‘Seven Samurai’ (1954), directed by Akira Kurosawa, is acknowledged as one of the greatest films ever made. Set in Japan in 1587, it’s the story of a village of poor farmers who hire seven ronin (masterless samurai) to protect them from bandits who will return after the harvest to steal their crops. Kurosawa, widely regarded as Japan’s greatest director, would go on to make other essential movies, including ‘Throne Of Blood’ (1957), ‘Yojimbo’ (1961), and ‘Ran’ (1985), but ‘Seven Samurai’ remained his defining work.
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Having been fortunate enough to spend some time in Japan during recent years, experiencing the inimitable enthusiasm of a Japanese crowd during my DJ appearances there, the terrible tragedy which has befallen the country is something I feel a need to comment on in some small way. It wouldn’t sit right with me to make a normal blog post this week when I know that people with whom I’ve shared such good times are currently facing fear and uncertainty as they try to come to terms with the full gravity of the situation now confronting their nation.