by HELEN GEIB
“AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa” is a new box set from Criterion timed to coincide with the centenary of Kurosawa’s birth. The box set includes all but five* of Kurosawa’s films. Four of the films in the set- Kurosawa’s first four films as director- are being released on DVD for the first time.
The full listing:
Sanshiro Sugata (1943)
The Most Beautiful (1944)
Sanshiro Sugata Part Two (1945)
The Men Who Tread on the Tiger’s Tail (1945)
No Regrets for Our Youth (1946)
One Wonderful Sunday (1947)
Drunken Angel (1945)
Stray Dog (1949)
The Idiot (1951)
Seven Samurai (1954)
I Live in Fear (1955)
Throne of Blood (1957)
The Lower Depths (1957)
The Hidden Fortress (1958)
The Bad Sleep Well (1960)
High and Low (1963)
Red Beard (1965)
(The still accompanying this post is from Sanshiro Sugata.)
The box set comes with a book featuring an introduction and notes on each film by Stephen Prince plus a “remembrance” by Donald Richie. In addition, many of the individual discs have commentaries and other extra features. Check out the criterion.com page for more details.
Longtime collectors of Kurosawa on DVD likely own most of these films already and so will probably want to pass up this set and wait for a separate release of the four new films. For everyone else, this box set is a great bargain (but be sure to get it from one of the several retailers selling it steeply discounted from the list price) and would be a worthy addition to any cinephile’s DVD collection.
*The five Kurosawa films not included in the set are controlled by other rights-holder and are available individually on DVD. They are The Quiet Duel, Dersu Uzala, Ran, Dreams, and Rhapsody in August.