Mifune + Okamoto

From left to right: black-and-white still of a person in a patterned kimono who is trying to flee from four soldiers with weapons; still of a person wearing a red lion’s mane; black-and-white still of a person with short, dark hair, pulling their eyebrows together in confusion; black-and-white still of a gunfight where two people are on the ground with guns pointed in front of them and two unconscious people are on the floor; still of a person with dark hair, pink lipstick, and a blue-lined kimono.
A five-film series celebrating legendary actor Toshirō Mifune’s collaborations with director Kihachi Okamoto.

“I am a person rarely impressed by actors…but in the case of Mifune I was completely overwhelmed.”—Akira Kurosawa

Celebrate Toshirō Mifune—the star of such Akira Kurosawa epics as Rashōmon and Seven Samurai—in this series spotlighting the iconic actor’s lesser-known collaborations with director Kihachi Okamoto.

Though best-remembered for his 16-film partnership with the great Kurosawa, Mifune also worked with other influential filmmakers during his long career. This month, we spotlight five films directed by Okamoto, a prolific Toho studio vet. A versatile filmmaker who made comedies and favored musicals, Okamoto is most associated with action movies rife with gangsters, sword-wielding samurai, and modern warfare—all featured in this series. (Our longtime film fans might recall seeing his late-60s films The Sword of Doom and The Human Bullet at the Wex.) Don’t miss this opportunity to see Mifune shine in this sampling of films by a major director from the Golden Age of Japanese cinema.

All films screen in rare 35mm prints courtesy of The Japan Foundation.

Prints courtesy of The Japan Foundation.

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