Complete list of the films Guillermo del Toro has recommended on twitter. Click the 'Read notes' button to see his…
High and Low
Intense and Highly Entertaining
An executive of a shoe company becomes a victim of extortion when his chauffeur's son is kidnapped and held for ransom.
Leave it to Kurosawa to make an hour of listing evidence and clues exciting.
High and Low is tight, tense, and engaging, but what makes it so great for me is that Kurosawa (based on the book King's Ransom by Ed McBain) uses an almost Dante-like structuring of the three points of view by which this story is told. Each act is a discrete and self-contained plot with its own beginning, middle, and end, which make High and Low more of a crime anthology than an epic. Still, all the main characters appear (physically or vocally) in all three stories, tying them together and leaving room for an epilogue which unites the circuitous narrative. In addition, the class-warfare analogies really…
Complicated history with this one, as the first time I saw it (at a tender age, shortly after starting NYU film school) I jumped to a completely false conclusion about what was going on, then proceeded to construct the foundation for my magnum opus The Ruse using the alternate version I'd imagined. Made it hard for me to see the film for what it is, obviously, and on top of that I think I was simply too green back then not to be thrown by the formal gambit of the slow descent—pretty sure I got all huffy about Mifune's apparent protagonist having been abandoned for what idiotically struck me as rote detective work. What can I say, I was…
I'm too sleepy to go into all the myriad reasons this is one of the greatest movies of all time. Kurosawa's filmmaking is so transcendent it seems weak to say it's "ahead of its time," and yet that's exactly what it is in scenes like the final one, with both characters being alternately seen through their reflections, sharing the same space, never really separate. The claustrophobic and almost unbearably tense first act, the incredibly immediate train sequence, the detailed and gripping investigation, the slow descent into the expressionistic and heartbreaking "hell" of the city's poor neighborhoods, the pink smoke...! I know he made more masterpieces than practically anybody else but why this isn't widely considered Kurosawa's best I haven't a clue.
Story : 8.8/10
Production : 8.3/10
Overall : 8.03/10
I find it extremely interesting that a film called High and Low (and one that so beautifully captures the symbolism behind those two words) would be filmed in such a unique aspect ratio. The choice to use 2.35 : 1 shows off a lot of things easily but none of them are high or low. Also, I haven't familiarized myself with this "Tohoscope" process yet but it certainly added an interesting element to the entire film.
Another thing I found engrossing was the way Akira Kurosawa switched his protagonists throughout the film. In the opening act we're seeing the world through the eyes of King Gondo, played wonderfully by…
Mind completely blown.
Never has a film further exceeded my expectations.
I fucking love this.
I bought this movie not even really knowing what it was about. All I knew for sure was that it was directed by Akira Kurosawa and it starred Toshirô Mifune and Tatsuya Nakadai. That is all I needed to know to want to own this movie even though it was apparent it had nothing to do with samurai.
The film itself amazed me. The way each scene is structured, framed and acted out I found incredible. There is no actor wasted at any given moment in this film. You can tell what each one is thinking, feeling or even what their social class is with no words spoken. It's not always by facial expression either, just by the way their sitting, standing or who they won't look directly at.
Simply put it's one of those great films everyone needs to see at least once. A film you just sit there and appreciate how each moment was put together.
This is no ordinary kidnapping film. There are so many different dynamics at play, which add to the mystery and make the plot extremely compelling. Every character is realistically complex, and it's very satisfying to watch the investigation slowly unfold. There's never a dull moment.
You can totally see Kurosawa's masterful direction all over this film. So many scenes have him directing 5-10+ characters within one frame, which is something I can't recall seeing before. There's no cutting back and forth in conversations. People in the background are just as important as people in the foreground, and they all interact with each other. The situations seem so much more real when shot that way, and it also demands more from…
വളരെ സ്ലോ ആയി ഒരു റൂം ഡ്രാമ പോലെ തുടങ്ങുന്ന സിനിമ ഫസ്റ്റ് ഹാഫിനു ശേഷം വളരെ എന്ഗേജിങ്ങും ഗ്രിപ്പിങ്ങും അയ ഒരു ത്രില്ലറിലേയ്ക്ക് നീങ്ങുന്നു. ആദ്യത്തെ 54 മിനിറ്റ് നടക്കുന്നത് ഒരു റൂമില് ആണ്. നായകന്റെ ബംഗ്ലാവില്. വളരെ ക്ലോസ്ട്രോഫോബിക് ആയ ആദ്യ ഹാഫിനു ശേഷം സിനിമ ഒരു എക്സ്പ്രസ് ട്രെയിന് ഇരമ്പിപായുന്ന ദ്രിശ്യത്തിലേയ്ക്ക് കട്ട് ചെയ്യുമ്പോ നമുക്ക് മനസിലാക്കാം ഇനിയങ്ങോട്ട് സിനിമയുടെ പേസ് മാറുക ആണെന്ന്.
