Criterion Year Week 13: Yojimbo

The Criterion Collection, the last vestige of truly collectible DVD and Blu-Ray movies in existence. These are well produced, fancy pants editions of important and interesting films for the discerning film lover.

We continue our journey through Jim's collection of movies with...

Week 13:


Spine Number: 52

Director: Akira Kurosawa

Genre: Samurai


That's it. Master. There is no other word that more correctly conveys the level of talent shown by Akira Kurosawa. His eye for framing and composition is unrivaled, his ability to balance a simple narrative is impeccable, and his touch with creating characters that are believable and sympathetic is utterly flawless. He is a master filmmaker.

By the time he released "Yojimbo" in 1961 he had already been making movies for 20 years and had 20 films under his belt. Of those 20, no fewer than 8 have their own Criterion releases. Titles like "The Seven Samurai," "Ikiru," "High and Low," and "Stray Dog," had already been released and recognized as masterpieces of cinema. Then, at the age of 51 he releases "Yojimbo," and influences an entirely new genre of film. Make no mistake, the Spaghetti Western DOES NOT EXIST without this film.


The complex morality of the nameless hero who operates under his own code of right and wrong, the perfectly stylized visuals, the cool as hell score... all of those can be traced back to this film. It's simple, precise, and completely engrossing.

So, join us as we again discuss the immense talent of a true master.


Next week:

Spine Number 53: Sanjuro (The sequel/companion film to Yojimbo.)

Also, check this out.
Looks like Summer Movie League has officially become Fantasy Movie League.
It looks quite fun. Here's how it works.
You have an 8 screen theater.
Every week you pick movies and have a budget/salary cap you have to stay under.
Then you compete against other theaters in your league.
It's fantasy football for movie people.

Our league is Film Thugs 2015 and the password is Porterhouse.

And remember, you can be a part of the show any time you wild like. How's that? All you have to do is call or e-mail us. If you live in the US, or any place that makes calling the US easy, just dial 512-666-RANT and leave us a voicemail. We will read the Google Voice transcript and play your message. It's both funny AND informative.

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Also, be sure to check back often for our new endeavor The Life Masters, where we answer questions to other advice columnists.

Thanks for listening, and until next week...

Jim out.

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