Directed by: Akira Kurosawa. I guess I was on a Japan kick one day, and I picked up a bunch of different Japanese films that I thought would scratch different itches. Definitely this one—a random, comforting Kurosawa samurai flick—was going to scratch a different itch than Outrage or Audition. And even though it’s been so long since I’ve seen Yojimbo (to which this is a sequel) that I basically haven’t seen it, for this one I was able to just sit back, relax, and enjoy some great storytelling, some great sword fighting, and some great Toshiro Mifune, whose delivery speaks across the language divide and tells you everything you need to know. It’s criminal how little Mifune I’ve seen, and for that matter, how little Kurosawa I’ve seen. Other than Seven Samurai, Rashomon, and The Bad Sleep Well (the modern-day Hamlet set in Japanese office towers from the 60’s, and featuring Mifune in his craziest get-up yet—a clean-cut businessman!), I’m embarrassingly poorly read. Basically, I don’t have a ton of insight here—see this movie, it’s great, and I’m gonna make a note to self: see more Kurosawa!