We gave it a B
Though not Kurosawa’s final film, Dreams is certainly a potent — if occasionally overwrought — autumnal statement by the director, who died in 1998. It’s eight statements, really — a series of vignettes that reflect on everything from the power of guilt to the horror of nuclear apocalypse. The tales can be pedantic slogs, but their awesome visual beauty encourages a degree of patience that’s usually well rewarded. ”The Blizzard,” about stranded hikers who are saved by a snow fairy, is riveting for all that can’t be seen, while ”The Tunnel,” which portrays a reunion between an army commander and deceased soldiers, succeeds because of its eerily static tableau. Most entertaining is ”Crows,” in which an art student finds himself literally immersed in the paintings of Vincent van Gogh…played by an oddly comedic Martin Scorsese. Alas, ”Dreams”’ DVD debut is bare-boned, with no extras recalling the cinematic stories behind Kurosawa’s stories, and no commentary.