Monday, March 16, 2009

i can't believe this exists, volume 1. [attention cinephiles]

i can't believe this exists. okay, quick story. i was in 8th grade when jesus christ himself decided to bless the good people of earth with the digital versatile disc, and still in 8th grade when the demi-gods over at criterion decided to bless the digital versatile disc with akira kurosawa's "seven samurai." a film i blindly ordered on amazon with the credit card i stole from my mom's underwear drawer (hey, it's better than the hamper) in anticipation for my forthcoming trip to japan. it pretty much tore me in half from scrotum to spinal cord... okay, that moment of freudian thievery may have had farther reaching implications than was first thought... i popped it in, went from curious to quizzical to "what the eff is that feral woodland creature?" (later perusal of the credits would reveal it to be toshiro mifune), to... dawn.

i've never aged so much in 208 minutes. i now own the entire criterion collection (dvd and blu-ray... laser discs, alas, continue to elude my grasp, budget, and logic), have been to japan several times, graduated from college with a degree in film studies, blah blah blah lots of narcissistic stuff later... the point is that it seems in retrospect to have been a pretty pivotal moment for me. my star wars, so to speak. kurosawa may no longer be my favorite filmmaker (that dubious honor probably goes to herzog, at the moment) or even my favorite japanese filmmaker (nagisa oshima is one "death by hanging" criterion blu-ray away from snatching that honor), but he's absolutely a hero of mine and an indelible lynchpin of my formative years. having plowed through the epic account of his working relationship with toshiro mifune - "the emperor and the wolf" - on more than one occasion, he's also become something of a role model as well. like paul rudd, but with an affinity for little fisher hats and ryokans.

annnyhooooo, this is a really circuitous way of saying that the picture below is pretty much el dorado, for me. you can follow the link for the story, which is absolutely charming in its own right, but this picture... well, its' "i can't believe this exists" -ness doesn't really need any more explanation, or any explanation at all other than the names of those captured therein.

Click to enlarge

oh, also, i should note that my favorite coppola is the daughter and not the dad (don't fight it, just let me be), so this picture holds even more value as a bizarre piece of ephemera. cause yeah, that's little sofia next to the introspective, shaded kurosawa. and the photographer - as the linked article would reveal - is the inimitable wim wenders, director of wings of desire, paris, texas, and... more pertinently (kind of), tokyo-ga.

and GAH (that's a segue i didn't think i'd ever come across, let alone write)... what a photo. really made my day yesterday. but i'm a simple man.

oh, and click here for the link to the article in the guardian