The Bad Sleep Well

It’s been a while! Happy 2021 and all that. Not a whole lot of reading or writing being done these days; fatherhood and entrepreneurship take a lot.

Also I don’t like this stupid new WordPress interface. I’ve fallen out of the habit of writing these posts. I got a flat tire! I didn’t have change for cab fare! There was an earthquake! A terrible flood! IT WASN’T MY FAULT, I SWEAR TO GOD!

I have been doing *a bit* of gaming and watching when I can scrape together some globules of time. Maybe I’ll post again soon about the gaming component.

Lucky dog that I am, I’ve been gifted a few old J films over the past couple birthdays and Christmases, and I just recently got around to viewing one of Kurosawa’s lesser known works – The Bad Sleep Well (悪い奴ほどよく眠る). I won’t give any plot summary here, in case you want to check it out for yourself, but suffice it to say this isn’t Kurosawa’s usual take on feudal or post-war Japan. This one takes aim at the country’s corporate culture, corruption, greed, and the nature and banality of evil.

A few thoughts with a little bit of spoileriness:

  • Great visuals and camerawork, as is typical for Kurosawa. In Kagemusha, he made brilliant work of color. Here, he keeps up with his expert employ of light and shadow.
  • While his character ultimately falls a little flat due to the writing, Mifune is great, as always. The guy was the archetypal samurai, but he sure had range.
  • Takashi Shimura as a bad guy!
  • A lot of well done scenes; the setup in the first act starts off a bit confusing, but comes together brilliantly.
  • If you read any reviews of this film, you’ll almost inevitably find that the reviewer was disappointed with the ending. I can’t disagree. It wasn’t completely unexpected; in fact it was Shakespearean and quite J. But unsatisfying.



8 thoughts on “The Bad Sleep Well

  1. Nice to hear from you again! I thought this blog was dead tbh. I hope the whole Covid situation didn’t cause too many hardships for you.

    I’ve only watched 4 of Kurosawa’s movies (all of them Samurai) but they were all excellent. I want to watch some non-samurai movie he’s made, and this looks like a good place to start with.

    I enjoyed your posts about classic SFF posts and because of them I’ve read quite a few forgotten authors I might’ve otherwise skipped. Some were were not so good, but others were excellent (chief among them being Vance). Hopefully you’ll be able and willing to write another one in the near future.


    1. Thanks for coming by and dropping a comment!

      Yeah, I don’t blame you for thinking so. Wish I had more time and energy for blogging. Trying to remind everyone that I’m still alive!

      Thanks for letting me know about your experience. Very gratifying to know I’ve exposed someone to something they enjoy. For Kurosawa – if you can find Stray Dog, that’s a great non-samurai one to start with. As for the SFF stuff, it’s mostly been moved over to (also rather inactive these days, but again I’d like to work on that).


  2. Glad to hear you and your family are well.

    Good choice of film, but I have to admit that I’ve never seen Kurosawa that I didn’t like.

    Welcome back.

    Liked by 1 person

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