Monday, December 12, 2016

Akira Kurosawa: 'The Bad Sleep Well' / 悪い奴ほどよく眠る (1960)

In The Bad Sleep Well / 悪い奴ほどよく眠る (1960), Akira Kurosawa tackles a still very contemporary theme: institutional greed and corruption, cover-up. and behind-the-scenes machinations.

Shot in black and white (with elements of silent films -- like special emphasis on faces and gestures), the movie's basic set-up is thus: Nishi (Toshiro Mifune) plans to take revenge on his corporate father's tormentors. 
The film is developed in waves, with a grand wedding, reporters asking questions, corruption investigations, and much unspooling intrigue. 

The Bad Sleep Well twists along to include an attempted suicide at the mouth of a (real) live volcano, clandestine night meetings, and semi-hostages secreted in the ruins of a (real) munitions factory bombed by the Allies during World War II.  

Admirers of Alfred Hitchcock and the Coen brothers will especially dig this production. 
Those even barely attuned to what's going on today, from Trumpian America to Brazil to South Korea, from Fukushima Japan to around the globe, will surely grok the enduring connections across time and space between egotistical organizational chess pieces bound up in graft, greed and sheer folly, so well-depicted in this film.

The Criterion Collection includes added bonus materials with its DVDs, including a relevant chunk of Akira Kurosawa: It is Wonderful to Create (2002). 

Today's Rune: Harvest.


the walking man said...

It is damn concerning how much forewarning we have had over the decades of this day coming upon us.

t said...


Charles Gramlich said...

I love that title. One of these days I'm going to watch his movies.