Favorite Movies A-Z: High and Low

Kurosawa has many opportunities to show off his mastery of cinematography and shot composition with plenty of intricate scenes involving large numbers of actors. It's also a real treat to see both Mifune and Nakadai showing off their talents for the great director even if they fewer interactions than an enthusiast might wish. If all you've seen from Kurosawa are his brilliant films set in the samurai era, then you really ought to bump this up your list and expand your horizons.

Favorite Movies A-Z: Get Shorty

This is a movie from a simpler time. Not a Golden Age of film; perhaps not even a Silver Age. But one that is a distinct and good period. One might call it the soft-R, small budget era. It was a time when one could make an R-rated comedy with a bit of a brain that wasn't just about being shocking. Crazy, I know. Will Ferrell might ought to look into it.

Favorite Movies A-Z: The Gay Divorcee

One of the classic pairings of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, it has a fine supporting cast of comic actors around them. Since it's a stage musical brought to film, other than a few establishing shots, everything is clearly done on a studio lot. And beyond a big theatrical number or two, the dancing is pretty well just Astaire tapping solo or paired with Rogers for a few ballroom inspired dance sets.

Favorite Movies A-Z: Groundhog Day

What is perhaps original to this film is that it is such a mundane man and such a mundane day. Too much has been made of how this mundanity leads to great spiritual awakening. There is nothing particularly religious or spiritual about what happens to our trapped protagonist. The truths he apprehends tend to be the same philosophic truths that do not require revelation to apprehend; they are part of the common store of humanity. Though at times we forget or ignore them, they are the province of the Gods of the Copybook Headings.