Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Bad Sleep Well (1960)

****
Japan

Although somewhat heavier-going than Kurosawa would allow when in top form, this tale of corporate corruption and revenge politics (with vague allusions to Hamlet in its plotting) has several things worth recommending: its stately, noirish visual style; its play on the notion of evil having a grandfatherly face; its escalating tension; as well as its disconcerting strands of cynicism and pessimism, which position it in stark contrast to the humanism that shapes much of Kurosawa's work.

dir: Akira Kurosawa
ph: Yuzuru Aizawa
m: Masaru Satô
cast: Toshirô Mifune, Masayuki Mori, Kyôko Kagawa, Tatsuya Mihashi, Takashi Shimura, Kô Nishimura, Takeshi Katô

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