Akira Kurosawa: No Regrets for Our Youth. The widow at the rural dwelling of the parents of her executed husband.

Akira Kurosawa – No Regrets for Our Youth (1946)

It is its historical context—intellectual absolutism at Kyoto University, the imperialistic justification of war and its patriotic subservience to it, and the crude thoughtlessness of ignorance held captive by poverty—that first catches one’s attention. Then, to this, Kurosawa counterpoints the contrast between the rural and the urban, the free and the imprisoned, the oppressed and…

Silvia Pinal in Luis Buñuel's Viridiana (Courtesy: Janus Films)

Luis Buñuel – Viridiana (1961)

The film uses parallels, sometimes extravagant, sometimes excruciatingly commonplace, between Catholicism, government, and sexual relations, placed within antitheses of social legitimacy and illegitimacy, wealth and poverty, kindness and cruelty, charity and exploitation. So the scene is so large that what is disjointed can be accepted as representing a recognizable whole, wholly conventional in, and thereby able…

Sergei Rachmaninov, Ivanoka, Russia, 1910, proofing the publication of the third piano concerto

Ten Essential Attributes of Artistic Accomplishment

Sergei Rachmaninoff In March, 1910, Sergei Rachmaninoff wrote an invitational article on the “ten beautiful attributes of pianoforte playing” for the musical magazine The Etude, founded in 1883 by Virginia’s Theodore Presser, also the founder the Music Teachers National Foundation and published in Philadelphia till 1957. Large excerpts of the magazine have been digitized by…