Masaki Kobayashi

Japanese Film Directors by Audie Bock

Audie Bock presents a collection of perceptive, knowledgeable, and comprehensive critical essays on the most influential and distinctive filmmakers of Japan in Japanese Film Directors. Bock chronologically explores the personal influences and cinematic contributions of several acclaimed film directors, and in the process, provides an intelligent observation on the profound effects of changing political, social,… read more »

Samurai Rebellion, 1967

In a time of sustained peace, the powerful daimyo (feudal warlords) have become resigned to an existence of pointless exercises and petty bureaucracy in a determined effort to retain privilege and curry favors from Edo. In an attempt to stave off boredom, Lord Matsudaira’s (Tatsuo Matsumura) seasoned swordsman, Isaburo Sasahara (ToshirĂ´ Mifune) and his trusted… read more »

Seppuku/Harakiri, 1962

The retainer log book for the Official Residence of Lord Iyi reports that at midday on an otherwise uneventful day on the thirteenth of May 1630, during the absence of the Honorable Heir Bennosuke, a gaunt, former retainer of the Lord of Geishu arrives at the mansion gates and is granted an interview with the… read more »

The Human Condition, 1959-1961

Masaki Kobayashi’s six-part magnum opus, The Human Condition, based on Junpei Gomikawa’s postwar novel, bears the imprint of Kobayashi’s tutelage under legendary filmmaker Keisuke Kinoshita at Shochiku’s Ofuna studio, a critical, introspective, and deeply personal account of wartime Japan framed from the perspective of an idealistic everyman (and Kobayashi’s alterego), Kaji (Tatsuya Nakadai). Opening to… read more »