橋本忍

橋本忍

Shinobu Hashimoto was born in Japan on April 18, 1918. Instantly upon entering the screenwriting game, Hashimoto established himself as a rare breed, kicking off his career by writing what is now known as one of the most iconic films, international or otherwise, ever to hit the big screen: "Rashomon" (1950), a crime mystery story that pioneered the now prevalent use of multiple characters' points of view to tell a single story in different ways. So influential was "Rashomon" that the very title of the film-which in fact refers to the movie's setting, in proximity of a castle gate-has become adopted as a term for the employment of multiple perspectives as a storytelling device in a piece of cinema. Hashimoto's work with director Akira Kurosawa on "Rashomon" led to future collaborations, the first being the writer's very next movie: "Ikiru" (1952), which he co-wrote with Hideo Oguni. "Ikiru" presented the existential journey of a dying bureaucrat, and took form as a substantially longer and more introspective film than Hashimoto's prior work. He'd return again to broader and more visual constructs in his next venture, "Seven Samurai" (1954), which is likely Kurosawa and Hashimoto's most renowned collaboration. While the reach of "Seven Samurai" was nearly unparalleled, many of Hashimoto's projects immediately to follow caught the attention of Japanese audiences only. A notable exception were the action-drama "Throne of Blood" (1957) and the adventure film "The Hidden Fortress" (1958), both of which were directed by Kurosawa. Hashimoto explored new severity in his directorial debut, the war crime-themed drama "I Want to Be a Shellfish" (1959), an adaptation of Tetsutarô Katô's novel. As Hashimoto continued to deliver original screenplays throughout the 1960s, his earlier work began to exhibit an even greater degree of influence. His and Kurosawa's "Seven Samurai" was adapted and re-imagined as John Sturges' American Western classic "The Magnificent Seven" (1960), and the pair's "Rashomon" similarly spawned the Paul Newman film "The Outrage" (1964). Each remake failed to credit Hashimoto as the mind behind its source material, however. The coming years saw Hashimoto focus largely on genre films: samurai stories like "Samurai Assassin" (1965) and "Samurai Rebellion" (1967) and action-adventure pictures like "Tidal Wave" (1973) and "Yellow Dog" (1976). Hashimoto tried his hand at directing once again with "Lake of Illusions" (1982), but retired from the world of screenwriting shortly after. Although Hashimoto never returned to the trade, his scripts would prove a timeless influence on the cinematic world. Hashimoto saw his directorial debut "I Want to Be a Shellfish" remade in 2007 as a TV movie and then again in 2008 with Katsuo Fukuzawa directing. Additionally, his "Seven Samurai" script would lend to an attempted remake of "The Magnificent Seven" by director Antoine Fuqua.
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