Update: Per the actor’s Instagram, Damien Bonnard (The French Dispatch, Staying Vertical) will lead Serpent’s Path, which has begun shooting with Alexis Kavyrchine (Kurosawa’s other French production, Daguerrotype) on DP duties. Read the original story below.
Two-and-a-half years is hardly much wait for any director’s latest (to say nothing of COVID times) but by Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s clip it’s a hot second. After producing one of 2022’s great moving-image works––movies, TV, streaming, whatever––he’s preparing his first feature since Wife of a Spy, and our friends at Ion Cinema got quite the get: they’ve learned Kurosawa’s rolling cameras this month on a remake of his 1998 feature Serpent’s Path.
While further details (e.g. casting) are nil, the earlier film might give us sense of what to anticipate. Even by Kurosawa’s standards is Serpent’s Path a cold-blooded and blood-chilling work, its story of revenge for a murdered child shaped by typically perfect production design, sustained atmosphere, ornate plotting. (Jonathan Rosenbaum was correct in saying “I often couldn’t figure out who was doing what to whom, but I didn’t much care.”) Where its sister film Eyes of the Spider––a production overlapping in cast, crew, and narrative jibe––offers a lighter vision of vengeance, this revisit suggests classic Kurosawa. I’d also take something à la his underappreciated French co-production Daguerrotype, but whatever the case: few in-the-works films already excite so much.
For more Kurosawa, I’ll shamelessly recommend my 2021 interview with the master––wherein we discussed Wife, plotting, cinephilia, and Clint Eastwood––while you can find a trailer for the original Serpent’s Path below.