Kagemusha (#267)

Type: New Blu-Ray

When a warlord dies, a peasant thief is called upon to impersonate him, and then finds himself haunted by the warlord’s spirit as well as his own ambitions. In his late color masterpiece Kagemusha, Akira Kurosawa returns to the samurai film and to a primary theme of his career—the play between illusion and reality. Sumptuously reconstructing the splendor of feudal Japan and the pageantry of war, Kurosawa creates a historical epic that is also a meditation on the nature of power.


Restored high-definition digital transfer, with DTS-HD Master Audio 4.0 soundtrack on Blu-ray edition

Audio commentary by Kurosawa scholar Stephen Prince

Lucas, Coppola, and Kurosawa, an interview piece from 2005 in which directors George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola discuss Kurosawa and Kagemusha

Documentary from 2003 on the making of the film

Image: Kurosawa’s Continuity, a piece from 1993 reconstructing Kagemusha through Kurosawa’s paintings and sketches

Suntory Whisky commercials made on the set of Kagemusha

Gallery of storyboards painted by Kurosawa and images of their realization on-screen

Theatrical trailers and teasers

PLUS: An essay by scholar Peter Grilli and, for the Blu-ray edition, an interview with Kurosawa by renowned critic Tony Rayns

Cover painting by Akira Kurosawa