Our own Erik Davis spotted this conversation with legendary film directors George Lucas
and Francis Ford Coppola
on the always amazing Cinephilia & Beyond
. The short video retrospective centers on acclaimed Japanese director Akira Kurosawa
and can be found on the Kagemusha
DVD and Blu-ray extras from Criterion — which means you should plunk down your dollars for a copy of the movie, and not just because it's a wonderful samurai film.
The two titans of cinema discuss the origins of their Kurosawa appreciation and influence, with Lucas discovering the brilliant Seven Samurai during film school. He compliments Kurosawa's emotional, exotic and visual direction, drawing connections between his love for Japanese art and Kurosawa's formal and precise style. Coppola discovered the filmmaker during the art-house movement of the 1950s, noting that the holy trinity at that time was Fellini, Kurosawa and Bergman. Coppola fell in love with Kurosawa's samurai pictures and the poetic, surprising way he depicted drama and violence on-screen. He also admits that you can easily draw a line back from his epic The Godfather to Bonnie and Clyde, and then Kurosawa's filmography.
See what other praise Lucas and Coppola have for Kurosawa in these two clips that run just under 20 minutes total.