Posted on September 15th, 2012 by Mike Roberts
Jiro Dreams of Sushi
At first glance, “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” is a foodie’s dream. A documentary made by David Gelb, it tells the story of 85 year-old Jiro Ono, generally considered to be one of the best, if not the best sushi chef in the world. The Japanese government has designated him as a Living National Treasure. His small, unassuming restaurant located in a Tokyo subway station with only 10 seats has become the first restaurant of its kind to be awarded a prestigious three-star Michelin Guide rating. Sushi lovers from around the world go there, calling months in advance and shelling out top dollar for a coveted seat at Jiro’s sushi bar.
Posted on August 29th, 2012 by Mike Roberts
Chishu Ryu and Setsuko Hara in Tokyo Story
The 1953 film “Tokyo Story” (東京物語 or Tokyo monogatari) by Yasujiro Ozu was selected as “the greatest film ever made” in a poll of movie directors conducted once a decade by the British Film Institute. The organization’s monthly publication, Sight and Sound, reported that Ozu’s masterpiece was the top choice of 358 film directors, including Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola and Quentin Tarantino. Read the full post »
Posted on March 25th, 2012 by Mike Roberts
As a movie lover, it is interesting to see how some lines from a movie are able to entrench themselves into a culture. For example, who has not heard the lines “We’re not in Kansas anymore Toto”, “Go ahead, make my day”, “I’ll be back” and “I’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse” to name just a few. I find myself using these and many other movie-one liners in my everyday conversations. Well, the same thing happens in Japan with Japanese movies as well of course. While maybe a little more difficult for westerners to understand, many of them are worthwhile listing here. Because he is the master, I will focus on Kurosawa in ths blog. We will concentrate on other film makers in a later blog. Read the full post »
Posted on November 4th, 2011 by Mike Roberts
Director, Akira Kurosawa
Anyone who knows me can tell you that I love movies. Of course, it is only natural that I love Japanese movies. When thinking about Japanese movies, the name of Akira Kurosawa will always be mentioned. In a career that spanned more than 50 years, Kurosawa directed 30 films. He is widely regarded as one of the most important and influential filmmakers in film history. His work has been admired by other film directors including Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Robert Altman, Spike Lee, John Woo and Quentin Tarantino.
Akira Kurosawa was born on March 23rd, 1910 in Tokyo. His father was a retired army officer turned teacher, who came from a samurai family, and his mother’s family were merchants in Osaka. He had a good, solid, classical education which was where he was first introduced to Russian literature which would eventually play such an important role in his films. After studying art at the Dushuka Academy, he was unable to make a living as a painter and illustrator despite the fact that some of his work was shown at annual exhibitions in Nikka with some of the most renowned independent artists in Japan. Read the full post »