Next film:

High and Low

(Tengoku to jigoku) 天国と地獄
Japan 1963. Dir: Akira Kurosawa. 143 min. 35mm

OPENING NIGHT | THURSDAY, MAY 30
REFRESHMENTS
& CURATOR'S INTRODUCTION

5:45 pm - Doors
6:30 pm - High and Low with Intro by Donald Brackett
9:20 pm - The Killing

Akira Kurosawa’s morally complex noir thriller — “the masterpiece of Kurosawa’s modern-day movies” (Elliott Stein, Village Voice) — adapts American crime writer Ed McBain’s novel King’s Ransom. Gondo (Kurosawa regular Toshiro Mifune), a self-made tycoon in financial straits, receives word that his young son has been kidnapped. Paying the ransom demand will sink him; when it transpires that the kidnapper actually grabbed the chauffeur’s son by mistake, yet still wants all the money, Gondo faces a terrible dilemma. The suspenseful film’s first half unfolds mostly within the confines of a single room; the second half explodes into a frenetic police procedural. High and Low is one of Kurosawa’s most impressively formal works, with taut CinemaScope framing, marvellous deep-focus compositions, gripping set pieces, great use of mirrors and reflections, and ironic point-of-view interplay between high and low — or, as the Japanese title has it, heaven and hell!


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REVIEWS

"Fully illustrates why Kurosawa is regarded as Japan's foremost director."

Washington Post | full review

"One of the best detective thrillers ever filmed."

New York Times | full review