Monday Night Movies: Origins

High and Low

October 23, 2017

7:00 p.m., Maine Film Center

The series opener, High and Low, is a departure from the period settings of director Akira Kurosawa’s best known films (RASHOMON, SEVEN SAMURAI, RAN) and instead points the way to the kind of present-set societal investigation—in the guise of a police procedural—later adopted by the likes of Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino. Toshiro Mifune is unforgettable as Kingo Gondo, a wealthy industrialist whose family becomes the target of a cold-blooded kidnapper in High and Low, the highly influential domestic drama and police procedural from director Akira Kurosawa. Adapting Ed McBain’s detective novel King’s Ransom, Kurosawa’s film moves effortlessly from compelling race-against-time thriller to exacting social commentary, creating an unforgettable, widescreen black-and-white thriller that’s much more—in fact, some consider it the Japanese master’s greatest film. 1963. Unrated. In Japanese with English subtitles. 143 Min.