Monday, July 31, 2006

Film Kagemusha (Akira Kurosawa, 1980)

Tonight was the last of three consecutive Mondays of a Japanese film series at Manbites Dog Theater. At 7p, they showed Kagemusha (Akira Kurosawa, 1980), followed by Battle Royale (Kinji Fukasaku, 2000).

I enjoyed Kagemusha, though I thought that, at a minute shy of 3 hours duration, it could have been shorter. It takes place in feudal 16th century Japan, and I believe is based on a true story of Lord Shingen and the Battle of Nagashino in 1575. Shingen dies and his inner circle follows his deathwish of not letting his enemies know for three years. The advisors find a poor thief lookalike, who is able to fool spies and even Shingen's grandson.

This grandson, perhaps five years old, is to be the next leader; Shingen has skipped his son in the succession. In the epic story, we see large armies consolidating and enlarging their realms. Obvious misgivings and anger of the skipped son play out. Court intrigue and situations (including making a decision on going to war and entertaining mistresses) that could uncover the thief keep the film interesting.

I left early on in Battle Royale. Similar to Lord of the Flies, high school children are whisked away to brutality on a deserted island. They have the horrendous game of survival - they must kill or be killed. If, after three days, more than one person survives, they all will be killed. I don't have the constitution to see such violence, so didn't stick around past the first 20 or 30 minutes.


Blogger Biby Cletus said...

Nice post, its a really cool blog that you have here, keep up the good work, will be back.

Warm Regards

Biby Cletus - Kagemusha Movie Review

Tue Apr 17, 08:15:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Dilip said...

Thanks, Biby. You may enjoy my most recent posts on the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. --Dilip

Wed Apr 18, 12:33:00 AM PDT  

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