OTB#17: Seven Samurai

Seven Samurai. Akira Kurosawa. 1954. ⚂

[two minutes pass]

I thought I had seen this movie before, but now I think not? And it lasts ALL THE HOURS. I may have to take a pause in the middle of this. I mean, I got up at 6 this morning and it’s 20 now…

[half an hour passes]

Oh, right, this is the original version of The Magnificent Seven.

I’m mostly wondering what these hairdos are all about:

Was that the fashion at the time? Or is it just a really bad hairdresser employed by Kurosawa?

It seems too… consistent… to be anything else than a thing Kurosawa wanted to have happen.

Anyway!

This movie is kinda boring? Rashomon, at least, had a singular focus (even if it somehow managed to seem too long at 1:30), but this seems so scattered.

As in Rashomon, the actors are really bad I mean totally Japanese and stylised and mysterious no I mean bad. The fetishation of Japanese otherness is really grating sometimes, and some directors (like Kurosawa) really lean into that for commercial reasons. I think! I know nothing about him! That’s just my impression!

[an hour and a half passes]

*sigh*

Has anything of interest happened? Not really. I guess you could enjoy the slow world-building… but… the “funny” bits are dreary and the serious bits are risible.

I don’t get it.

Even the cinematography is pedestrian — there’s nothing exciting about the sets or the scenery or well anything. The performances are pedestrian at best. Do I need to google why people like this?

Wow! A 100%! That’s scary. It’s deranged. What did the reviewers like about this?

Er… ok… uhm…

WHAT TIMES!!!

NO! BOTH THINGS ARE TRIVIALLY WRONG, RACHEL! There’s so many scenes here where you wonder whether Kurosawa or the cinematographer were even present when they were shot, because they’re all kinds of boring and awkward, and few of the actors are compelling.

So are people just rating this so high because they’ve somehow been sold on a narrative that this is a classic? It’s so weird.

[another hour passes]

I’ve been so bored by this movie that I’ve lost track of what the plot it? There’s been a lot of risibly bad panto acting, and now… finally… the bad guys are attacking? I think that’s it.

[the end]

Man, that final battle scene looks cold and miserable. I feel sorry for the actors.

This blog post is part of the Officially The Best series.

One thought on “OTB#17: Seven Samurai”

  1. Hey Lars,

    It’s called ennui and you’ve got it bad!
    Here we are all the way up to #17 of Only the BEST, and how many have you actually liked in this run through? That early sense of wonder has long since disappeared and all that is left is a cynical older man, bemoaning almost every movie that meets your eyes.
    However, your reviews are always entertaining, frequently have me laughing out loud, and my only quibble is your lack of care with typos. Such quality writing in every other aspect.
    I have enjoyed being introduced to many movies that were previously just titles, and now I simply have to see them, even some of your stinkers.
    I guess watching movies is a bit like reading blogs — We take the good with the bad, and treasure the standout winners.
    Hang in there. Only 16 more terrible movies to go!

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