same way. If you can get your mind around that, then you'll really enjoy it.
     
  3. mutleyhyde

    mutleyhyde Fuck it.

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    Yeah, I have to agree it does get pretty slow at times Paff, and some sequences are just downright tedious, but the more I watch it over the years the more I get into it. I think Drunken Angel, as I believe you know is another of Kurosawa and Mifune's 'hard-boiled' collaborations, was much better paced. Due to the pace, Stray Dog won't be to everybody's liking, but I love it still, and can't wait for the dvd. :banana:
     
  4. marioscido

    marioscido New Member

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    I really like the pre-Rashomon period in Kurosawa's career. But I prefer 'Drunken Angel' to 'Stray Dog.' However, I'm sure Criterion will give us a wonderful transfer. Criterion is putting out some fine titles in April-May: 'Three Women,' 'The Tin Drum,' 'The Leopard,' and 'The Testament of Dr Mabuse.'
     
  5. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    Drunken Angel was the first of the Kurosawa-Mifune films, correct?
     
  6. hell ya!

    hell ya! ~Go ahead, make my day~

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    Sounds pretty good, I'll probably pick it up. :banana:
     
  7. mutleyhyde

    mutleyhyde Fuck it.

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    You're correct, Paff. Not only is it their first film together, but Kurosawa also considered DA to be his 'first' film, as it was the first one that he had primary control over. Up until this point, the post-war Japanese unionists constantly made him rewrite and reshoot on several occasions, and before that, he had to conform the the strict demands of the military government. Kurosawa said of DA, "It was my picture. I was doing it and no one else."

    Pre-production on Drunken Angel began in late '47, production wrapped up in March '48, and the film was released April 27th '48 to rave reviews and won numerous awards. Drunken Angel didn't hit the U.S. until 1960.

    As for Stray Dog pre-production began in mid '49, production wrapped up in Sept., and the film was released in Oct. garnering more critical acclaim and awards. Stray Dog didn't hit the U.S. until 1963.

    While I think Drunken Angel has a better technical cinematic flow, I think Mifune does a better job of acting in Stray Dog. That's not to take anything away from his fine, if at times over the top (Mifune?? Nahhh!!) perfomance in Angel, but I just think he really began to come into his own as an actor in Stray Dog.

    I, of course, recommend both movies. :)
     
  8. Andrew

    Andrew Guest

    This is great news, I'll definitely be picking it up. I want DRUNKEN ANGEL too though, dammit.
     

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