The Way of the Samurai

Some of you may have noticed I haven’t posted anything for awhile. It’s a slightly manic time of year in my day job but I’ve also been busy watching samurai cinema.

The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) are hosting a festival of samurai films, that commenced May 16 and finishes up this Sunday June 1.

So far, I’ve watched Yojimbo (Akira Kurosawa, 1961), Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa, 1954), The Wages of Fear (Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1953), Twilight Samurai (Yoji Yamada, 2002), 13 Assassins (Takeshi Miike, 2010) and a bloody double feature, Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance (Kenji Misumi, 1972) and Lady Snowblood (Toshiya Fujita, 1973), one of the films that famously helped shape Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill films. As you can imagine, it’s been some seriously sensational sensory viewing. You can see the full program here:

Toshiro Mifune prepares for battle in Seven Samurai (1954)
Toshiro Mifune prepares for battle in Seven Samurai (1954)

Over at Film Blerg 

Samurai Cinema: The Way of the Warrior

you can see some of the fruits of my labour, with more to come soon. I’m writing reviews of some of these films, along with two lovely friends, and we are also doing some conversation style reviews which should start appearing soon.

The themes of courage, honor and loyalty dominate the screenings, but so far the films on show have highlighted just how rich and diverse a genre samurai cinema really is. And of course, highly entertaining.

Lady Snowblood in action
Lady Snowblood in action

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