Eclipse 1951: 白痴

Oh, this is the Fyodor novel…

And it’s three hours long aaaaa

Err… that’s a lot of exposition…

… and it just goes on and on.

And now there’s a voiceover offering more exposition!

Aha!

It was originally intended to be a two-part film with a running time of 265 minutes. After a single, poorly received, screening of the full-length version, the film was severely cut at the request of the studio. This was against Kurosawa’s wishes. When the re-edited version was also deemed too long by the studio, Kurosawa sardonically suggested the film be cut lengthwise instead.

What a card. (But I’m assuming that it was funnier in the original Japanese, where perhaps “cut lengthwise” isn’t a semi-synonym for “cut for length”.)

Anyway, I assume that all the exposition and the voiceover is a replacement for the the two hours that was cut.

Well, that looks good…

Yeah, that’s totally how I have my bathroom mirror mounted — to make it easy for a camera to get an over-the-shoulder shot at the mirror.

One grammidiot says:

The Idiot is overwrought, over-long and ultimate quite a chore through which to sit.

I bet he got a Gold Star from his third grade English teacher?

But he’s right in essence — this movie is even worse than the previous Kurosawa movies.

OK, I can’t take this any more — I’m 70 minutes in, and the movie is consistently annoying. Overwrought, constantly scored with maudlin music telling you how to feel every second, and just… awful.

The Idiot. Akira Kurosawa. 1951.

This blog post is part of the Eclipse series.

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