This film has always given me a deep sense of unease. This feeling particularly applies to the first part, which takes place at basic training. In fact, I feel that what the recruits are exposed to affect myself directly. The whole film deals with partial degradation of human dignity and the self, but the way Kubrick throws this in our faces already from the beginning grabs me every time.
The haircut-sequence is an important part of this. As before a…
Toho (the studio) had estimated that Seven Samurai was to be completed during the course of eleven weeks. Kurosawa had very different ambitions and extended production to last for a whole year. Of course he then ran out of money several times, and had to require additional funding from the studio. And Toho gave in every time. From then on, Kurosawa became known as Tenno. The Emperor.
Minoru Chiaki, who plays Heihachi in the film, has told the following anecdote…