Not for nothing is Toshiro Mifune one of the most renowned actors of world cinema. Known mostly for his many collaborations with Akira Kurosawa — including such classics as “Rashomon,” “Seven Samurai” and the “Yojimbo” cycle — as well as Hiroshi Inagaki’s “Samurai Trilogy,” the Japanese thespian appeared in nearly 170 films before his death in 1997. Steven Okazaki directed the new documentary “Mifune: The Last Samurai,” which just released its first trailer.
Narrated by Keanu Reeves and featuring interviews with the likes of Martin Scorsese (who offers that “Mifune’s performance is layered, complex. He studied the movement of lions. He’s like a caged animal”) and Steven Spielberg, the trailer touches on Kurosawa and Mifune’s joint influence on American cinema as well as the actor’s two main vices: alcohol and cars.
Okazaki has been nominated for four Oscars, winning one for his short documentary “Days of Waiting” in 1991. “Mifune: The Last Samurai,” which recently screened at both the Venice and Telluride film festivals, will arrive in theaters courtesy of Strand Releasing this December.