SEVEN  SAMURAI

CRITERION  COLLECTION

The concept and art for this project is inspired by the philosophy of the samurai. Widely considered one of the greatest films ever made and director Akira Kurosawa’s best masterpiece. The theme of Seven Samurai revolves around the iconic form of the circle. A historic symbol of unity, from King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table to the Lion King’s, the circle of life, the circular form represents balance and equality.

At the heart of film, the circle signifies the idea of a classless society where everyone is equal. It juxtaposes the two views of individualism versus the group mentality. Individualism is represented by the separation of people by societal classes, and also relates to the idea of the ronin samurai warriors who travel alone to fend for themselves versus the ideal samurai, who fights to protect others.

Kurosawa begs the question, can the ideals of what the circle represents actually be achieved? Can a classless society actually exist in perfect balance where everyone is equal or will it always be doomed to failure? Will one group inevitably always have more than the other?
How does one realize the ultimate level of the ideal samurai? How does a samurai achieve that balance to complete the circle? In the story, we see samurai who focus on the benefit of the self (individualism) versus the samurai who focus on serving and protecting others (the ideal samurai).

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