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Yume (Dreams) (1990)

Original Title : Yume
Director : Akira Kurosawa
Ishirô Hondo
Writer : Ishirô Honda
Akira Kurosawa
Genre : Fantasy
Country : Japan
Language : Japanese
Producer : Seikichi Iizumi , Mike Y. Inoue , Hisao Kurosawa , Allan H. Liebert , Steven Spielberg
Music : Shinichirô Ikebe
Photography : Kazutami Hara
Takao Saitô
Masaharu Ueda
Distributor : Asociace Ceských Filmových Klubu (ACFK) [cz]
IMDB ID : 0100998
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poster for "Yume (Dreams)" by Akira Kurosawa | Ishirô Hondo (1990)
Yume (Dreams) (1990) - Akira Kurosawa | Ishirô Hondo
 

Starring

Akira Terao I
Mitsuko Baisho Mother of 'I'
Mitsuko Baisho Mother of 'I'
 

Plot

This is essentially eight separate short films, though with some overlaps in terms of characters and thematic material - chiefly that of man's relationship with his environment. 'Sunshine Through The Rain': a young boy is told not to go out on the day when both weather conditions occur, because that's when the foxes hold their wedding procession, which could have fatal consequences for those who witness it. 'The Peach Orchard': the same young boy encounters the spirits of the peach trees that have been cut down by heartless humans. 'The Blizzard': a team of mountaineers are saved from a blizzard by spiritual intervention. 'The Tunnel': a man encounters the ghosts of an army platoon, whose deaths he was responsible for. 'Crows': an art student encounters Vincent Van Gogh and enters the world of his paintings. 'Mount Fuji in Red': nuclear meltdown threatens the devastation of Japan. 'The Weeping Demon': a portrait of a post-nuclear world populated by human mutations. 'Village of the Watermills': a sunny portrait of a village whose population is entirely at one with nature.
 

Comments

A testament to a genius ***********Spoiler Warning************* Kurosawa's movies, despite the language and cultural barriers, managed to come through with stories that seemed to have an almost universal appeal, and often were reused in contemporary Hollywood movies.(The Hidden Fortress for Star Wars, The Seven Samurai for the Magnificent Seven, Last Man Standing, and a few others.) Dreams is not his last movie, but was his last major release.Instead of a conventional story we instead get a series of vignettes, small snapshots of stories.(I've never found out if they were really based on his own dreams or not, I'd like to think they are.)His effect this time is the mood and feeling the pieces evoke.The range is wide, with stories about destruction from nuclear energy/war mingling with peaceful sojourns through Van Gogh's paintings. The material is surprisingly light on special effects and actual violence, as most of his movies were, but raises an impressive imagery nonetheless.Kurosawa just simply knew how to make movies, as opposed to modern films that incorporate a dream element and overdose on the gimmicks.The most unsettling piece to me was a man wandering through a wasteland encountering mutants and monsters, and instead of running he talks to them, but in the end still encounters their darkness. There is a theme of back to nature and living in harmony that recurs throughout and comes to a head in the final segment about the people living on the river.If this piece is looked at not as a environmental or political statement but as still a part of a dreamworld then it makes sense.Kurosawa was bringing forth the desire many people have, of peace and happiness and moving on from the turmoil in our lives.In that regard it makes a fitting set piece to a wonderful career and one of the greatest directors that ever existed.
 
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Yume (Dreams) (1990) - Akira Kurosawa | Ishirô Hondo
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Yume (Dreams) (1990) - Akira Kurosawa | Ishirô Hondo
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Yume (Dreams) (1990) - Akira Kurosawa | Ishirô Hondo
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Yume (Dreams) (1990) - Akira Kurosawa | Ishirô Hondo
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Yume (Dreams) (1990) - Akira Kurosawa | Ishirô Hondo
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