Even if you’ve never seen an Akira Kurosawa film, there’s a good chance that you’ve seen something inspired by him. That might be A Fistful of Dollars, which is based on Kurosawa’s samurai film Yojimbo, or just a passing reference to Rashomon, his film about a story that everyone’s telling a different version of. That influence has spread so wide because Kurosawa is one of the all-time greats in directing. One of the reasons why, as film editor Tony Zhou points out, is that Kurosawa had an incredible ability to fill his shots with an entire world of movement — from the actors, to the background, to the camera.
In the latest installment of his Every Frame a Painting series, Zhou breaks down how Kurosawa uses movement to tell stories and create images that are so deeply compelling. It’s a fascinating watch that’ll make you want to put a Kurosawa flick on as soon as you get home. I’m partial to Ran, but you can’t really go wrong.