Friday, September 13, 2013

Compelling Work From Kiyoshi Kurosawa

Japanese director Kiyoshi Kurosawa's SERPENT'S PATH and EYES OF THE SPIDER, thematic twins,  were both strong example's of his considerable talent and ability to take a narrative in unexpected directions.

Both involve child killing, torture, and vengeance, but are primarily focused on behavior more than action. Made around the same time and approaching almost the same events from different perspectives, they make for a mind-bending duo.

The influence of Takeshi Kitano on Kurosawa is clear. SERPENT'S PATH plays, at times, like Kitano's VIOLENT COP, right down to its warehouse location, opening visuals, and matter-of-fact violence.

EYES OF THE SPIDER, which boasts a larger cast of characters, references Kitano's HANNA-BI, A SCENE AT THE SEA, and BOILING POINT. Its deep silences are effective, giving its violent explosions enormous impact. The husband/wife relationship is also reminiscent of Kitano's work on HANNA-BI.

Both films are well worth catching, and are available from UK distributor Third Window Films.

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