Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Summer of Samurai Film at NWFF : June 16 - July 6


Northwest Film Forum Site

Woo! Epic Samurai Cinema from the late 50's and early 60's! Not a 'guilty-pleasure' for me, but instead a 'pleasure-pleasure'. Much of this genre, like any is schlock, but the good films rock like no others. Fast paced sword play set to the slow moving backdrop of the convolutions of honor when the lone individual (Ronin) Samurai chooses to oppose the immovable establishment. The Kobayashi films here are especially excellent and are some of the finest examples in the whole darn genre. Okamoto's "Sword of Doom" is also a good one. That Criterion released all three of these in the past year says somethin'.

From the NWFF site:

"A MAN, A BLADE, AN EMPTY ROAD brings you two 1960s masterworks by Masaki Kobayashi, enthralling sword-swinging efforts by major talents Hideo Gosha, Hiroshi Inagaki and Kihachi Okamoto, three vintage movies from the hugely popular ZATOICHI THE BLIND SWORDSMAN series and two from the master himself, the great Akira Kurosawa. With such wonderful work emerging from the samurai genre, it deserves to be appreciated as part of a cross-cultural give and- takea global conversation that includes German expressionism, Nouvelle Vague innovation and the American Western. Its a genre that, at its best, combines ferocious excitement with astonishing visual beauty, grace, rowdy humor, pathos and even tragedy. A MAN, A BLADE, AN EMPTY ROAD is nothing short of a tale of a great moment in cinemas history."