Lord of the Rings
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Commentaries on this disc:
Japanese film historian Donald Richie
Rating:7.9/10 (14 votes) [
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Reviewed by Elijah Sullivan on April 20th, 2005
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Wow, this is a well-researched commentary, but I think it's the first time where I was able to say, with some conviction and with all the modesty that I could muster, that I completely disagree with the commentator's interpretation of the film. Not just overall, but I think he missed the point of just about every single scene in the film -- trying to re-interepret this film as some kind of nihilistic piece of post-modernism that it clearly isn't. Decide for yourself, but I would suggest taking Richie's opinions with a grain of salt. Usually I listen to these commentaries to learn -- all the other Kurosawa/Criterion commentaries are A+, but tragically, this most-excellent and most-favored Kurosawa of mine gets unfortunate treatment. Oh, well.
Reviewed by zombking on January 20th, 2008
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Richie knows Kurosawa, though he does have some odd theories of his own that he throws in the commentary every once in a while (something he would do to horrible effect in the round table Seven Samurai commentary later on.) Most importantly, however, is the information that Richie gives us on the production of the film and it's reception elsewhere (it was Kurosawa's piece that gave him world recognition for the first time.) We learn through Richie a plethora of informative facts that may not necessarily give us a perfect view of the situation (and how could he? It's Roshomon!) but he does give us the proper context in which to make our own conclusions.
Reviewed by grimjack on October 10th, 2021
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You really cannot say this guy doesnt know Kurosawa as well as any film historian, but even if I agreed 100 percent with his opinions on the film, the fact that he states so much of it as if it were fact, when Kurosawa probably could not, is a little off putting. It is definitely worth listening to for all the details and breakdown, but it will bother you more than any of Ritchies other tracks.
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