Dreams

Travelers in a blizzard are bewitched by a snow fairy; a small boy spies on a wedding procession of foxes; crows rise majestically above a wheat field. These are just a few of the awesome images in this eight-part free-form film from Akira Kurosawa (Rashomon, Seven Samurai, Ran). While Hollywood's young Turks hustle to duplicate last year's hot model in action hardware, the eighty-year-old director remains a rambunctious risk taker.

Dreams is overlong: A parade of images – even dazzling ones – can sometimes dull the senses. But the cumulative effect is breathtaking. In one segment, sixty dolls (exquisitely costumed by Emi Wada, who won an Oscar for Ran) come to life on a hillside under falling peach blossoms. In another, an explosion in a nuclear power plant brings Mount Fuji down in flames. The beauty of nature and the horror in its destruction continue to incite Kurosawa to new heights of creativity. His Dreams will knock your eyes out without ignoring the mind and heart.

From The Archives Issue 587: September 20, 1990
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