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Daily Dose Pick: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa

On the centenary of Akira Kurosawa’s birth, Criterion pays tribute to the Japanese cinema great with a monumental box set, AK 100.

The 25 films gathered in this treasury include Kurosawa’s ultimate whodunit and international breakthrough Rashomon; his ever-epiphanic masterpiece Seven Samurai; the princess-and-peasants caper that inspired Star Wars, The Hidden Fortress; and colorful, late-career opuses like Kagemusha.

Beginning with the bildungsroman Sanshiro Sugata — one of four rarities from his early contract days — and continuing through the many legendary collaborations with actor Toshiro Mifune, the era of Kurosawa lasted 50-plus years and left a canon that incorporated everything from pulp to Noh theater, Shakespearean tragedy to the Bushido code.

See what other films are in the set, learn more about the singular Japanese auteur, read a remembrance by eminent Kurosawa scholar Donald Richie, buy the full box set, and take in these classics on the big screen at Film Forum come 2010.

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