". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Akira Kurasawa's "The Hidden Fortress"

(1958), b&w, Starring, natch, Toshiro Mofune.

I have the restored and cleaned and gorgeous Criterion version from 2001.

The linear notes (are those informational inserts in dvds called that, as with cds?) tell me that this film was a source for the first Star Wars (which, I confess, I've seen exactly once, when it was released, and, which, I further confess, did for me not so much -- so much not so much that I've never watched another entry in the Star Wars franchise), because, supposedly the term for such a film in Japan was 'period -set pictures,' supposedly, in Japanese then, jedai-geki. Is this true? Were there other parallels / influences from The Fortress that affected Lucas and his silly Star Wars franchise? If so, what?

Thank you in advance, I remain, as ever, etc. etc. etc.


Renegade Eye said...

I didn't connect with Star Wars either, except for its music score.

My blog is liked better by the right. They have a tough time, with the idea that something can have several aspects at the same time, often contradictory.

Foxessa said...

Ren -- Why, yes, it has been noticed that most of the regular poster at your place see things entirely through the binary lens!

Love, C.

Foxessa said...

Ren -- btw, why didn't my comment show up on your site?

Love, C.

K. said...

I haven't seen this one, although I have heard that it inspired Star Wars. I should watch it with my kids -- I'm sure they can point out the parallels!

Have you seen Throne of Blood? It's Kurosawa's retelling of MacBeth set in feudal Japan. Incredible ending, but the rest of the movie is pretty awesome, too.

Foxessa said...

K -- Back in March when discussing Seven Samurai here that I've seen all these films previously, but not for years, not since I actually have had personal contact with Asia and Asians, and since these glorious Criterion cleanups and restorations.

It appearss the primary so-called inspiration from Hidden Fortress upon Star Wars, according the very many experts in this subject I know, is the two clowns.

Which is puzzling, as two lower class clowns as counterpoint to the antics of their better bred, more important, heroic betters is as ancient in story-telling and theater as is 'clothes make the person,' which is also in Hidden Fortress, when at the end the clowns cannot recognize Our Princess in her Princess kimonos, cosmetics and hair arrangement.

Love, C.