Waiting on the Weather - A Book Review (By Andrew Connell)

Waiting on the Weather: Making Movies With Akira Kurosawa
By Teruyo Nogami (2006 Stone Bridge Press)
Rain, rain, rain... uh... action?
Waiting on the Weather is probably the most intimate look at the work of Akira Kurosawa, topping even Kurosawa's own Something Like An Autobiography (Kurosawa only covers to the release of Rashomon). Teruyo Nogami was Kurosawa's script girl from Rashomon until Madadayo and was there during all the highs and lows of the great director's career.
The book itself is actually a collection of essays written by Nogami so it is not a direct narrative but rather an assortment of memories that jump back and forth through time and sometimes overlap one another. Nogami is as honest as a person who spent most of their life with Kurosawa can be. She hints at the directors great temper and his need for complete control over every aspect of his films but sees it as a given based on his genius. Nogami holds everyone she writes about on a pedestal and does not decide to speak ill of them after they have died in order to scandalize and bring in more interest for her book.
Throughout the book Nogami answers point blank the questions that have arose about Kurosawa through out the years such as why the great friendship between Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune ended after the release of Red Beard or why actor Shintaro Katsu walked off the set of Kagemusha before the first day of shooting was completed.

Of all the books on Kurosawa I have read this and Something Like An Autobiography are among my two favorites. They both shed light on the film maker and his work with the insight and intimacy that a film scholar could never deliver.

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Oh my god I am famous!

haha, my pleasure! 
Just to be sure, Andrew, there's no other website on your end where this is right? You didn't include one.

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