Dreams: The Blizzard by Akira Kurosawa
Reviewed by Ken Hopson, Manager, Media and Reserve Services
Overheard, during the recent triple digit heat index, two perspiring library patrons comparing their tolerance of extreme temperatures on both ends of the thermometer, and I was reminded of a blustery video vignette titled The Blizzard. The Blizzard is one of eight visually stunning representations of personal dreams spun together as a single narrative film called Dreams (Yume), by noted Japanese director Akira Kurosawa.
All eight dreamlike stories in the film are metaphoric, with elements of Japanese folklore, and move so slowly that the viewer is practically forced to appreciate the artistic composition. In particular, The Blizzard is guaranteed to surpass your hard-working air-conditioner, leaving you apt to step out for some warmth. The story starts with a group of mountain climbers trying to find their way back to camp during a blinding snow storm. As they succumb to the cold and begin to collapse, the leader of the exhausted group encounters a snow woman. I won't give away the ending, but this story, along with the other seven, are visual and auditory masterpieces individually, and collectively.