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Best Film Festival St. Louis 2010 - "Kurosawa at 100"

A film festival within a film series, the Webster Film Series' "Kurosawa at 100" featured seventeen of Akira Kurosawa's thirty-odd films in the span of one month — chronologically by date of release, with the notable of exception of the series-opening Ran. The result was not just a buffet of classic cinema, although it most definitely was that, it was a chance to track the development of a director from brash young talent to acknowledged master to grand old man of the cinema. No matter the genre he worked in — medical drama (Red Beard), thriller (High and Low), noir (Drunken Angel), post-nuclear Japanese drama (I Live in Fear) or his beloved and much imitated samurai films — Kurosawa's trademark gorgeous visuals were on full display. But this forward march through the auteur's oeuvre also demonstrated step by step the deft manner in which Kurosawa wove in the recurring themes of empathy, honor and living in balance with nature. When the series ended with the hallucinatory Dreams, the film was revealed as the capstone to a life lived in, at and for the movies. "Kurosawa at 100" provided a long and loving look at one of film's great artists, and also at one of the world's great thinkers.

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