Compound Cinematics: Akira Kurosawa and I ハードカバー – 2015/3/31
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Any list of Japan's greatest screenplay writers would feature Shinobu Hashimoto at or near the top. This memoir, focusing on his collaborations with Akira Kurosawa, a gifted scenarist in his own right, offers indispenable insider account for fans and students of the director's oeuvre and invaluable insights into the unique process that is writing for the screen.
The vast majority of Kurosawa works were filmed from screenplays that the director co-wrote with a stable of steller writers, many of whom he discovered himself with his sharp eye for all things cinematic. Among these was Hashimoto, who caught the filmmaker's attention with a script that eventually turned into Roshamon. Thus joining Team Kurosawa the debutant immediately went on to paly an integral part in developing and writing two of the grandmaster's most impressive achievements, Ikiru and Seven Samurai.
“Fans of Japanese cinema, as well as film historians should make it a point to read Compound Cinematics: Akira Kurosawa and I, due to its immense profundity on both Hashimoto's impact on cinema as a whole, as well as Kurosawa's output as a filmmaker. Shinobu Hashimoto is one of the greatest screenwriters of Japan and this book can help English language speakers discover just a bit more about him, through one of the finest film books to be released in a long time.... Highly Recommended!” —FilmMonthly
“Part memoir, part screenwriting textbook, part treatise on the art of filmmaking, Compound Cinematics is a fascinating look inside the mind of one of the great screenwriters and his collaborations with one of the world’s greatest directors.... the book gives a wealth of information on how the director prepared for his films and wrote them. For Kurosawa scholars and even just fans of his movies, these details are absolutely wonderful.... for the sections with Kurosawa and the behind-the-scenes look at three of the world’s greatest films, this book is highly recommended.” —Cinema Sentries
“If you are interested in the creative process behind some of the greatest works of cinema, then I wholeheartedly recommend this book.... Hashimoto is one of the unsung masters. And Kurosawa is a master who cannot be sung enough. A book on their collaborations is a treasure for practitioners of screen storytelling and fans of movie history alike.” —Making the Movie
Although I largely disagree with the author's reviews of late Kurosawa works such as Kagemusha and Ran, I found this to be an entirely fascinating book on screenwriting that's unlike any other.