Sunday, August 8, 2010

FI: The Men Who Tread on the Tiger's Tail

I don't think I can really recommend The Men Who Tread on the Tiger's Tail to anyone but serious Kurosawa enthusiasts. It's one of his earliest surviving films, and at 59 minutes, it almost qualifies as a short. Most people will not enjoy the musical theatricality of this film -- it's based on a couple of old Japanese theatre pieces, and it is very stagey -- and it's hardly the most engaging or entertaining thing you'll ever see. But unless you're a completist, or want to see early glimpses of character types (such as the antic porter, perhaps the first in a long line of clownish-but-occasionally-wise, working-class Kurosawa characters) and themes (deception, humanism, honor) Kurosawa would employ throughout his career, I'd suggest renting one of his other films instead.

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