|Why is your site called “Benefit All Mankind”? What do you mean by this?
The reasoning behind our choice of site name is explained here.
There are plenty of other Kurosawa sites out there – why another one?
Good question. We have an answer. In fact: we have a few. Firstly, while browsing many of the other Kurosawa sites out there we got to thinking that many were not visual enough. We wanted to make something that looked good, to further inspire possible Kurosawa devotees, and to properly do justice to the outstanding visual quality of the films being written about. Secondly, we also wanted to make a site that – while well-written – was not overly high brow in it’s literary approach. Meaning: it was written in a way that would appeal to a wider audience while at the same time being precise and error free. Thirdly, when reading many other comparisons made on other sites we thought that too many relied on anecdotal evidence, rather than facts. For example: “We haven’t seen a copy of this but we hear that it’s terrible quality.” We wanted to compare releases properly, using DVDs we owned and could view first-hand. And lastly: this is the Internet – the more the merrier!
What do the Japanese symbols mean – at the top of each page?
That, simply, is the name of the man himself: Akira Kurosawa.
Your site is missing a review of [this] film, or [that] edition of a DVD. Why is that?
We intend to include reviews and comparisons of all 31 films in Kurosawa’s filmography though doing this takes time. Please bare with us while we add new material and refine what is there. This site is a labour of love and we have day jobs, so it will take time to assemble to our strict high standards. In terms of DVD editions: firstly, it’s got to be available with English subtitles for us to include it. Secondly: it may not yet be in our possession. Once we have it: we'll include it.
What do you use to take your screenshots, and how do you ensure your comparisons are fair?
We use Power DVD running under Windows XP to take our screenshots and go to great lengths to ensure our comparisons are fair. Comparison screens are taken full-size and are not enhanced in any way. No sharpening or contrast enhancement is used.
I work for a distributor/retailer and we have a Kurosawa title you may be interested in. How do I contact you?
We’d be happy to consider any new or existing title for inclusion on this website. Email us and let us know about your release.
How many people make this website?
Believe it or not: this site is the work of one person. He does all the design, writing and admin,
while at the same time holding down a job.
Can I write something for your website?
We’d be happy to consider contributions. Email us a sample of your work to kick things off.
Where can I buy Region 3 and Region 4 Kurosawa titles?
Be warned: many of the Asian (R3) releases – particularly the Chinese titles – may look affordable, but on the whole they are vastly inferior quality to the western releases. See our comparisons if you’re in need of convincing. If you’re a masochist; don’t mind shit quality films with inane subtitles, or simply love throwing your money away, then eBay is probably the place to look for the best deals on R3 titles. Australian (R4) Kurosawa releases can be obtained from HKFlix in the US, who we’ve bought from various times and have no problems recommending. For Kurosawa titles in Japan we recommend using Amazon Japan.
Some of Kurosawa’s films are more than fifty years old. Are they now out of copyright and in the public domain?
No they are not. This is a debate that has been on-going for some time though a Japanese court recently ruled that – since the director part-owned copyright in his films – they would remain copyrighted for 35 years after his death, meaning: these films remain under copyright until 2033.
Can you tell me where to find torrent files of Kurosawa’s films?
No way Jose. These films are classics and deserve respect – please do not pirate them,
or download them from the Internet. Buy the DVDs and enjoy them in their best form –
pixellated abominations encoded by reckless lunkheads.
Are there any other Kurosawa websites that you like?
Sure. The obvious ones like Wikipedia and IMDb are pretty good. http://akirakurosawa.info/ is also pretty good.