“Don’t ever quit.”

Akira Kurosawa has been gone for nearly 20 years, but his movies and his advice remain. This is not just advice for filmmakers, but for everyone — when he says things like (I’m summarizing and extrapolating a little):

  • Reaching your goals is not easy. It takes hard work.
  • Becoming good at something takes lots and lots and lots of practice, which may get tiresome, but you have to keep at it, turning it into a routine.
  • Creating a good piece of work requires rethinking and editing.
  • You should always have something to write with, because you never know when you’ll get a good idea.
  • READ! And experience life. You can’t create something out of nothing.

Many students tell me or write in their introductions in the first week of class that they want to become fluent in English “but I can’t speak English well.” This is a good time to think about what Kurosawa says here:

“(You) start and want to get to the end right away. When you go mountain climbing the first thing you’re told is not to look at the peak, but to keep your eyes on the ground as you climb. You just keep climbing patiently one step at a time. If you keep looking at the top, you’ll get frustrated.”

Finally, do any students recognize the man interviewing him?

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