Dersu Uzala (1975) by Akira KurosawaThe Arts Junction presents
Soviet Cult Films at Margret Movie Night
Saturday, February 28, 2009
6:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Dersu Uzala (Дерсу Узала: Russian / Derusu Uzara: Japanese)
director: Akira Kurosawa
genre: Adventure / Drama
country: Soviet Union / Japan
language: Russian with English sub-titles
color: Color (Sovcolor)
runtime: 72 + 72 = 144 min
company: Atelier 41
Margret Bar / Lounge for the Junction
2952 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON
The sixth night of the Soviet Film club screens with a joint Soviet-Japanese film production, directed by Akira Kurosawa. Akira Kurosawa, known more for his samurai adventure films, directs this beautiful portrait of a man too noble to stand by as his world is swallowed up by civilization. Made at a turning point in Kurosawa's life (shortly after Kurosawa attempted suicide on December 22, 1971), Dersu Uzala is an exploration of loss, friendship and natural ties to the land we inhabit.
This film is set in the Sikhote-Alin region of Siberia in the period 1902-10 and is based upon the 1923 memoir of the same title by Russian explorer Vladimir Arsenyev. In the film, Arsenyev (played by Yury Solomin) leads a series of mapping expeditions in the region, where he and his team soon encounter an old local hunter, Nanai Dersu Uzala (1849-1908). In the film the Nanai people are referred to by their obsolete Russian name Gol'ds. Dersu Uzala (played by Maxim Munzuk) teaches the men many valuable lessons about wilderness survival and the meaning of life, eventually becoming a close friend of the explorer.
Dersu Uzala is the most Soviet movie for a Japanese director. Also the most Japanese movie shot in the USSR. From the Siberian wilderness Kurosawa crafted some of his most striking imagery. This movie about wisdom, friendship and harmony that now is almost extinct.
The film won the Grand Prix at the Moscow Film Festival and the 1975 Oscar for the Best Foreign Language Film.
The Arts Junction
** The AJ (artjunction) is an independent, local blog dedicated to arts and culture events in the Junction area of Toronto West, and Russian cultural events coming up in Toronto.
youtube.com: Dersu Uzala. Interview with actor Vitaly Solomin. Part 2.
nytimes.com: Movie Review: Dersu Uzala (1975)
Contrasts Evident in Japanese-Soviet Movie
By RICHARD EDER
Published: October 5, 1976
kino.com: Dersu Uzala (Derusu Uzara): Synopsis
"Against a backdrop of the treacherous mountains, rivers and icy plains of the Siberian wilderness, acclaimed Japanese director Akira Kurosawa (The Seven Samurai, Rashomon) stages an extraordinary adventure of comradeship and survival... "
criterion.com: From the Current: Dersu Uzala
"Kurosawa made the acquaintance of Desu Uzala thirty years earlier, when he read Vladimir Arseniev’s account of charting the Russian-Manchurian border in the earlier part of this century."
By DONALD RICHIE
Published: July 18, 1995
ruscico.com: : Dersu Uzala
"In the course of their travels, a real-life character, Dersu, was revealing to his friend, the secrets of the Ussuri taiga, the animals’ special ways, the traditions and beliefs of the indigenous people."
eventful: Soviet Cult Movies at Margret
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Soviet Cult Films at Margret: The White Sun of the Desert
Soviet Cult Films at Margret: Ashik-Kerib
Soviet Cult Films at Margret: Seasonal Classic and Masterpieces of Animated Shorts
Soviet Cult Films at Margret: Ivan's Childhood
Soviet Cult Films at Margret: Dersu Uzala by Akira Kurosawa
Soviet Cult Films at Margret: The Dawns Here Are Quiet by Stanislav Rostosky
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