Press Room

Georgia Museum of Art to present samurai film series

Thursday, October 22, 2015

In conjunction with the exhibition “Samurai: The Way of the Warrior” (Oct. 24, 2015 – Jan. 3, 2016), the Georgia Museum of Art will show four samurai-themed films this fall. All four of the films are directed by Akira Kurosawa, the famed Japanese filmmaker, and will be shown in the museum’s M. Smith Griffith Auditorium, free and open to the public.

“Seven Samurai” (1957) will screen October 29 at 7 p.m., with an introduction by Hyangsoon Yi, UGA professor of comparative literature and director of the Center for Asian Studies. Ranked as one of the greatest films of all time in the Sight & Sound critics’ poll, it tells the story of a rural village that hires a motley group of samurai to defend it against bandits. Remade as “The Magnificent Seven” in 1960 by John Sturges, it stars Toshiro Mifune and was Kurosawa’s first samurai film.

“The Hidden Fortress” (1958) will screen November 12 at 7 p.m., in conjunction with UGA’s 2015 Spotlight on the Arts and the museum’s Student Night. A primary influence on George Lucas’ “Star Wars,” this film tells the story of a samurai general escorting his defeated clan’s princess to a secret location. Two bickering peasants (the inspiration for R2-D2 and C-3PO) accompany them. Masaki Mori, associate professor and assistant director of UGA’s Japanese program, will introduce the film.

“Kagemusha” (1980) will screen November 19 at 7:30 p.m., with an introduction by Yi. The word “kagemusha” literally translates as “shadow warrior” and means “political decoy.” A peasant thief is called on to impersonate a dying warlord, to prevent rival clans from attacking, but soon realizes he is haunted by more than just his own ambitions.

“Yojimbo” (1961) concludes the series, on December 3 at 7 p.m., with an introduction by Mori. The film chronicles a clever samurai who turns rival crime bosses against one other in order to free a small town from their grip. It has been remade twice, by Sergio Leone as “A Fistful of Dollars” by Walter Hill as “Last Man Standing” and strongly influenced Sergio Corbucci’s “Django” series of spaghetti westerns.

This film series is generously sponsored by UGA Parents & Families Association. All films include English subtitles.

Museum Information
Partial support for the exhibitions and programs at the Georgia Museum of Art is provided by the Georgia Council for the Arts through the appropriations of the Georgia General Assembly. The Georgia Council for the Arts also receives support from its partner agency, the National Endowment for the Arts. Individuals, foundations and corporations provide additional museum support through their gifts to the University of Georgia Foundation. The Georgia Museum of Art is located in the Performing and Visual Arts Complex on the East Campus of the University of Georgia. The address is 90 Carlton Street, University of Georgia, Athens, Ga. 30602-1502. For more information, including hours, see georgiamuseum.org or call 706-542-4662.

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