the-flavor-of-green-tea-over-rice

Seven Samurai turns 60 –
Akira Kurosawa’s masterpiece premiered April 26, 1954.

“Japanese films all tend to be rather bland in flavor, like green tea over rice, but I think we ought to have richer foods, richer films. So I thought I would make this kind of film, entertaining enough to eat… We all suffered making that film! But it was wonderful work, too. My own staff, those people who always work with me—well, there are no better people in the world to work with. And I don’t mean only the actors, or the writers, or art directors—I mean the carpenters, electricians, the grips and lightmen. Even without my telling them much, they knew just what I would have wanted. It is thanks to all of them that I’ve been able to make films like this one.”

Akira Kurosawa

“It was awfully cold when we shot that final battle in the rain. At first, I thought we’d be done shooting by the end of summer, but New Year’s had passed and it was February, the coldest time of the year, when we reached that point. I was naked but for a single plate of what looks like armor, with straw sandals on my bare feet, running around on mud that was frozen as hard as ice. It was cold, let me tell you, felt like way below zero, and still they kept showering us with that damned rain. I would run and fall, run and fall, my whole body shivering. I sure couldn’t do that anymore. I get a lot of fan mail from abroad saying they like the way that I die in the film, with my bare ass exposed. I sure didn’t have time to think about that sort of thing then! How old was I, thirty-three? So young.”

Toshiro Mifune