Saturday, April 19, 2008

Kurosawa's Stray Dog

Re-watched Akira Kurosawa's Stray Dog (1949) on the excellent Criterion Collection DVD. The mini doc recounts a stir over the opening shot of a dog panting feverishly. The film premiered during the American occupation of Japan, and a busybody American woman associated with the ASPCA accused Kurosawa of having injected the dog with rabies to get that wild-eyed effect. This was in the wake of post-war revelations about "scientific" experiments performed by the Japanese imperial army. Apparently this woman was persistent, obsessed even, and brought suit. Was the one blot on an otherwise happy production.