MFAH Continues Kurosawa Fest with Influential Samurai Flick Yojimbo

After the Cinema Arts Festival Houston finishes its second run, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston will continue its current festival of Akira Kurosawa films, "Akira Kurosawa @ 100."

On November 19, the MFAH will screen the famed Japanese director's 1961 film Yojimbo, which was influenced by American westerns and became an influence itself on the western genre right back. Sergio Leone's 1964 A Fistful of Dollars (an unofficial remake of Yojimbo) initiated the spaghetti-western craze and kicked off the "Man With No Name" trilogy starring Clint Eastwood in arguably his most iconic role (though some might pick Dirty Harry).

In Yojimbo, lone samurai Sanjuro wanders into a Japanese town terrorized by two warring clans and systematically manipulates each side into wiping each other out in a bloody battle. Toshiro Mifune plays the ronin Sanjuro, who when asked, chooses a fake name for himself, thus becoming the prototype for Eastwood's "Man With No Name."

Yojimbo was again remade in 1996 as Last Man Standing, directed by Walter Hill and starring Bruce Willis as the lone mystery man caught between two gangs in Prohibition Era Texas.

Check out the clips below.

One thing, though: This is a terrific schedule of Kurosawa films, MFAH, but you left out Art Attack's favorite one--Dreams (1990). What gives? It's got Martin Scorsese playing Vincent Van Gogh!

(Yojimbo screens Friday, November 19, 7 p.m. at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston's Brown Auditorium. Tickets here. "Akira Kurosawa @ 100" continues through December 12.)

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