Wednesday, September 02, 2009

A craving for chanbara

I was craving a Japanese CHANBARA (swordplay) film, so I watched an old favorite last night on DVD.
"KIRU (KILL)" by KIHACHI OKAMOTO is actually a black-comedy -- a film that parodies many of the conventions of the traditional chanbara.
The film's characters include a peasant who wants to be a samurai (ETSUSHI TAKAHASHI) and the samurai who wants to leave the life but continually finds himself drawn back in (TATSUYA NAKADAI, one of my all-time favorite actors).
The plot elements include samurai holed up in a fortress facing long odds for survival and a treacherous samurai attempting to play both sides of the fence.
Okamoto's gift is that he can teasingly make fun of these chanbara stereotypes while keeping the viewer engaged with a fast-moving story.
After a rather stressful, two-stories-to-write day at work, laughing along to "Kiru" was the perfect way to relax.
Hey! Wasn't that last week's FRIDAY QUESTION?


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