So one huge thing that came out of my recent trip to New York is a renewed interest in the sound design/auraltrack in the films of Akira Kurosawa. My initial research came in the Fall 2008 semester for my Asian Aesthetics paper, then I later presented a revised version of that paper at a local AMS meeting, and then revised it again and submitted it to an academic writing competition within the College of Music and won. In other words, I’ve gotten some good mileage from the paper. I’ve toyed around with the idea of it as a dissertation topic, but just one among many. After NYC and the panel on sound design I went to (read more here at The Temp Track), I got started thinking more about it. On my last full day in New York, I wandered into a bookstore and picked up four books on Kurosawa (three of which I had used in my paper), and I’ve already read two of them (including his wonderful autobiography Something Like an Autobiography). These books have only increased my interest. I’ve also watched five more Kurosawa films since I’ve returned, and I could say something on each one of them in terms of sound design.
Kurosawa is so meticulous in crafting how sound and music are used, and unlike most Hollywood productions, he did the bulk of the work himself (something he learned how to do in his days working as an assistant director). I hope to have viewed all his films by the end of the summer (something which is largely possible, but his four early films made towards the tail end of WWII might prove a bit troublesome to track down, everything else I either own or can be had in the school’s library or ordered from another library in our lending system), so I will know more about his work as a whole.
Just some quick thoughts that are on my mind.