Monday, March 05, 2007
Samurai month concludes...
...but the training - discovering the "way" while watching piles upon piles of samurai films - will go on. It's been a good month for movies. The staff feels that it has watched great film after great film here in the Liverputty screening room. The pity is that more could not be included in this month's coverage. The glaring omission: only one Kurosawa film was covered. The absence of Mizuguchi's The 47 Ronin and Inagaki's Chushingura was intentional as they will be dealt with in the near future. Also, there was nothing post 1980 - meaning no late Kurosawa, no remake of Zatoichi, and no Twilight Samurai. All reasons that Liverputty should budget another samurai month sometime soon - perhaps we could pencil it in between yakuza week in early April and Familial Piety month in late May. Oh well, future plans are for later. Now is the time to reflect on what we have seen. And what has it taught us?
We learned that Hanzo, the Razor gets an erection when he's in pain. Such is the bushido way.
We learned that the Secret Brotherhood of Asian Cineastes have a plot to besmirch the excellent work of Hiroshi Inagaki. They won't get away with it. Liverputty International will work to expose this secret brotherhood and put a stop to their snobbish ways. Already, we've learned how to identify members of this brotherhood: we know that they dress in black ninja outfits and stay about as far away from women as humanly possible - except for the stray female member within their ranks. We know they reveal themselves when they say "manga."
We learned that a katana can slice through a light-saber.
We learned that when a man with a wooden oar meets a man with a nodachi, the man with the nadachi will be a dead man.
We learned that the Toho logo is a mark of excellence.
We learned that the vacant stare of Tatsuya Nakadai can mean passionate revenge for a horrible occurance, righting a wrong for as a way to redemption, or killing for the sheer relaxation of it.
We learned that the Japanese in the 1970s must have suffered tremendously from high blood pressure given the amount of geysers in Lady Snowblood and Love Wolf & Cub.
We know that Akira Kurosawa is a towering world cimema figure. We learned that there are other major top tier directors making samurai films, too.
We learned that samurai films have more maps, per frame, than any other genre except perhaps war documentaries.
We've learned that Mount Fuji and Toshiro Mifune are the greatest peaks in Japanese cinema. Though that latter has a greater range. Seriously, his range is great - just with playing samurai - not to mention the other half of his career. Only a small handful of other stars compare.
We learned that Asaoka Ruriko is always adorable.
We learned that Japanese films like strategy. They talk about it in the dialogue. They show it on the screen. They integrate it into the story.
Japanese films also like to provide contextual information.
Noh and kabuki are so visually curious that it is impossible not to film them if they are anywhere close to the story.
Quite likely, we will have other samurai movies featured on the site, even though the janitors are still cleaning up after this party. The future entries will find a place on the sidebar along side their bushi brethren.