This week we return to the impressive filmography of Akira Kurosawa, discussing what is one of his more underrated classics in The Hidden Fortress. We previously discussed what is thought to be one of the more natural entry points in his oeuvre with our Yojimbo Podcast, but here we think it’s safe to say that The Hidden Fortress is probably an even better starting place than that. Easily the most light hearted and fun of all of Kurosawa’s films, The Hidden Fortress remains surprisingly accessible for newcomers, but still highly entertaining for anyone already familiar with the great director’s work. It’s a grand adventure film told through the eyes of two bumbling thieves, oblivious to the nature of the mission they’ve been tasked with, helping to smuggle royal gold and a wanted princess through dangerous enemy territory. A magnetic performance by the incomparable Toshiro Mifune commands your attention, proving him yet again unparalleled in enigmatic screen presence. The Hidden Fortress is by no means the most artistic or important film of Kurosawa’s career, but it remains a testament to his ability to imbue ordinary material with that special spark of inspiration that elevates it to a level of artistry.
0:00 – 6:53: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
6:53 – 25:41: High Life (& the Box Office)
25:41 – 55:07: The Hidden Fortress