Aero Theatre
1328 Montana Avenue,
Santa Monica, CA 90403 Map
Thu, Apr 25, 2019 - Sun, Apr 28, 2019
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COWBOYS AND SAMURAI

Guided by an unspoken code of honor, a stoic stranger arrives on the scene, dispatching his foes with offhanded ease. It could be the plotline for dozens of Westerns … or samurai films. The intersection of the two genres goes back at least to the 1950s and the films of Akira Kurosawa, who was an avowed fan of Hollywood Westerns. YOJIMBO and SEVEN SAMURAI became striking examples of this cultural cross-pollination when they were remade as A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS and THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, respectively. Get two mythic stories for the price of one as the wild West meets feudal Japan in our weekend of double features!

The spare structures of these films leave plenty of room for subtext, and both RASHOMON and HIGH NOON can be read as political commentary as well as thrilling drama. The clear moral lines drawn in these tales of swordsmen and gunslingers make them easily adaptable, and STAR WARS, among many other movies, bears the fingerprints of both THE SEARCHERS and THE HIDDEN FORTRESS. Clint Eastwood stands as tall in the annals of the Western as Kurosawa does in samurai cinema, and UNFORGIVEN is perhaps his masterpiece; the film is paired with HARAKIRI, whose central figure is as wracked with turmoil as Eastwood’s UNFORGIVEN character, William Munney. While these films typically focus on lone men of action, both SEVEN SAMURAI and ultra-violent epic THE WILD BUNCH revel in group dynamics and are all the better for it.

Series compiled by Grant Moninger. Program notes by John Hagelston.

Aero TheatreThu, Apr 25, 2019 - Sun, Apr 28, 2019
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Films in this Series at the Aero

Thu, Apr 25, 2019 - 7:30pm
Aero Theatre
Fri, Apr 26, 2019 - 7:30pm
Aero Theatre
Sat, Apr 27, 2019 - 7:30pm
Aero Theatre
Sun, Apr 28, 2019 - 7:30pm
Aero Theatre