Samurai Rebellion: Toshiro Mifune, Screen Icon

June 15–August 30, 2017

In films by Akira Kurosawa and others, Mifune showed astonishing vitality and range. We present a dozen of his iconic roles, plus a new documentary.

  • Rashomon

  • Stray Dog

  • Throne of Blood

  • High and Low

  • Mifune: The Last Samurai

  • Upcoming
    Films
  • Past
    Films
  • Past
    Events

Past Films

  • Samurai Rebellion

    • Friday, August 18 8:15 PM
    • Wednesday, August 30 7 PM
    Masaki Kobayashi
    Japan, 1967

    Mifune is a dutiful samurai whose subservience is about to end. With music by Toru Takemitsu and an unforgettable supporting turn by Tatsuya Nakadai.

  • High and Low

    • Wednesday, July 26 7 PM
    • Thursday, August 24 7 PM
    Akira Kurosawa
    Japan, 1963

    A kidnapping becomes a moral dilemma for executive Mifune in “one of the best detective thrillers ever filmed” (New York Times).

  • Yojimbo

    • Saturday, July 22 8:15 PM
    • Wednesday, August 2 7 PM
    Akira Kurosawa
    Japan, 1961

    BAMPFA Student Committee Pick

    Mifune is a sly, amoral mercenary in a town ruled by killers in Kurosawa’s tongue-in-cheek anti-epic. “A visually faultless and highly sophisticated satire on violence and human weakness” (Sight and Sound).

    Introduced by Steven Okazaki (July 22 screening only)

  • Sanjuro

    • Friday, July 28 8:45 PM

    Kurosawa’s spirited follow-up to Yojimbo finds Mifune leading a band of comically inept samurai. “A superb parody” (Donald Richie).

  • The Bad Sleep Well

    • Thursday, July 20 7 PM
    Akira Kurosawa
    Japan, 1960

    Kurosawa charts corporate evil as a company is torn from within by scandal, greed, and lust. “Enron meets Hamlet” (Film Forum). “Better than Shakespeare” (Francis Ford Coppola).

  • Throne of Blood

    • Wednesday, July 12 7 PM
    Akira Kurosawa
    Japan, 1957

    Kurosawa’s Noh-influenced version of Macbeth is “the most brilliant and original attempt ever made to put Shakespeare on screen” (Time). Mifune is paired with the legendary Isuzu Yamada in “a partnership of titans” (Film Forum).

  • I Live in Fear

    • Saturday, July 8 8:30 PM
    Akira Kurosawa
    Japan, 1955

    Mifune gives a daring performance as an eccentric patriarch with a neurotic fear of the atomic bomb. “The final effect is overwhelming, and perhaps Kurosawa’s most sweeping statement on the human condition” (Film Forum).

  • Mifune: The Last Samurai

    • Thursday, July 6 7 PM
    Steven Okazaki
    United States, 2016

    Oscar-winning Bay Area filmmaker Steven Okazaki pays tribute to the ferocious charisma and larger-than-life talents of the great Mifune in this supremely entertaining documentary.

    Steven Okazaki in Person

  • Seven Samurai

    • Friday, June 23 7 PM
    • Sunday, July 2 6:30 PM
    Akira Kurosawa
    Japan, 1954

    A ragtag group of samurai band together to protect a village from bandits in Kurosawa’s masterpiece, often cited as one of the ten best films ever made.

  • The Hidden Fortress

    • Sunday, June 18 4 PM
    • Friday, June 30 7 PM
    Akira Kurosawa
    Japan, 1958

    Mifune swashbuckles his way through this supremely entertaining samurai adventure, the plot inspiration for Star Wars.

  • Rashomon

    • Thursday, June 15 7 PM
    • Sunday, June 25 5 PM
    Akira Kurosawa
    Japan, 1950

    Archival Print

    An act of violence is replayed through the eyes of witnesses and protagonists, each seeing a different thing, in “one of the most brilliantly constructed films of all time, a monument to Kurosawa’s greatness, and a landmark in film history” (James Monaco).

  • Stray Dog

    • Wednesday, June 21 7 PM
    Akira Kurosawa
    Japan, 1949

    Mifune is a driven detective in Kurosawa’s bravura Tokyo noir. “A bona fide masterpiece” (Time Out).

  • Drunken Angel

    • Saturday, June 17 8:30 PM
    Akira Kurosawa
    Japan, 1948

    Doctor meets tubercular gangster in the slums of postwar Japan in this noirish tale, the first film in the long collaboration between Kurosawa and Mifune.