For this week’s Day Of the Samurai I’ve chosen a film with a most interesting history surrounding it.
Ame Agaru is a Samurai film made in 1999 not long after the death of one of Cinema’s all time greats, Akira Kurosawa. He left behind him a script that he had not had the chance to put to film. Then came in Takashi Koizumi who had been his assistant director for many years, he took the script and with it made this film. So in a way, this is Kurosawa’s last offering to Cinema.
But there are even more interesting facts surrounding this film; for one of the main actors was Shiro Mifune, the son of Toshiro Mifune whose famed collaboration with Kurosawa had given rise to one of the greatest actor/director teams ever from which sprung 17 fantastic films.
Thus we have the legacies of both Kurosawa and Mifune that live on through their “heirs” of sorts and create this film. But it is not only the spirits of these two greats that lives on through this film, it is also the whole spirit of the Samurai genre, which by the year this film was made had waned considerably since the 60’s when it was at its height. As well as this, much of the crew, including Editor, Cinematographer and more, had worked with Kurosawa previously, mostly on Ran, so this was very much a reunion for this great group of talents as well as a tribute to one of the greatest directors. Even Kurosawa’s daughter designed the costumes, and then went on to become a successful costume designer.