Multcolib Picks: Samurai! Films for the Japanophile
Annotation:First in a series of three films depicting the life of Miyamoto Musashi. Starring Toshiro Mifune.
Annotation:A convict is chosen to impersonate a warlord during the civil wars that preceded the Tokugawa era. Directed by Akira Kurosawa.
Annotation:Three wandering samurai become involved in a conflict between suffering peasants and the cruel magistrate who oversees their district. Origin story for a Japanese television show.
Annotation:Seibei, a low-ranking samurai, reunites with his childhood love Tomoe, but is then called to perform a dangerous task for his lord.
Annotation:A samurai is ordered by the shogun’s advisor to assassinate a viciously cruel lord. Directed by Takashi Miike.
Annotation:A samurai hero is sent to destroy an evil spirit that rips out the throats of warriors, only to find that he must struggle with his personal demons as well.
Annotation:Blind swordsman and masseur Zatoichi contends with warring gangs and ronin bodyguards in this modern version of a classic series. Starring Takeshi Kitano.
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In addition to famous classics such as the Seven Samurai, Ran, and Yojimbo, there are many other notable works in the chanbara and jidaigeki genres of Japanese cinema. Included here are more classics by Akira Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune, as well as retellings by Takeshi Kitano and Takashi Miike. This list supplements the Northwest Film Center and Portland Art Museum films shown during their “Samurai Cinema” series in the fall and winter of 2013.