Flash Movie Review: Red Beard
Knowledge is acquired by studying, practicing, being taught or experiencing something. It took me some time before I realized I was a visual learner. I cannot tell you how torturous it was for me to be in a classroom where the teacher would sit and just read to us straight out from our textbook without any type of dscussion. My mind would try to create images of what was being told to us, but after a time my brain would start to venture away from the subject. You could say I was an active daydreamer. Listening to my friends talk about the way their children are currently being taught, it amazes me how different times have changed since I was in school. It is curious to me when I see a child acting out, especially in a way that borders on hatefulness or prejudice. Where does a child learn such things? If I had to guess I would say they learned from example. I have always been a firm believer in explaining choices to children. For example if they choose to act a certain way, explain to them what the consequences would be for that type of behavior. Even as adults we all have the ability to make choices. When I think about those times where I would get angry over something and make everyone miserable around me, I now cringe about it. I had a choice back then on how to act and I made a poor decision. It is so true how one learns from example. ARROGANT and upset when he arrived at the clinic Doctor Noboru Yasumoto, played by Yuzo Kayama (47 Samurai, The Sword of Doom), did not want to have anything to do with such a poor facility. No matter what Doctor Kyojo Niide a/k/a Red Beard, played by Toshiro Mifune (Throne of Blood, Rashomon), had to say about the patients and staff, Dr. Yasumtot did not care. It is what he saw that made a difference. This film festival winning drama by acclaimed director Akira Kurosawa (Seven Samurai, Ran) had such a simple story that was told in a beautiful way. Filmed in black and white, scenes were presented in a clean creative way with a heightened use of shadows. I almost found the dialog secondary as the actors actions were more pronounced. Set in 19th century Japan this DVD had a long viewing time. At first I felt the pacing of the film was slow; however, as the story progressed things started to fall into place for me and I was won over. I felt because the emphasis was placed on the physical aspects of the characters the story had to stay at a slower pace throughout the film. This movie offered teaching moments without having to say a single word. Japanese was spoken with English subtitles.
3 1/3 stars — DVD