"A film is never really good unless the camera is an eye in the head of a poet." - Akira Kurosawa
A beautiful rainbow of several shorts made in form of one man’s dreams; the man here is none other than the Master himself. Each creative dream records the reflections of Master’s collective psyche of being fellow Japanese born in post war period and as the finest artist bringing confluence of western art with Japanese folklore, setting and milieu. Most of the dreams represent surprise and excitement towards climax with beautiful use of magic realism. Ah! Japanese literature is just unmatchable in it! So there’s ‘Crows’ where an amateur painter while witnessing Van Gogh’s gallery suddenly turned into the life and time of Van Gogh through one of his painting or ‘The Peach Orchard’ in which like a fable a crying boy witnesses his yearning to watch the orchard in its full bloom..
In some of the dreams Kurosawa corresponded his deeply rooted consciousness of post war- post nuclear explosion trauma and sensibilities along with nature’s constant threat in one or other form of natural calamities as indicated in ‘Mount Fuji in Red’, ‘The Weeping Demon’ or ‘The Tunnel’ where an army commander returning from home encountered spirits of a dead soldier and annihilated platoon coming out of the tunnel.
All Kurosawa fans know pretty well that nature seems so breathing alive in Master’s cinema but this one is absolutely pinnacle of what one can achieve in cinematic medium with camera and colors. More than part and parcel, Nature here is constant character in all of the dreams and this is the film where Master’s stroke of colors gives you a different aesthetic high. Must say it’s a visual poetry and portrays nature in its all shades of creation and destruction from bloom to blizzard, from fog to forest and from volcano to rain. If one pay close attention to all of the dreams it conveys the inherent message that how men keep on ravaging beautiful and blissful world of nature, turning lush landscapes to barren land for his own selfish purposes. The message articulated so wonderfully in the final dream of ‘Village of the Watermills’ showing us the surprising ideal world of nature where even funeral is celebrated as wedding. It’s the one I like the most.
Must say 'The cinema that heals'.