Seven Samurai

See what many consider the greatest live-action Japanese film ever made at today’s Big Screen Classics screening of Seven Samurai. It’s impossible to overstate the legacy and importance of Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 epic about a group of unlikely heroes who protect a village beset by bandits. Without it there would have been no Magnificent Seven, no Bonnie and Clyde. Without Kurosawa’s influence, directing greats like Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Sam Peckinpah would have had very different careers.

At its heart, Seven Samurai is a simple story. The seven are hired defenders, nothing more. But at some point, Kurosawa turns their defense of the village into a quest for redemption. The director delivers a film that’s perfectly balanced between roaring action and carnage and deep, meaningful reflections on the nature of class, community and self-worth.

“Perhaps what I love most about Seven Samurai is that it’s just so enjoyable to watch,” says Ain’t It Cool News writer Alan Cerny via press materials. Cerny, who’s hosting the screening, says, “So many epics fail to achieve what Seven Samurai does and that’s all due to giving us characters we care about, building a rapport with the audience, and telling a compelling story that’s about more than just good guys and bad guys.”

6 p.m. January 19. Alamo Drafthouse Vintage Park, Houston, 114 Vintage Park. For information, call 713-715-4707 or visit drafthouse.com. $9.
Sun., Jan. 19, 6 p.m., 2014

 
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