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The Emperor and the Wolf: The Lives and Films of Akira Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifuneby Stuart Galbraith IV
Synopses & Reviews
The first — and long overdue — English-language biography of two of the world's great cinema figures.
Akira Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune made sixteen feature films together, including Rashomon, Seven Samurai, Throne of Blood, Yojimbo, and High and Low — all undisputed masterworks of world cinema. Kurosawa's films inspired blockbuster remakes and influenced directors like George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola, and Martin Scorsese. Meanwhile, Mifune virtually invented the roaming warrior rogue, a character adapted with great success by actors like Clint Eastwood, Sean Connery, Bruce Willis, and countless others. Their impact on the international film world is undisputable, yet at the very height of their abilities, Kurosawa and Mifune went their separate ways. After Red Beard in 1965 they would never work together again — nor would they ever achieve the same level of success apart as they had together.
The Emperor and the Wolf is an in-depth look at the life and work of these two luminaries of cinema. Full of behind-the-scenes details about their tumultuous lives and stormy relationships with the studios and each other, it is also a provocative look at postwar American and Japanese culture and the different lenses through which the two societies viewed each other.
"[I]mportant....Thanks to Galbraith and his inexhaustible research, the stature of both these artists has been reaffirmed." The Providence Journal
"As one of world cinema's leading figures, Kurosawa is the more important subject here, but the information on Mifune is most welcome, too." Gordon Flagg, Booklist
"This is an informative, intelligent and carefully considered study of one of the greatest actor-director teams in the history of cinema, a creative partnership that equaled Ford and Wayne or Léaud and Truffaut. If you have any interest whatsoever in the work of Kurosawa in particular or Japanese cinema in general, The Emperor and the Wolf is a must-read." Martin Scorsese
"The Emperor and the Wolf is a terrific book, and long overdue: a well-researched study of how a great director and a great actor fired each other up; an informative history of how high profile Japanese films were received at home and abroad; a surprising genealogy of the modern action hero; and a fresh look at sixteen Kurosawa movies — at least six of them all-time classics. I've seen the ronin trilogy Seven Samurai, Yojimbo, and Sanjuro more often than is probably good for me. But this double biography has revealed new layers of meaning in them. So I suppose I'll just have to see them all over again..." Christopher Frayling, author of Sergio Leone: Something to Do with Death
"This book tells a little-known, sometimes inspiring story and provides an astute reading of major themes in the work of Kurosawa and Mifune." Library Journal
About the Author
Stuart Galbraith IV is the author of numerous articles and five other books on film, including The Japanese Filmography and Monsters Are Attacking Tokyo! He lives in Los Angeles.
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