I Dream of Van Gogh
Back with our Pop Book series, we look at Akira Kurosawa’s ‘Crows’ – the fifth dream in his 1990, magical-realist film ‘Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams’
Art was never meant to be understood. It has always been the portal into the unknown, one where the unsuspecting observer can easily be lost. Artists everywhere carry the gift, or at times the curse, of being ‘ahead of their time’. And Vincent van Gogh was the reigning Prince of them all – the ultimate picture of the tragically misunderstood artist, forever blighted by time, past, present and future.
And that is where auteur director Akira Kurosawa started his fifth dream in his iconic 1990, magical-realist film simply titled, Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams.
Akira Kurosawa was easily one of the greatest directors of the last century. At the height of his career, he sought to make films that would embody the bold, dynamic style he is famous for, but also, speak of the wisdom in patience and inspiration in beauty that is only learnt with age. Kurosawa was 80 years old when he made Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams – a series of eight vignettes inspired by actual dreams that he claimed to have had repeatedly.
Kurosawa’s first film in 45 years on which he was the sole author of the screenplay, Dreams addresses several themes: childhood, spirituality, art, death, universal disasters and human errors – all expertly portrayed both literally and metaphorically. And interspersed with reflections on the redemptive power of creation, is a richly textured tribute to Vincent van Gogh played by none other than Martin Scorsese!
The fifth dream in the series, Crows follows a young art student who falls deep into Vincent van Gogh’s world through his paintings. And in the backdrop of the living nature that inspired the painter’s works, the student and the master together present the complex relationship artists share with the world.