2016 Festival Information
HomeThe FestivalFilm and EventsGalasReturn of the Reels Gala
PRINT  |  


In celebration of the Spaghetti Western genre, Tallgrass Film Festival presents an evening of retrospective screenings with a double feature of Akira Kurosawa's Samurai film YOJIMBO (1961) on 35mm and a midnight screening of Sergio Leone's A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS (1964), with Special Guest Special Guest, Film Historian and Kurosawa Scholar Stephen Prince. Playing with the short film HIDE AND SEEK (d. Kayoko Asakura, Japan, 2013, 11m,)

Purchase tickets here. Complimentary transportation will be provided between Old Cowtown and The Orpheum.

Kurosawa's YOJIMBO was inspired by John Ford's classic Western movies and then became a highly influential film in its own right for filmmakers like Sergio Leone, who remade it with Clint Eastwood as A FISTUL OF DOLLARS in 1964. "Leone's (film) is so similar to "Yojimbo" that homage shades into plagiarism," said film critic Roger Ebert who gave the film four stars.

The incomparable Toshiro Mifune stars in the visually stunning and darkly comic film YOJIMBO. To rid a terror-stricken village of corruption, wily masterless samurai Sanjuro turns a range war between two evil clans to his own advantage. Remade twice, by Sergio Leone and Walter Hill, this exhilarating genre-twister remains one of the most influential and entertaining films of all time.

Although the plot was admittedly borrowed from Kurosawa's Yojimbo (1961), Sergio Leone managed to create a work of his own that would serve as a model for many films to come with A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS. Clint Eastwood plays a cynical gunfighter who comes to a small border town and offers his services to two rivaling gangs. Neither gang is aware of his double play, and each thinks it is using him, but the stranger will outwit them both. The picture was the first installment in a cycle commonly known as the "Dollars" trilogy.Not released in the U.S. until 1967 due to copyright problems, the film was decisive in both Clint Eastwood's career and the recognition of the Italian western. (Rovi) Playing with the short film DRUNKER THAN A SKUNK (d. Bill Plympton (USA, 2013, 4m.)

The Return of the Reels Gala takes place on Friday, October 17th at 7:30pm at the Orpheum Theatre and is sponsored by Jack Daniels. The film and Q&A will be followed by an after party at Old Cowtown Museum. Tickets are $25, and include the YOJIMBO screening, afterparty and A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS screening.

Special Guest Stephen Prince

Stephen Prince is a professor at Virginia Tech and an honorary professor at the University of Copenhagen.  A former president of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, he is the author of numerous books which include The Warrior’s Camera: The Cinema of Akira Kurosawa, Firestorm: American Film in the Age of Terrorism, and Digital Visual Effects in Cinema: The Seduction of Reality.  His audio commentaries can be found on the Criterion DVD and Blu-ray releases of Kurosawa’s movies.