Akira Kurosawa on film critics

Here is what one of the greatest film directors of all time said about film critics :
“There is a famous haiku by Bashio :
An old pond
A frog jumps in –
the sound of the water.
People who read it and say Well, of course if a frog jumps into the water, theres going to be a noise simply have no feeling for haiku. There are sometimes such human beings among film critics – the things they say they see are so far off the beam that you would think they were possessed by some kind of demon. I suppose nothing can be done about critics, but we cant have such people among film directors.” A quote by Akira Kurosawa.
Film is poetry. But more and more film critics look for prose. Even critics now are too impatient to look beyond. Like the rest of our society now, they too suffer from information overload. We are are becoming increasingly a ‘reactive’ society’ propelled by unrelenting external stimuli.

15 Responses to “Akira Kurosawa on film critics”

  1. kedar says:

    this reminds me a scene from Mel Brook’s HISTORY OF THE WORLD II…!

  2. ravi swami says:

    On the other hand, it’s possible to read too much into something ? – after watching “I Am Legend” the other day, I began to replay the film mentally to a point where I began to see subtext where they may not be any – eg why are all the zombies white, when Will Smith is the only coloured face who is “alive” – well, OK not entirely…
    That’s the critic which has taken possession of my mind for a moment, talking…
    There’s a whole industry which has emerged based around criticism of this kind, which supports festivals, competitions and so on and in which the opinions voiced give rise to pundits of a very particular kind of religion, as in “this is right, that is wrong, this is acceptable, this is not” etc.
    The frog jumped, the water splashed…end of story.

  3. Horst Vollmann says:

    Critics no longer contemplate a picture, they merely react in ways that include all the correct utterances of the day. Their opinions rarely dare venture outside the accepted norm of dissecting a film. It is as if they are afraid to admit that they actually liked a film, instead they safely echo what all the other critics have to say. Everybody disavows what is really going on inside their hearts. Peoples attention span is shrinking and with it our patience to contemplate and revel in the beauty of words, pictures and sounds not realizing that we are missing what is really essential in life. There is no longer an internal dialogue going on with the questioning other side of us, we are too consumed with frantic and empty catch phrases and sound bites. Critics, for that matter, no longer take the time to stop and smell the symbolic flowers.

  4. Godwin Madho says:

    hey i was just thinking there are so many movies about world war 2 and they are all about americans, europians and japanese. Have u thought about making a movie which depicts the people of the subcontinent fighting, we fought so many battle alongside the allies but some how the world has forgotten about them… As an indian I be very prod to see one made, beats seeing indo-pak wars all the time.

  5. Maybe filmmakers should start critiquing more and more in number now. Everyone sees the world in different way. There’s not much point in guiding in that regard. But, the way of visual thinking, connecting oneself through images, seeing the patterns in the world (instead of elements and rationality) can be streamlined. No?

  6. Liebestod says:

    I dont like film critics. And i am almost one of them! i did an entire film degree at the university of east london, the theory is compelling, very detailed and interesting to get into. its like a deep well that contains not only teachings from film and acting, but also psychoanalysis, feminist theory, cognitive theory, sociology…the mirror stage, simulation and simulacra, the male gaze.. 🙂 but in the end, there is no good or bad film. there is no recipe to make one. a good film is what speaks to you alone. if you have been through something in your life that has made an impact on you and then also happened to watch it on screen then that would make a good movie for you. to another person with different life experiences that film would go unnoticed. isn’t art completely subjective? i know picasso is a genious but when i look at his paintings i dont FEEL anything.. 🙁

  7. RajuK says:

    Hi Shekhar,
    I admire your films. I am starting to get addicted to this web-site. There is so much to read and digest here.
    I would like to critique “The Golden Age”. There is a difference between a critic and critique. I would preferably like to submit this to you privately, not on this web-site.
    Hence please send me a contact address where I can submit this. Perhaps, one day I will get a chance to work with you. Publicly critiqueing on this website may reduce my chances to work with you, hence I seek a contact address.
    Thanks and regards,
    RajuK

  8. shekhar says:

    rajuk, blogging is also about being completely honest, and there is a more private place, just send it into info@shekharkapur.com

  9. Sanjukta says:

    Sir,
    I am so glad you wrote this about Film Critics. I thought it was only me who didn’t like them.
    In the recent past I turned quite a few heads when I ripped apart the reviews of Taare Zameen Par by Mr. Raja Sen of Rediff and Mr. Rangan Baradwaj who, to my utter ignorance, is a national award winning film critic. Good that I didn’t know it when I wrote my review rip offs, I would have got prejudiced or intimidated otherwise.
    Now I know the heartless critics are indeed an annoying bunch. And what annoyos me the most is their habit of nitpicking and the way they become biased just to assert they are un-biased, criticize for the heck of it I mean…
    And thanks a ton for this blog, I cant tell you how excited I am to see more and more celebs taking up blogging. You see, I evangelise blogging, not for a living yet, but someday I will

  10. Its like tasting refined wine… or seeing the genius in a recipe…
    Everyone has a comment about the food… but few have cultivated the taste for the subtleties.
    I sometimes feel that Shakespeare’s antidote is perhaps the only working solution to the problem… that is: at face value, the film packs delight… and yet there are several levels within it that the more refined artlover can appreciate.
    A master chef’s hotdog is still a delicious hotdog to a man in a hurry to have lunch… but it is still a masterpiece to the man who’s learned to taste.

  11. Its like tasting refined wine… or seeing the genius in a recipe…
    Everyone has a comment about the food… but few have cultivated the taste for the subtleties.
    I sometimes feel that Shakespeare’s antidote is perhaps the only working solution to the problem… that is: at face value, the film packs delight… and yet there are several levels within it that the more refined artlover can appreciate.
    A master chef’s hotdog is still a delicious hotdog to a man in a hurry to have lunch… but it is still a masterpiece to the man who’s learned to taste.

  12. Goutham Avarthi says:

    As a theory it is logic..but practical we have to understand..

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