Unless youre deeply steeped in Eastern film history, you might not realize just how bald-faced and brazen the theft -- excuse us, inspiration and influence -- of classic Japanese film has been in modern Western moviemaking. Take Quentin Tarantino, for example. Without the undeniable influence of filmmaking masters such as Akira Kurosawa, Kenji Mizoguchi, Yasuijiro Ozu, and Hiroshi Teshigahara to shape his vision in the days when he was manning the cash register at a video store, we might not have films like Kill Bill today. So instead of heading to the multiplex to peep the latest Japanese horror movie rip-off, we say go to the source at the Japanese Masters Film Festival at the Cosford Cinema (on the UM campus, on the second floor of the Memorial Building, 1111 Stanford Dr., Coral Gables).
Lovingly screened on 33mm film, these cinematic classics were hand-plucked from the prolific Fifties and early Sixties a time of tremendous power and historical significance for Japanese film. The festival will run through April 27, and upcoming highlights include Mizoguchis indelible ghost story Ugetsu and Kurosawas classics Ikiru,/I> and Throne of Blood one of the most celebrated adaptations of Shakespeares Macbeth. Tonight feast your eyes on Teshigaharas Academy Award-nominated 1964 film Woman in the Dunes, an erotic battle that hinges on beetles, loneliness, and the vast, arid desert. It begins at 6.
Sat., April 5, 6 p.m., 2008