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The Bad Sleep Well, Akira Kurosawa (1960)

Wow! How have I never seen this? An epic picture, nonchalantly loitering on the filmography between The Hidden Fortress (1958) and Yoyimbo (1961). The plot’s far too convoluted to recount at this hour, but the picture has everything you could ask for: social commentary (on Japan’s pervasive culture of graft), a near-Shakespearean web of family dramas and mistaken identities, and countless passages exemplifying the Kurosawa’s superb cinematographical skills. The man’s compositions are as exquisite as Giotto’s; I don’t think anyone frames shots as well as he does, except maybe Renoir.

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