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Kiyoshi Kurosawa

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Alma mater
Rikkyo University


Film director

Kiyoshi Kurosawa

Years active


Kiyoshi Kurosawa Kiyoshi Kurosawa auteur de Kairo Babelio

July 19, 1955 (age 68) (
Kobe, Japan

Film director, screenwriter, film critic

Sundance Institute, Rikkyo University

Jury Prize - Un Certain Regard, Directing Prize of Un Certain Regard, Asian Film Award for Best Screenwriter

Journey to the Shore, Tokyo Sonata, Cure, Penance, Pulse

Similar People
Tadanobu Asano, Koji Yakusho, Eri Fukatsu, Akira Kurosawa, Kyoko Koizumi

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Kiyoshi Kurosawa (黒沢 清, Kurosawa Kiyoshi, born July 19, 1955) is a Japanese film director, screenwriter, film critic and a professor at Tokyo University of the Arts. Although he has worked in a variety of genres, Kurosawa is best known for his many contributions to the Japanese horror genre.


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How to pronounce kiyoshi kurosawa


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Born in Kobe on July 19, 1955, Kiyoshi Kurosawa is not related to director Akira Kurosawa. After studying at Rikkyo University in Tokyo under the guidance of prominent film critic Shigehiko Hasumi, where he began making 8mm films, Kurosawa began directing commercially in the 1980s, working on pink films and low-budget V-Cinema (direct-to-video) productions such as formula yakuza films.

Kiyoshi Kurosawa Midnight Eye interview Kiyoshi Kurosawa

In the early 1990s, Kurosawa won a scholarship to the Sundance Institute and was able to study filmmaking in the United States, although he had been directing for nearly ten years professionally.

Kurosawa first achieved international acclaim with his 1997 crime thriller film Cure. Also that year, he experimented by filming two thrillers back-to-back, Serpent's Path and Eyes of the Spider, both of which shared the same premise (a father taking revenge for his child's murder) and lead actor (Show Aikawa) but spun entirely different stories.

Kurosawa followed up Cure with a semi-sequel in 1999 with Charisma, a detective film starring Koji Yakusho. In 2000, Seance, Kurosawa's adaptation of the novel Seance on a Wet Afternoon by Mark McShane, premiered on Kansai TV. It also starred Yakusho, as well as Jun Fubuki (the two had appeared together in Charisma as well). In 2001, he directed the horror film Pulse. Kurosawa released Bright Future, starring Tadanobu Asano, Joe Odagiri and Tatsuya Fuji, in 2003. He followed this with another digital feature, Doppelganger, later the same year.

In 2005, Kurosawa returned with Loft, his first love story since Seance. Another horror film, Retribution, followed in the next year. With his 2008 film, Tokyo Sonata, Kurosawa was considered to step "out of his usual horror genre and into family drama."

He has written a novelization of his own film Pulse, as well as a history of horror cinema with Makoto Shinozaki.

In September 2012, it was announced that he will direct 1905, a film starring Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, Shota Matsuda and Atsuko Maeda. In February 2013, it was announced that production of the film had been cancelled before filming could start.

Kurosawa directed a 2012 five-part television drama Penance. Beautiful 2013, an anthology film featuring Kurosawa's Beautiful New Bay Area Project, screened at the Hong Kong International Film Festival in 2013.

Kurosawa's next feature film Real, which stars Takeru Sato and Haruka Ayase, was released in 2013. He won the Best Director award at the 8th Rome Film Festival for Seventh Code later that year.

His 2015 film Journey to the Shore was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival where he won the prize for Best Director.

In 2016, his thriller Creepy premiered at the 66th Berlin International Film Festival. The film marked Kurosawa's first cinematic return to the horror genre since 2006.

His 2017 film Before We Vanish will be screened in the Un Certain Regard category at the Cannes Film Festival.

Style and influences

Kurosawa's directing style has been compared to that of Stanley Kubrick and Andrei Tarkovsky, though he has never expressly listed those directors as influences. Nevertheless, he admitted in an interview that Alfred Hitchcock and Yasujirō Ozu features analyzed and discussed under the guidance of Shigehiko Hasumi contributed to shape his personal vision of the medium. He also expressed admiration for American film directors such as Don Siegel, Sam Peckinpah, Robert Aldrich, Richard Fleischer, and Tobe Hooper.

In a 2009 interview with IFC, Kurosawa talked about the reason why he has cast the actor Koji Yakusho in many of his films: "He has similar values and sensitivities. We’re from the same generation. That’s a big reason why I enjoy working with him on the set."

According to Tim Palmer, Kurosawa's films occupy a peculiar position between the materials of mass genre, on the one hand, and esoteric or intellectual abstraction, on the other. They also clearly engage with issues of environmental critique, given Kurosawa's preference for shooting in decaying open spaces, abandoned (and often condemned) buildings, and in places rife with toxins, pestilence and entropy.

Feature films

  • Kandagawa Pervert Wars (1983)
  • The Excitement of the Do-Re-Mi-Fa Girl (1985)
  • Sweet Home (1989)
  • The Guard from Underground (1992)
  • Cure (1997)
  • License to Live (1998)
  • Barren Illusions (1999)
  • Charisma (2000)
  • Pulse (2001)
  • Bright Future (2003)
  • Doppelganger (2003)
  • Loft (2005)
  • Retribution (2006)
  • Tokyo Sonata (2008)
  • Real (2013)
  • Seventh Code (2013)
  • 1905 (cancelled)
  • Journey to the Shore (2015)
  • Creepy (2016)
  • The Woman in the Silver Plate (2016)
  • Before We Vanish (2017)
  • Short films

  • Vertigo College (1980)
  • Ghost Cop (2003)
  • House of Bugs (2005)
  • Beautiful New Bay Area Project (2013)
  • V-Cinema

  • Yakuza Taxi (1994)
  • Men of Rage (1994)
  • Suit Yourself or Shoot Yourself: The Heist (1995)
  • Suit Yourself or Shoot Yourself: The Escape (1995)
  • Door 3 (1996)
  • Suit Yourself or Shoot Yourself: The Loot (1996)
  • Suit Yourself or Shoot Yourself: The Reversal (1996)
  • Suit Yourself or Shoot Yourself: The Nouveau Riche (1996)
  • Suit Yourself or Shoot Yourself: The Hero (1996)
  • The Revenge: A Visit from Fate (1996)
  • The Revenge: A Scar That Never Fades (1996)
  • Serpent's Path (1997)
  • Eyes of the Spider (1997)
  • DVD

  • Soul Dancing (2004)
  • Television

  • Wordholic Prisoner (1990)
  • Whirlpool of Joy (1992)
  • Seance (2000)
  • Matasaburo, the Wind Imp (2003)
  • Penance (2012)
  • References

    Kiyoshi Kurosawa Wikipedia