Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams

In the uneven career of Akira Kurosawa, two limiting factors were sentimentality and preachiness, and both come to the fore in this 1990 collection of eight dreams, some of which are more like parables or fairy tales. The dreams are often connected by themes and visual motifs, and the overarching theme is man’s ecological recklessness and foolishness, as evidenced by the building of nuclear weapons and our growing remoteness from the natural world. One could recommend the film without qualification to grammar school kids who haven’t been jaded by the pacing of TV or of Lucas and Spielberg (who helped produce this picture); older folks may find themselves growing fidgety over the simplicityif not the sincerity or aptnessof the Sunday-school lessons. With Martin Scorsese and Chishu Ryu. In Japanese with subtitles. 119 min. (JR)

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