Master of Meta

In a fundamental way, Japanese auteur Akira Kurosawa kicked off the cinematic cycle that eventually led to today's hyperaware, genre-hopping, metatext-obsessed actioners. Here's an overly simplistic version of that lineal progression: John Ford's cowboy flicks gave birth to Kurosawa's beautiful bastard Yojimbo, which spaghetti Western director Sergio Leone kidnapped and cloned for 1964's A Fistful of Dollars, which was then crossbred excessively and repeatedly by Quentin Tarantino, who almost single-handedly spawned an entire generation of grindhouse-goes-arthouse film school dropouts.

Now, by that roundabout logic, Kurosawa can be largely credited with (or blamed for) the art of postmodern action pastiche. And this Sunday from 2 to 7 p.m., Ciné-Club 24 will honor the master of meta with a three-film program, including the 60-minute documentary portrait Akira Kurosawa as well as two of the director’s own, 1951's Rashomon and 1957's Throne of Blood.
Sun., May 23, 2-8 p.m., 2010
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S. Pajot