The Hidden Fortress (Kakushi toride no san-akunin), (Three Bad Men in a Hidden Fortress) | Akira Kurosawa | Japan, 1958
Film - Feature | June 30 | 7 p.m. | Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
Kurosawa combined the conventional Japanese period film with fairy-tale elements to produce an energetic and brilliant farce. Toshiro Mifune manages to be both heroic and self-mocking in his role as a most unorthodox and loyal retainer to a now defeated lord, attempting to escape with his princess charge into safe territory. They are joined by two comical farmers who alternately help and hinder their efforts. (If all this sounds strangely familiar, that may be because George Lucas borrowed heavily from The Hidden Fortress in making Star Wars.) It is as though Buñuel had made The Mark of Zorro, Donald Richie wrote. The result is what they call an action-drama in the trade, but one so beautifully made, one so imaginative, so funny, so tender, and so sophisticated that it comes near to being the most lovable film Kurosawa has ever made.
$7 BAMPFA members, UC Berkeley students | $8 UC Berkeley faculty, staff, retirees; non-UC Berkeley students, 65+, 18 & under, disabled persons | $12 General admission