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Kurosawa’s “Dreams” Opens Cannes Festival

May 10, 1990

CANNES, France (AP) _ Stars from around the world gathered Thursday for the 43rd annual Cannes Film Festival, but the man of the hour was 80-year-old Japanese director Akira Kurosawa.

His new film, ″Dreams,″ provided a dignified and imaginative opening for 12 days of partying, salesmanship and awards-giving in the seaside city.

Based on Kurosawa’s dreams, the film is eight separate segments, including one in which a filmmaker confronts Vincent Van Gogh in a wheat field, and another about mountain climbers facing death in a blizzard.

″Dreams″ is not among the 19 films competing for the coveted top prize, the Golden Palm. This year’s entries include offerings from the Societ Union, Poland, Czechoslovakia, China, Burkina Faso, Great Britain and Italy.

A preview of ″Dreams″ was held in the afternoon.

The 10-member jury that will choose the winner of the Golden Palm is headed by Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci and includes American actress Anjelica Huston, French actress Fanny Ardant, and English screenwriter Christopher Hampton, who wrote the English adaptation of ″Liaisons Dangereuses.″

American offerings in competition for the Golden Palm include Clint Eastwood’s ″White Hunter, Black Heart,″ based on John Huston’s filming of ″African Queen″ in 1952; David Lynch’s ″Wild at Heart,″ and an American production by English director Alan Parker, ″Come See the Paradise.″

The French are offering four films, including Jean-Paul Rappeneau’s ″Cyrano de Bergerac,″ starring Gerard Depardieu and ″New Wave,″ starring Alain Delon and directed by Jean-Luc Godard.

But it was ″Dreams″ that created the stir.

At a news conference after the preview, Kurosawa said he had been inspired to write down his dreams by a Dostoevski passage ″in which the author said dreams revealed men’s deepest thoughts, liberated in sleep.″

He then decided to make a film about his dreams, but he left out three of his best ″because technically they were too difficult, or expensive enough to bankrupt the producer.″

While some dreams had a nightmare quality, others were beautiful, such as one concerning the director in an imaginary encounter with Van Gogh, played by Martin Scorsese.

Akira Terao was lauded for his interpretation of a younger Kurosawa.

″I was trembling at doing the different parts,″ he said. ″But Mr. Kurosawa told me to just ‘be natural,’ and then I felt better. While being natural is difficult, it gave me reassurance nonetheless.″

Kurosawa fielded questions about his film with aplomb.

″I think none of my many films has more than two or three moments of pure cinema,″ said the director of ″The Seven Samurai″ and ″Ran,″ and winner of a special award at this year’s Oscar ceremony in Hollywood.

″I wanted to have more moments of pure and perfect cinema with ‘Dreams,’ but while I did my best, I don’t think I got much more than those two or three moments.″

″Which were they?″ asked a reporter.

″That’s for you to decide,″ said Kurosawa.

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