“Mifune: The Last Samurai,” a documentary on legendary actor Toshiro Mifune by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Steven Okazaki, will begin its Hawai‘i theatrical run on Friday, Dec. 9, at Consolidated’s Kahala Theaters. Mifune’s grandson, Rikiya Mifune, an actor as well, will attend the evening screenings on Dec. 9 and 10. “Mifune: The Last Samurai” made its Hawai‘i premiere at the 2016 Hawai‘i International Film Festival.
Toshiro Mifune (1920-1997), who appeared in 170 films, was the greatest actor from the “golden age” of Japanese cinema. He is best known for his 16-film collaboration (1948-’65) with filmmaker Akira Kurosawa in such films as “Rashomon,” “Seven Samurai,” “The Hidden Fortress” and “Throne of Blood,” which was adapted from Shakespeare’s “Macbeth.” Mifune twice earned the Best Actor Prize at Venice Festival for “Yojimbo” (1961) and “Red Beard” (1965).
Together, Mifune and Kurosawa created the genre of the wandering warrior protagonist that would later inspire filmmakers as diverse as Sergio Leone, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese and George Lucas. Actor Clint Eastwood credits Mifune as the inspiration for his own iconic Western characters.
Toshiro Mifune gave some of the finest performances in film history that audiences still marvel at today.
Directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Steven Okazaki and narrated by actor Keanu Reeves, the documentary explores Mifune’s life and career with archival footage and interviews with Mifune’s family and co-stars.