Akira Kurosawa's Dreams Movie Review

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At the risk of sounding disrespectful to one of filmmaking's masters, Akira Kurosawa couldn't dream his way out of a paper bag.

Based on Akira Kurosawa's Dreams -- a film consisting of, you guessed it, a bunch of his dreams put on film and strung together one after another -- Kurosawa didn't have dreams any more interesting than you or me. George Bush's dreams -- that I'd like to see. Saddam Hussein's dreams -- that'd be a hoot! But a creative filmmaker naturally has kooky, inspirational dreams. And of course they're complete nonsense.

Dreams stands as perhaps the biggest and most painful vanity project ever put to film. A dead soldier refuses to believe he is dead. Japanese nuclear plants explode and make Mt. Fuji appear to be erupting. A fox gets married in a magical forest. And in one of the most inexplicable ten minutes of celluloid ever released to the public, Martin Scorsese plays an English-speaking Vincent Van Gogh. He meets Kurosawa's alter-ego, who then traipses through life-size Van Gogh paintings before being surrounded by superimposed crows.

There is utter nonsense, and then there is Dreams.

I have no problem with dreamy movies like Blue Velvet and I have no problem Kurosawa, who made masterpieces Ran and Rashomon 35 years apart from one another. Dreams came at the very end of his career, in 1990, when Kurosawa was clearly fading away. His love affairs with samurai culture, Shakespeare, and the subjectivity of perception all seem to have faded away. Dreams isn't even a love affair with dreaming -- it's a love affair with Akira Kurosawa... and nobody wants to see that kind of molestation on the big screen.

Aka Yume.

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Akira Kurosawa's Dreams Rating

" Terrible "

Rating: PG, 1990

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