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The Rosendale Theatre Presents Kurosawa’s Masterpiece: “Seven Samuri”

by Tom Grasso

On Tuesday, January 15, The Rosendale Theatre presents Seven Samuri, from Japanese master director Akira Kurosawa. The film is part of the theatre’s ongoing Views From The Edge series. Showtime is at 7:15 PM.

Hailed as the greatest film in the history of Japanese cinema, Seven Samurai is director Akira Kurosawa’s undisputed masterpiece. Arguably the greatest of jidai-​​gecki or historical swordplay films, Kurosawa’s classic 1954 action drama has never been surpassed in terms of sheer power of emotion, kinetic energy, and dynamic character development. The film takes place in 1587 during the Warring States Period of Japan history. Residents of a small farming village seek protection against marauding bandits. They hire seven unemployed “ronin” (masterless samurai) with only minute amounts of rice as payment.

Kurosawa masterfully composed his shots to emphasize group dynamics, and Seven Samurai is a textbook study of the director’s signature techniques which compress action, delineate character relationships, and intensify motion. While a triumph of action, the climactic battle against raiding thieves remains one of the most breathtaking sequences ever filmed, it also succeeds in masterful character development. The films success generated a myriad of copycat films with The Magnificent Seven as the best and most known of all.

The subject of both popular and critical acclaim; Seven Samurai is considered to be one of the greatest and most influential films ever made, and is one of a select few Japanese films to become widely known in the West well beyond the time of the film’s release.

Entering its third year as a not-​​for-​​profit, volunteer run, center for film and all the performing arts and education, the historic Rosendale Theater, run by the Rosendale Theater Collective (RTC), is dedicated to enhancing the cultural life and economic vitality of Rosendale and Ulster County.

For more information, visit the Rosendale Theater website at

 

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