Kurosawa has a plate of giant chocolate-covered strawberries, giant stem strawberries, and fresh raspberries in front of him. A waitress offers him some chocolate truffles and some chocolate cake, and he helps himself and contemplates his desserts with obvious pleasure. Elia Kazan, a few seats away at the table, catches his eye. “The film I want to see again is the Russian one—Dersu Uzala,” Kazan says, looking at Kurosawa with boyish admiration. “I saw it five years ago, when it came out. Did you work with the author? How does a script like that come to be?”
Kurosawa nods several times and laughs, putting back on his plate a chocolate-covered strawberry he was about to eat. “The Soviets came to me and said, ‘We want you to direct a film in Russia. Whatever you want to do.’ I suggested the Russian novel by Vladimir Arseniev. I had read it thirty years before. The Russians were amazed that I knew this book, and accepted immediately. The Russian writer Yuri Nagibin kept coming in. We did the screenplay together, working in Russia. That is”—Kurosawa gives a mischievous kind of grin—“his ideas were not usually acceptable, so we stayed mainly with ideas that were mine.” He pops the chocolate covered strawberry into his mouth.
[Profiles: Kurosawa Frames | The New Yorker — 1981]
What kind of influence does the Noh play have in Throne of Blood?
Akira Kurosawa: Drama in the West takes its character from the psychology of men or circumstances; the Noh is different. First of all, the Noh has the mask, and while staring at it, the actor becomes the man whom the mask represents. The performance also has a defined style, and in devoting himself to it faithfully, the actor becomes possessed. Therefore, I showed each of the players a photograph of the mask of the Noh which came closest to the respective role; I told him that the mask was his own part. To Toshiro Mifune, who played the part of Taketoki Washizu (Macbeth), I showed the mask named Heida. This was the mask of a warrior. In the scene in which Mifune is persuaded by his wife to kill his lord, he created for me just the same life-like expression as the mask did. To Isuzu Yamada, who acted the role of Asaji (Lady Macbeth), I showed the mask named Shakumi. This was the mask of a beauty no longer young, and represented the image of a woman about to go mad. The actress who wears this mask, when she gets angry, changes her mask for one the eyes of which are golden-colored. This mask represents the state of an unearthly feeling of tension and Lady Macbeth assumes the same state. For the warrior who was murdered by Macbeth and later reappears as an apparition, I considered the mask of the apparition of a nobleman of the name of Chujo. The witch in the wood was represented by the mask named Yamanba.
[ Interview with Akira Kurosawa | Joan Mellen, 1975 ]
WACs - 1942
WACs (Women’s Army Corps members) on gas masks for a training drill at Iowa’s Fort Des Moines.
Orwell’s 1984 feelings…
Imagine a second that our fears, our suffering, could be physically visible. Imagine a second that when you tell “his or her other half” totally make sense because now we just had half of a body. It’s with a real sensitivity that swedish artist Anders Krisár illustrates social facts and personal questioning through his sculptures. Made by polyester resin, polyurethane, pills, … his work is disturbing by its realism and almost surgical precision.
© Photos : Anders Krisár
Tell me more about you, what is your story?
I come from humble backgrounds.
At an early age I did a lot of graffiti, then I got involved with advertising, music composition, and tournament chess. Finally I ended up as an artist.
What are your motivations?
I have things that needs to come out as physical objects. I’m kind of reproducing myself.
Where comes from your passion for sculpture? your inspiration? any influences?
I always loved sculpture. I get inspired by music and life.
What advices would you like to give to a young artist?
Dig where you stand.
What book are on your bedside tables on this moment?
“The wisest things ever said about chess” by Andrew Soltis
Something you would like to share with us (any website, picture, proverb, fun stuff…)?
Something absurd you would like to do now?
Live my life.
Ichwan Noor’s Spherical Beetle at Art Basel Hong Kong
Indonesian sculptor Ichwan Noor recently debuted a sculpture of a warped VW Beetle that looks like it was conceived within a cartoonist’s imagination (perhaps a nod to Billy Gibbons’ more polished “Bus Ball”). Seemingly defying the laws of physics, Noor’s exaggerated, spherical car breaks the rules of the properties of matter we hold to be true. Noor showed this sculpture at Art Basel Hong Kong (which wrapped up on May 26) and has created other surreal vehicles, like a cube-shaped Beetle, for past festivals. Take a look at some photos below.