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What Akira Saw...

November 5th, 2006 (12:00 pm)

current mood: intrigued

I'm reading Akira Kurosawa's autobiography, Something Like an Autobiography. I really like the tone and how he just discusses his life without a lot of added flourish.

One really interesting thing: Kurosawa lists the movies he remembers watching as a kid (his brother was a benshi, and sparked his interest in movies). Looking at the list, I understand a little more about his filmmaking and where he was coming from (I've even seen a lot of them). The dates may be slightly off, since this was put together in later life and he didn't have Japanese release dates, but he evidently did see these movies.

So without further ado, here's The List [1]:

  1. Aged 9
    • The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Robert Weine)
    • Passion (Ernst Lubitsch)
    • Shoulder Arms (Charles Chaplin)
    • Male and Female (Cecil B. DeMille)
    • Broken Blossoms (D. W. Griffith)

  2. Aged 10
    • Von Morgens bis Mitternacht (Carl Martin)
    • Die Bergkatze (The Wildcat, Ernst Lubitsch)
    • The Phantom Carriage (Victor Sjöström)
    • The Last of the Mohicans (Maurice Tourneur)
    • Humoresque (Frank Borzage)
    • Sunnyside (Charles Chaplin)

  3. Aged 11
    • Way Down East (D. W. Griffith)
    • The Kid (Charles Chaplin)
    • The Three Musketeers (Fred Niblo)
    • Over the Hill to the Poorhouse (Harry Millarde)
    • The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (Rex Ingram)
    • Fool's Paradise (Cecil B. DeMille)

  4. Aged 12
    • Dr. Mabuse (Fritz Lang)
    • The Loves of Pharaoh (Ernst Lubitsch)
    • The Little Prince (Alfred Green)
    • Blood and Sand (Fred Niblo)
    • The Prisoner of Zenda (Rex Ingram)
    • Pay Day (Charles Chaplin)
    • Foolish Wives (Erich von Stroheim)
    • Orphans of the Storm (D. W. Griffith)
    • The Distant Smile (Sidney Franklin)

  5. Aged 13
    • The Pilgrim (Charles Chaplin)
    • The Thief of Bagdad (Raoul Walsh)
    • La Roue (Abel Gance)
    • Kick In (George Fitzmaurice)
    • The Covered Wagon (James Cruze)
    • Kean (Alexandre Vilkoff)
    • A Woman of Paris (Charles Chaplin)
    • Cyrano de Bergerac (Augusto Genina)

  6. Aged 14
    • The Iron Horse (John Ford)
    • He Who Gets Slapped (Victor Sjöström)
    • Die Niebelungen (Fritz Lang)
    • The Marriage Circle (Ernst Lubitsch)

  7. Aged 15
    • The Gold Rush (Charles Chaplin)
    • Master of the House (Carl Dreyer)
    • Feu Mathias Pascal (Marcel L'Herbier)
    • Beau Geste (Herbert Brenon)
    • Greed (Erich von Stroheim)
    • Lady Windermere's Fan (Ernst Lubitsch)
    • The Big Parade (King Vidor)
    • The Salvation Hunter (Josef von Sternberg)
    • The Last Laugh (F. W. Murnau)
    • The Joyless Street (G. W. Pabst)
    • Nana (Jean Renoir)
    • Variety (E. A. Dupont)

  8. Aged 16
    • Three Bad Men (John Ford)
    • So This Is Paris (Ernst Lubitsch)
    • The Armored Vault (Lupu Pick)
    • Tartuffe (F. W. Murnau)
    • Faust (F. W. Murnau)
    • Metropolis (Fritz Lang)
    • Potemkin (Sergei Eisenstein)
    • Mother (V. I. Pudovkin)

  9. Aged 17
    • Seventh Heaven (Frank Borzage)
    • Wings (William Wellman)
    • Barbed Wire (Rowland V. Lee)
    • Underworld (Jospeh von Sternberg)
    • Sunrise (F. W. Murnau)
    • Comedies with Harold Lloyd, Buster Keaton, Harry Langdon, Wallace Beery, Raymond Hatton, Chester Conklin, Roscoe Arbuckle, Sidney Chaplin
    • Chuji tabi nikki (Ito Daisuke)

  10. Aged 18
    • Docks of New York (Jospeh von Sternberg)
    • The Dragnet (Jospeh von Sternberg)
    • Thérèse Raquin (Jacques Feyder)
    • Storm Over Asia (V. I. Pudovkin)
    • The Wedding March (Erich von Stroheim)
    • The Little Match Girl (Jean Renoir)
    • Verdun, Visions d'histoire (Léon Poirier)
    • The Fall of the House of Usher (Jean Epstein)
    • La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc (Carl Dreyer)
    • The Seashell and the Clergyman (Germaine Dulac)
    • Shinpan Ooka Seidan (Ito Daisuke)
    • Roningai (Makino Masahiro)

  11. Aged 19
    • The Blue Angel (Josef von Sternberg)
    • Asphalt (Joe May)
    • Un Chien andalou (Luis Buñuel)
    • Les Mystères du Château du Dé (Man Ray)
    • Rein que les heures (Alberto Cavalcanti)
    • Kubi no za (Murata Minoru)

I'm amazed at how many of these still exist.

1 Source: Akira Kurosawa, Something Like an Autobiography (New York: Vintage Books, 1983), pp. 73-74.

(My footnotes suck, but I'm nowhere near a style guide to look up layout.)


Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: November 5th, 2006 04:59 pm (UTC)

This is an excellent article. Are ALL of these listed in 'Something Like and Autobiography'? I didn't remember he mentioned so many movies in it!


Posted by: lady_wakasa (lady_wakasa)
Posted at: November 5th, 2006 05:59 pm (UTC)
Re: Wow!

Yep - they're in a footnote on the pages indicated. I typed the list, so I can definitely attest to that!

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