The Best Old Movies on a Big Screen This Week: NYC Repertory Cinema Picks, June 10-16

06/10/2015 5:00 AM |


Yojimbo (1961)
Directed by Akira Kurosawa
Scratching himself, gnawing a toothpick and laughing smugly at his own private jokes, Toshiro Mifune’s Sanjuro represented a new kind of antihero; new for the director, at least, often accused of naive sentimentality, who reached back to Dashiell Hammett toughs for this self-serving but likable ronin. Mifune’s naturalism here clashes pleasingly with the colorful mugging from mostly Kurosawa regulars, in the same way that Tatsuya Nakadai’s phallic pistol, which he keeps naughtily revealing from behind his kimono, feels so out of place amidst the swords, like cheating. Sanjuro’s masterless cunning is all the more bracing for his occasional flashes of loyalty to the old innkeeper who thinks he’s half-batty. Justin Stewart (June 13, 2pm, 7pm at BAM’s “Black & White ‘Scope: International Cinema“)