“In a Mad World,
Only The Mad Are Sane.”
The great Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa, whose centennial is being celebrated this year, was known for creating full-scale paintings to use as storyboards for his films. His masterpieces “Rashomon,” (1950), “Seven Samurai,” (1954), “Kagemusha,” (1980), to which belongs the panel above, and “Ran,” (1985), all benefitted from his richly detailed, high quality storyboards, and resulted in countless international awards.
Along with another superior filmmaker, Italian Federico Fellini, Kurosawa‘s storyboards tell stories of their own and exist independently from the movies to which they were drawn. He tapped into Shakespeare, Dostoevsky and Gorky, and his love for American post-war Western directors such as John Ford, to develop highly personal and intensely humanist works, many of them adapted and remade by others.
He died in 1998, not as a household name in Japan but revered the world over as one of the cinema’s great masters.