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Japan 2020’s Akira Kurosawa Collection – 5 Must-See Movies


For more information on BFI Japan 2020, click here

To view Japan 2020 on BFI Player, click here


BFI Player’s Japan 2020 season is now live, with two first rate collections to keep you occupied during lockdown. One focusses on Japan’s most famous filmmaker, Akira Kurosawa, and features 21 films from the 30 he made in a career spanning six decades. The other showcases classics of Japanese cinema across the decades – click here for details on that one.

People most likely know the name, but as the years tick by the audience for Kurosawa’s films inevitably dwindles. Which makes Japan 2020’s collection essential… for many reasons.

Chiefly, Kurosawa movies are dazzling. As important, they still seem fresh and accessible to modern eyes.

Kurosawa was the first ...

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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – The Electric Shadows Podcast

The Electric Shadows Podcast reaches its three-quarters of a century mark! And in the 75th episode Robs Daniel and Wallis see just how strong the Force is with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

The film has proven as divisive (almost) as The Last Jedi, and our two intrepid casters in pod have opinions on what it does well and where it stumbles. We don’t want to spoil the discussion here too much, so we’ll not go into specifics. Suffice to say, there is a spoiler section because the film packs in quite a few surprises. But, it’s behind a clearly defined spoiler wall midway through, so don’t worry.

Also, this will be the final episode under the moniker, The Electric Shadows Podcast...

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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Director: J.J. Abrams

Writer: J.J. Abrams, Chris Terrio (story and script), Derek Connolly (story), George Lucas (characters)

Cast: Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels, Ian McDiarmid, Richard E. Grant, Domhnall Gleeson, Billy Dee Williams, Kelly Marie Tran, Keri Russell

Producers: J.J. Abrams, Kathleen Kennedy, Michelle Rejwan

Music: John Williams

Cinematography: Dan Mindel

Editor: Maryann Brandon, Stefan Grube

Cert: 12

Running time: 141mins

Year: 2019



What’s the story: When Emperor Palpatine (McDiarmid) returns, the Resistance must find his base before he brings destruction to the galaxy. First Order Supreme Leader Kylo Ren (Driver) hunts both the Emperor and fledgling Jedi Rey (Ridley).

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Director: Rian Johnson

Writer: Rian Johnson (screenplay), George Lucas (characters)

Cast: Daisy Ridley, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Kelly Marie Tran, Domnhall Gleeson, Andy Serkis, Benicio Del Toro, Peter Mayhew, Anthony Daniels

Cert: 12

Running time: 152mins

Year: 2017


 


What’s the story: With the First Order hunting the Resistance into extinction, Rey (Ridley) seeks out Luke Skywalker (Hamill) to bring him into the fight.

What’s the verdict: Of the new wave of adventures set in a galaxy far, far away, The Last Jedi has the toughest mission to date. To do something different.

The Force Awakens and Rogue One recaptured the magic. Partly by leaning heavily into the nostalgia, mixing the new with the comfortingly familiar.

Writer/director Rian ...

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Rogue One

rogue-one-posterDirector: Gareth Edwards

Writer: Chris Weitz, Tony Gilroy (screenplay), John Knoll, Gary Whitta (story), George Lucas (characters)

Cast: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Alan Tudyk, Wen Jiang, Forest Whitaker, Riz Ahmed, Mads Mikkelsen

Cert: 12

Running time: 134mins

Year: 2016



What’s the story: The Galactic Empire has created a terrifying new weapon, the Death Star, which is nearing full planet-killing power. Jyn Erso (Jones), street thief and cynical daughter of the weapon’s chief architect (Mikkelsen), must team up with a ragtag group of freedom fighters and mercenaries to steal plans to the Death Star and deliver them to the Rebel Alliance.

rogue-one-felicity-jones-jyn-erso-black-outfitrogue-one-orson-krennic

What’s the verdict: Despite being a Star Wars movie, Rogue One has a feeling of difficult second album-itis...

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Star Wars – The Force Awakens

Star-Wars---The-Force-Awakens---poster Director: J.J. Abrams

Writers: J.J. Abrams, Lawrence Kasdan, Michael Arndt, George Lucas (characters only)

Cast: Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Peter Mayhew, Anthony Daniels

Cert: 12

Running time: 135mins

Year: 2015



What’s the story: Thirty years after the events of Return of the Jedi, the new and dangerous First Order threatens to enslave the galaxy. The Resistance, headed by General Leia, lead the counter charge. Thrown into the fight are Stormtrooper deserter Finn and scavenger Rey.

Star-Wars---The-Force-Awakens---Daisy-Ridley,-John-BoyegaStar-Wars---The-Force-Awakens---Harrison-Ford,-Chewbacca,-Peter-Mayhew

What’s the verdict: From the opening story crawl we know balance has returned to the Force...

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