I have been gradually making my way through the filmography of the great Akira Kurosawa. Thanks to some bargain eBay purchases, the public library, and a three month subscription to Hulu, I should be able to access just about every one of his films except, I think, Dersu Uzala. I recently watched his adaptation of Gorky’s play The Lower Depths. That was the first time seeing a Kurosawa film that I didn’t take much away from it. It contains a lot of scenes of miserable folks wallowing in a squalid tenement, with the only real plot elements coming from a love triangle (or maybe a love rectangle) between a thief, the landlord, the landlord’s wife, and her sister. To me, it was a great example of the difficulty even a master filmmaker like Kurosawa can have in translating a stage work into a successful film. Dramatic forms that seem so similar (plays and narrative films) are really far apart it seems in their means of artistic expression.