by Douglas Messerli
Hideo Oguni (screenplay, based on the drama by Maxim Gorky), Akira Kurosawa (director) どん底 (Donzoko) (The Lower Depths) / 1957
Watching Akira Kurosawa’s impressive 1957 film version of Maxim Gorky’s play The Lower Depths the other day, I was reminded of my first encounter with this drama on a filmed production of the play on TV, which I must have seen in the very late 1950s or, more likely, in the early 1960s. Yet, when I went to look it up on internet connections, I could find no sign of it, no matter where I looked. So much for the “golden age of TV,” which, of course, we know is long gone, but now is also evidently utterly forgotten.
Los Angeles, September 30, 2017