Toshiro Mifune and director Akira Kurosawa on the set of “Red Beard” (1965).
The Anaheim University Akira Kurosawa School of Film will present “Re-imagining Kurosawa,” a lecture and panel discussion, on Monday, Nov. 26, at 7 p.m. at Japan House Los Angeles, Hollywood and Highland, Los Angeles.
Take an elevator to Level 5. Japan House is located at the southeast corner of the building.
Academy Award winning director, producer and screenwriter Akira Kurosawa (March 23, 1910 – Sept 6, 1998) was one of the greatest filmmakers of our time, who inspired such directors as George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola. His ground-breaking masterpieces inspired such classic movies as “Star Wars,” “The Magnificent Seven,” and “A Fistful of Dollars,” to name just a few.
In this lecture, Dr. David Desser will help you “Re-Imagine Akira Kurosawa” as he provides unique insight into Kurosawa and his classic film “High and Low” (1963), which was adapted from Ed McBain’s detective novel “King’s Ransom.”
Panel discussion and Q&A session follow the lecture.
Dr. Desser has taught at USC, UCLA, University of Pennsylvania, University of Michigan, Kansai University in Japan, Hong Kong Baptist University, and the University of Illinois, where he is professor emeritus of cinema studies. He received his Ph.D. from USC in the Cinema Program with a minor in Japanese. As dean of the Anaheim University Akira Kurosawa School of Film, he oversees the online Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Digital Filmmaking program.
Special Guest Panelists:
• George Takei, with an acting career spanning six decades, is known around the world for his founding role in the acclaimed television series “Star Trek.” From a childhood spent with his family wrongfully imprisoned by the U.S. government during World War II, to becoming one of the country’s leading figures in the fight for social justice, LGBTQ rights, and marriage equality, Takei remains a powerful voice on issues ranging from politics to pop culture. Mashable.com named Takei the No. 1 most-influential person on Facebook, currently with 10.4 million likes and 2.8 million followers on Twitter.
The openly gay Takei has long been a passionate advocate for social justice, outspoken supporter of human right issues and a community activist. He lives in Los Angeles with his husband Brad Takei.
• John Powers is a long-time contributing editor at Vogue and Vogue.com, for which he writes about film, television and politics, and is critic at large for NPR’s “Fresh Air with Terry Gross.” His articles have appeared in many publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Departures, Gourmet, Harper’s and The Nation.
After getting his Ph.D. from Stanford University in modern thought and literature, Powers taught at Georgetown University. In 1985, he moved to Los Angeles, becoming film critic (until 1993) at L.A. Weekly, for which he would later write a weekly column on politics and the media. He is the author of the book “Sore Winners (and the Rest of Us) in George Bush’s America,” a study of American culture during the Bush years, and co-author with Wong Kar Wai of “WKW: The Cinema of Wong Kar Wai” (2016).
• David Ehrenstein is a film critic, film researcher and historian, whose career in writing has spanned five decades since his first interview in 1965 with Andy Warhol. He has written for such publications as The Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, San Francisco Examiner, Rolling Stone, The Village Voice, Film Comment, Film Quarterly, Cahiers du Cinema, Arts, The Los Angeles Reader, and Daily Variety. He is author of “The Scorsese Picture: The Art and Life of Martin Scorsese,” “Rock on Film” and “Open Secret: Gay Hollywood 1928-1998.”
He has lectured nationally and his television appearances on E! include specials on Anthony Perkins, Rock Hudson, Sonny Bono, Bob Guccione, “Gay Hollywood,” “The Hollywood Fashion Machine,” and “Studio Style Wars.”
Admission free but reservation required. Hosted by the Japan Foundation Los Angeles. For more information, call (323) 761-7510 or visit www.jflalc.org.