Nikola Stojanović

The Position of the Actor in the Creative System of Akira Kurosawa


The humane qualities of Kurosawa’s art are verifiable through analysis of his mis-en-scene, his framing, his treatment of actors and his attitude to movement, achieved through two simultaneous principles employed in his aesthetic approach: his anthropomorphism, i.e. the importance given to the main actor who carries the action in his film, and his plasticism, i.e. the emphasis put on the presence of physical energy on the screen. Kurosawa’s scenic expression ranges from the primary, mimetic approach, inclined towards verism and naturalism, diverging from this and extending to the ritual (with elements of choreography, derived from the codified behavior and communication found in Japan’s tradition), mostly represented by the masculine principle, combined with the psychological realism and onirism, which mirror the feminine principle. His predilection for the use of the grotesque in his comedy, as a way of humane compensation for the negative energy, and as a way of playing intelligently with the presented structure, completes the range of his expression, which manages to overcome and harmonize extreme tensions within the diegetic structure: from powerful and frenzied whirlwinds of energy, on the one hand, to the discrete and lyrical details, in the tradition of Zen and Haiku, on the other.