വളരെ ധനികന് ആയ ഒരു ഷൂ കമ്പനി എക്സിക്യുട്ടീവിന്റെ കഥയാണ് 'ഹൈ ആന്റ് ലോ' പറയുന്നത്. ഒരു അട്ടിമറിയിലൂടെ ഷൂ കമ്പനി സ്വന്തം അധീനതയില് ആക്കാന് പദ്ധതിയിടുന്ന നായകന്റെ മകനെ കിട്നാപ് ചെയ്യുന്നു. എന്നാല് നായകന്റെ മകന് എന്ന് കരുതി നായകന്റെ ഡ്രൈവറുടെ മകനെ ആണ് തട്ടികൊണ്ട്പോകുന്നത്. 30മില്ല്യന് ഡ്രൈവറുടെ മകന് വേണ്ടി ത്വജിക്കാന് നായകന് തയ്യാര് ആവുമോ? ഈ ഒരു ദിലെമയുടെ അന്വേഷണം ആണ് ആദ്യ പകുതി. നായകന്റെതു മാത്രമല്ല ഭാരിയുടെ, സുഹൃത്തിന്റെ, ഡ്രൈവറുടെ, അന്വേഷണ ഉദ്യോഗസ്ഥന്റെ എല്ലാം മാനസികവ്യാപാരങ്ങളിലൂടെ ഉള്ള യാത്രയാണ് ഇമോഷനല് കണ്ടന്റ് നിറഞ്ഞ ആദ്യ പകുതി അത്രയും. അതിനു വേണ്ടി തന്നെ വളരെ ചുരുങ്ങിയ…
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Film #15 of Scavenger Hunt 15
Task #11 'A film where someone has to pay or is asking for ransom'
Like the town mouse to Memories of Murder's country mouse, in that this is also an ingeniously orchestrated ensemble police procedural about the drastic and alienating pace of social change and the problems that arise from it, but with a sweaty, giddily overripe urban backdrop. Toshiro Mifune's Kingo Gondo, a mostly decent man, spends an uncomfortably long time choosing between a young boy's life and his own family's livelihood. He has been caught in a vice, trapped by his colleagues' imperious and manipulative new corporate (lack of) values and a disenfranchised medical student's poverty-stricken, desperate hatred, a hatred that has…
I'm sick today, and what better way to fend off an illness than Japanese crime dramas?
This movie's pacing is slow at every moment, but by the end of film you felt as if it flew by
Oddly told in two parts that don't fit together that well but the rest is great.
Starring the most complicated and drawn out heroin deal of all time. Bela Tarr could have made a movie in the time it took him to pick up a gram.
High: Makes me think of Hitchcock.
Low: Makes me think of another famous purveyor of women’s shoes.
Never judge a book by its cover. I was surprised at how the film kept its momentum right the way to the end. I was on the edge of my seat beginning to think villain had got away yet again. Both the cinema photography, editing and performance of the actors was really what brough masterpiece together. This is second film I have watch from Akira Kurosawa and he hasn't let me down just yet. Fantastic film!!! Must watch!!!
The moral character of a wealthy executive named Gondo is put to the test when his chauffeur's child is kidnapped, and he is faced with paying such an exorbitant ransom it would completely ruin him. Meanwhile, the police mobilize to find the kidnapper and bring him to justice.
This is one of Kurosawa's more underrated films, mostly because he became so well-known for his samurai epics that a lot of casual fans probably didn't realize he directed contemporary crime thrillers as well. Nevertheless, he brings to bare his masterful directorial abilities to create a hell of a story about the social disparity between the rich and the poor in post-war Japan.
Gondo serves as a sympathetic protagonist, despite his well-to-do…
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