On Saturday 22 April, Te Uru is hosting a special film screening of the 1954 Japanese historical epic film Seven Saumarai / Shichinin No Samurai co-written, edited, and directed by Akira Kurosawa, in response to the exhibition Picturing Asia: Double Take: The Photography of Brian Brake and Steve McCurry, co-presented by Auckland Arts Festival and Te Uru.
The story takes place in 1586 during the Sengoku Period of Japanese history and follows a village of farmers that hire seven ronin (masterless samurai) to combat bandits who will return after the harvest to steal their crops. Since its release, Seven Samurai has consistently ranked highly in critics' greatest films lists and has remained highly influential, often seen as a masterpiece and one of the most remade, reworked and referenced films in cinema history.
The iconic image of actor Toshiro Mifune from Kurasawa’s three-hour epic features in the Picturing Asia exhibition as a backdrop within a portrait by Brake of director Akira Kurosawa, which became one of Life’s best-known images. Simple and dramatic, it contrasts the ferocious energy of the Samurai warrior against the calmness of the director—an example of the kind of condensed dramatic narrative Brake sought in his portraits.
Picturing Asia: Double Take is supported by the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Te Papa gratefully acknowledges the gift of the Brian Brake Collection by Wai-man Lau.