High and Low (Film) - TV Tropes
High and Low is not only one of Akira Kurosawa's best films but its also one of the .. At the end of the film Takeuchi returns to the home of his dead . Everything pivots around the spatial relationship between Gondo, in his. High and Low is a police procedural crime drama film directed by Akira Kurosawa, starring Toshiro Mifune, Tatsuya Nakadai and Kyōko Kagawa. The film. A work of structural and thematic brilliance, Akira Kurosawa's High and Low does having a “reciprocal” relationship; and Japanese imperialist doctrine . By ending his film, which finds Gondo penniless save for his new job.
Having shown the audience where to look, Kurosawa has the chauffeur take two steps to the right, asserting his presence for the first time in the scene.
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Tokura assures the chauffeur that the police will do everything they can to recover his son—words that quickly prove to be empty, since only Gondo and his fortune really matter. And Kurosawa wastes no time in making that clear by reconfiguring the room a fourth time.
This is still the same shot, though he arrives at each new composition so casually that it never feels as if anything extraordinary is happening.
Gondo has moved from his negligible location in the previous arrangement to a focal point at the bottom of the frame, slightly right of center; Mifune puts his hand to his mouth in a pensive pose, indicating that Gondo knows what may transpire, and is already trying to decide what to do.
Though this room is frequently crowded with people, scenes involving just two or three characters are carefully composed to emphasize its enormous size. Kurosawa often pushes his actors to extreme edges of the widescreen frame, as here: The difference is stark.High And Low
Lately, some filmmakers have been fooling around with multiple aspect ratios: Combined with a shallower depth of field, this creates the impression of an extremely tight, enclosed space where choice is a luxury. Look how many of them are crammed into this shot. High And Low is about many things, but first and foremost, it is about money and class. It also matters that Gondo is often the only person in a scene who moves, while everyone else assumes their place in the room and stays still.
High and Low – Akira Kurosawa asks which is heaven and which is hell? | Lisa Thatcher
Because of who he is, Gondo gets to go wherever he likes—as do the police, who also follow their own path, unbound. Social class is the primary theme of High And Low, and one of the interesting things Kurosawa does in the film is present class differences starkly, while also forbidding easy distinctions when it comes to his lead character.
Gondo lives in that house on the hill, as bluntly symbolic an expression of status and stature as one could imagine, and once we get out of that space in the second half, we can see the seething resentment coming from below, specifically from the man who has carried out this kidnapping. He wants to make quality, well-crafted shoes, and he wants to continue to pay skilled workers to make that happen.
Just the way Gondo is presented, more as wounded hero than rapacious capitalist, is something of a statement on class. Just pointing out that there are good and bad people, strong and weak people, moral and immoral people in every class is a statement in and of itself. High And Low is based on an Ed McBain novel, which is about as American as it gets, yet Kurosawa is able to tie the story to the evolving Japanese legal system and the soul-crushing grind of contemporary capitalism.
But this is probably my single favorite Mifune performance. But here, he gets to play a man with polish and professional sophistication. Again, class becomes an issue as the investigation leads the police through bombed-out neighborhoods.
High and Low – Akira Kurosawa asks which is heaven and which is hell?
So many of his films are about big, traditional questions of honor, glory, and rulership that this comparatively insular movie about one little grey man fighting City Hall feels minor by comparison. Are any of you more familiar with his work? Fuji and the sea, the many calls that have come through the tip line, the very specific sound of a train rumbling in the background of a phone conversation, and so on.
But the level of sophistication and detail with which the process is rendered in High And Low really amplifies the suspense beautifully.