Every movie lover has their admitted blind spots and sad to say mine is definitely Akira Kurosawa, the famed Japanese director who was behind such celebrated features as Ikiru (1952), Seven Samurai (1954) and Yojimbo (1961). Chances are, if you have an art-house film nearby you can wait it out for a Kurosawa film to make its way into the rotation; however if you are lucky enough to live near an Alamo Drafthouse you should check out their upcoming slate because my Alamo Drafthouse Twin Cities is playing Kurosawa’s 1958 action adventure The Hidden Fortress coming up on Wednesday, March 11 to celebrate it’s 60th Anniversary. I’m finally going to get my first taste of Kurosawa and it’s going to blessedly be on the big screen in a movie I’ve heard a lot about over the years.
The plot of The Hidden Fortress is described as this: Lured by gold, two greedy peasants escort a man and woman across enemy lines. However, they do not realize that their companions are actually a princess and her general. Parallels to this film and Star Wars have been drawn for years, even being confirmed as by George Lucas who cited Kurosawa’s movie as inspiration for the plot he developed for that 1977 global sensation. It will be hard to watch the film and not try to match up the characters between the two movies but I’m going to try to go in with as little expectation as possible. This was Kurosawa’s first film in the widescreen format and I’m looking forward to seeing his eye for imagery fill the large screen at the Alamo, a theater chain that truly knows how to display a classic film of this nature with great reverence.