As an appreciation to the people of Singapore for their kind support and generosity after the devastation caused by the Earthquake and Tsunami on March 11, The Japan Foundation, Embassy of Japan (JCC), Singapore Film Society and Japanese Association Singapore will present 21 films of KUROSAWA Akira or Akira Kurosawa, as he is known internationally, in Singapore from April 18 to 30 - the largest ever retrospective of his works in Singapore over 13 days.

The recent devastation and after-effects from the Earthquake and Tsunami that hit Japan on March 11 continues to dominate headlines. After much consideration, The Japan Foundation and Embassy of Japan has decided to proceed with its plans for a film programme on Akira Kurosawa. This event will kick-off a series of initiatives to cheer up Japan, which is recovering from the disaster, and is a token of sincere appreciation to the people of Singapore for their kind support and generosity after the devastation caused by events on March 11. On behalf of the people of Japan, the organisers welcome all Singaporeans to this event and hope they too will enjoy and discover Akira Kurosawa - Japan's most famous director and one of the world's most influential filmmakers.

DONATIONS - members of the public who wish to contribute to the recovery and relief efforts for those affected by the recent earthquake and Tsunami may do so at the collection tin to be placed at the venue. This collection will be facilitated by the Japanese Association of Singapore and the Singapore Red Cross.

KUROSAWA Akira is one of the most influential and beloved filmmakers who ever lived, and for many the greatest artist the medium has known. Through films as diverse as RASHOMON, IKIRU, SEVEN SAMURAI, YOJIMBO, and HIGH AND LOW, Kurosawa displayed technical and artistic mastery over several genres from samurai epics to post-war noir to literary adaptations.

Born in 1910 to a family that held samurai rank in a Japan grappling with Westernisation after centuries of isolation, Kurosawa first trained as a painter. Along the way he became a devotee of Dostoyevsky and Gorky, but later abandoned an art career for film and worked his way up from a lowly assistant director in Toho Studios to become one of Japan's -- and the world's -- most important directors. Kurosawa is known for maintaining a thoughtful, steadfast humanism in spite of Japan's turbulent modern history. Throughout the rise and fall of militarism, foreign occupation, political turmoil and economic resurgence, Kurosawa's films are united by an embrace of ordinary humanity and modest heroism displayed through humour and redemption in the face of despair and anxiety. Technically, Kurosawa is legendary for production perfection coupled with elaborate, painstakingly planned sets, so much so that his staff called him "the emperor".

His films have left their mark on generations of audiences and filmmakers: even if you have never seen a Kurosawa film, you have probably seen one inspired by him, with directors as diverse as Sergio Leone, George Lucas, and Martin Scorsese crediting him as an artistic influence and spiritual godfather. "Akira Kurosawa is one of the greatest directors ever to work in the cinema," according to Francis Ford Coppola. "His films meant an enormous amount to me when I was starting my own career."

As part of AKIRA KUROSAWA, we will be screening his four early and exceptional works, created as World War II raged, and which gave him his start in the Japanese film industry - SUGATA SANSHIRO, THE MOST BEAUTIFUL, SUGATA SANSHIRO 2 and THOSE WHO STEP ON THE TAIL OF THE TIGER. With subsequent films that range from political epic to whimsy to courtroom pot-boiler, Kurosawa revealed the artistic range and social acuity that would mark his peerless career and make him the most popular Japanese director in the world.

We hope you will enjoy this rare opportunity -- the largest retrospective of Akira Kurosawa films in Singapore.

concept and strategy by LUNA DIGITAL
AKIRA KUROSAWA - a programme of Japanese Film Festival Singapore 2011 | シンガポール日本映画祭 2011 | April 18-30 | Gallery Theatre National Museum of Singapore