Samurai Fiction

Our March 2007 film selection, Samurai Fiction is now open for discussion. Members who would like to Post an Official Commentary here are welcome to do so (Contact Ron or Roger if you would like to have posting priveleges to this blogsite). Anyone, member or not, can place brief comments here by simply clicking on the comments button.


One thought on “Samurai Fiction

  1. This film, which was a novice effort by director Hiroyaki Nakano, who also wrote it and edited it –certainly has the look of much more than a sophmoric effort. I remember the meeting complaining that the film just failed to hook me, that it was such a spoof on the Samurai genre, that it just put me off, left me cold. Sometimes a spoof, a satire can be finely balanced, and exploit the genre and still poke some fun at it. Tarantino pulled that off with both KILL BILL’s. Some of the music in those films was done by Japanese rock star, Tomayasu Hotei, who did the music in SF: Episode One as well. The rock score often worked well, like it did with QUEEN’s tunes in A KNIGHT’S TALE; but sometimes it degenerated in cartoon hookyness, that left us with MTV meets Bushido; kind of like John Belushi playing a samurai working in a dental office or hamburger joint. The cinematography by Yujiro Yajima was quite effective, picking the traditional B&W imagery so well used in many of the classic KUROSAWA, like YOJIMBO, SANJURO, SEVEN SAMURAI, RASHOMON, and THE HIDDEN FORTRESS, as well as HARI KARI, and first 10 Zato Ichi films with Shintaro Katsu. The fight scenes were sometimes well choreographed, although a fight director was not listed in the credits. But the histrionic and silly actions of the long dead narrator kept me at arm’s length. The bizarre and eccentric actions of the rogue Ronin, Kazamatsuri, did intrigue me at first. But by the end when he was spending so much time bedding down his demure male companion, trying to give away the sacred sword, and then sacrificing his own life after he won the match at the end –all just did not jell for me. The point was well taken by Ron that after all, CAT BALLOU won Oscars, and no one lamented the disrepect of the Western genre, followed later by VILLIAN, and BLAZING SADDLES; lots of yuks. I was glad that Chiko picked this film, even if I would only give it 2.5 stars.

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