The Eclipse Viewer – Episode 25 – The First Films of Akira Kurosawa

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This podcast focuses on Criterion’s Eclipse Series of DVDs. Hosts David Blakeslee and Trevor Berrett give an overview of each box and offer their perspectives on the unique treasures they find inside. In this episode, David and Trevor discuss Eclipse Series 23: The First Films of Akira Kurosawa.

About the films:

Years before Akira Kurosawa changed the face of cinema with such iconic works as Rashomon, Seven Samurai, and Yojimbo, he made his start in the Japanese film industry with four popular and exceptional works, created as World War II raged. All gripping dramas, those rare first films—Sanshiro Sugata; The Most Beautiful; Sanshiro Sugata, Part Two; and The Men Who Tread on the Tiger’s Tail—are collected here and include a two-part martial arts saga, a portrait of female volunteers helping the war effort, and a kabuki-derived tale of deception. These captivating films are a glorious introduction to a peerless career.

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Timeline for the podcast:

Introduction/News/Background (00:00:01 – 00:16:23)

Sanshiro Sugata (00:16:24 – 00:36:45)

Sanshiro Sugata, Part Two (00:36:46 – 00:55:00)

The Most Beautiful (00:55:01 – 01:15:39)

The Men Who Tread on the Tiger’s Tail (01:15:40 – 01:34:19)

Conclusion (01:34:20 – 01:39:08)

Buy The Box Set On Amazon:



Director Overview:

Box Set Reviews:

Sanshiro Sugata:

Sanshiro Sugata, Part Two: 

The Most Beautiful:

The Men Who Tread on the Tiger’s Tail

Contact us:

Next time on the podcast: Eclipse Series 34: Jean Grémillon During the Occupation

David Blakeslee

David hosts the Criterion Reflections podcast, a series that reviews the films of the Criterion Collection in their chronological order of release. The series began in 2009 and those essays (covering the years 1921-1967) can be found via the website link provided below. In March 2016, the blog transferred to this site, and in August 2017, the blog changed over to a podcast format. David also contributes to other reviews and podcasts on this site. He lives near Grand Rapids, Michigan and works in social services. Twitter / Criterion Reflections