Imagine an episode of “Law & Order,” but with really complex characters and heavy philosophical themes. And shot in a world that, according to the commentary track, really only existed for a few short years — the desperate black market underworld of “apres-guerre” Japan. Kurosawa’s camera becomes documentary-like, particularly in a splendid 8+ minute montage of stolen and candid shots through Tokyo’s mean streets. The story itself, a police procedural, is straightforward but juicy and good. The performances are terrific, particularly the mentor Takashi Shimura. I was certain I’d seen this movie before, but I hadn’t. Here I was, thinking I’d seen most of the important Kurosawa films already, and this comes a long. A real treat.
April 27, 2008
July 3, 2010
August 14, 2007
January 22, 2005
Jordan Hoffman is a New York-based writer and film critic working for The Guardian, Vanity Fair, Thrillist, Times of Israel, NY Daily News and elsewhere.
He is the host of ENGAGE: The Official Star Trek Podcast, a member of the New York Film Critics Circle and challenges you to a game of backgammon.