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Seven Samurai

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New edition of a study of this classic film with a new foreword by the authorPublished to tie in ... Read More

Product Description

New edition of a study of this classic film with a new foreword by the authorPublished to tie in with the 30th anniversary of the BFI Film Classics series, with stunning new cover artworkSeven Samurai is widely considered one of the greatest films of all time, and was voted 17th in the most recent Sight & Sound critics' poll of all-time best filmsJoan Mellen is Professor of English and Creative Writing at Temple University, Philadelphia, USA. Among her books are Marilyn Monroe (1973), Voices from the Japanese Cinema (1975), The Waves at Genji's Door: Japan Through Its Cinema (1976), the dual biography Hellman and Hammett: The Legendary Passion of Lilian Hellman and Dashiell Hammett (1996), and, more recently, Faustian Bargains: Lyndon Johnson and Mac Wallace in the Robber Baron Culture of Texas (Bloomsbury 2016) and Blood in the Water: How the US and Israel Conspired to Ambush the USS Liberty (2018). She is the author of In the Realm of the Senses (2004) and Modern Times (2006), also in the BFI Film Classics series.In Seven Samurai (1954) a whole society is on the verge of irrevocable change. Akira Kurosawa's celebrated film, regarded by many to be the major achievement of Japanese cinema, is an epic that evokes the cultural upheaval brought on by the collapse of Japanese militarism in the 16th century, but at the same time echoes also the sweeping cultural changes occurring in the aftermath of the American Occupation that followed Japan's defeat in the Second World War. The plot is deceptively simple. A village of farmers is beleaguered by a horde of bandits. In desperation, the farmers decide to hire itinerant samurai to protect their crops and people and defeat the bandits. There had never been a Japanese film in which peasants hired samurai, or an evocation of the social transformation that made such an idea credible. There are six samurai and one who is accepted as such. Together they reflect the ideals and values of a noble class near the point of extinction. Seven Samurai may be the greatest action film, a technical masterpiece unmatched in its depiction of movement and violence, but running beneath the sound and fury is a lament for a lost nobility, 'a dirge for the spirit of Japan,' writes Joan Mellen, 'which will never again be so strong.' Mellen's study contextualises Seven Samurai, marking its place in Japanese cinema and in Kurosawa's film-making career. She explores the film's roots in medieval history and, above all, the astonishing visual language in which Kurosawa created his elegiac epic.A study of Akira Kurosawa's 1954 epic Seven Samurai in the BFI Film Classics series.Acknowledgements Foreword to the 2022 Edition Seven Samurai Credits Biography"An indispensable part of every cineaste's bookcase" - Total Film "Possibly the most bountiful book series in the history of film criticism." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Film Comment "Magnificently concentrated examples of flowing freeform critical poetry." - Uncut "The series is a landmark in film criticism." - Quarterly Review of Film and Video "A formidable body of work collectively generating some fascinating insights into the evolution of cinema." -Times Higher Education Celebrating film for over 30 years The BFI Film Classics series introduces, interprets and celebrates landmarks of world cinema. Each volume offers an argument for the film's 'classic' status, together with discussion of its production and reception history, its place within a genre or national cinema, an account of its technical and aesthetic importance, and in many cases, the author's personal response to the film.

Product Details

Title: Seven Samurai
Author: Joan Mellen
SKU: BK0446646
EAN: 9781839024771

About Author

Joan Mellen is Professor of Creative Writing at Temple University, USA. She is the author of the BFI Film Classics on Seven Samurai and In the Realm of the Senses, as well as several works of biography, fiction, and literary criticism. Her latest book is A Farewell To Justice: Jim Garrison, JFK's Assassination and the Case That Should Have Changed History (2005).

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