By Andrew Hamlin Northwest Asian Weekly “The World of Kanako” begins with a Christmas celebration or, to be more precise, several Christmas celebrations. Snow falls slowly. Bright lights twinkle in the night. And young people, at least, dance together in a club, done up in their immaculate fashions. Intercut with this, though, is cursing, hissing, […]
By Andrew Hamlin Northwest Asian Weekly Director Eiichi Kudo’s “Eleven Samurai” (1966) completes his gritty, visually rich samurai trilogy. It features elements derived from the two earlier films, “13 Assassins” (1963) and “The Great Killing” (1964), but introduces additional elements, making the film worthy of its brethren.
By Andrew Hamlin Northwest Asian Weekly “Warning,” reads the back of the DVD box for “The Great Killing.” “Contains violence, strategy.” All three of Eiichi Kudo’s groundbreaking samurai films (“13 Assassins” featured last week and “Eleven Samurai” to come shortly) contain that same warning. All three do indeed contain violence and strategy as advertised, but […]
By Andrew Hamlin Northwest Asian Weekly When director Eiichi Kudo went into pre-production for his 1963 samurai film “13 Assassins,” he had no way of knowing that he would help pioneer a new age in samurai cinema. Kudo worked with screenwriter Kaneo Ikegami, who’d written another film, “Seventeen Ninja,” released earlier that same year, and […]
By Andrew Hamlin Northwest Asian Weekly 2011 gave us a wide variety of Asian cinema, from sweeping historical epics to smaller, more human-scaled studies of life. Seek out the following films wherever you can. They are ranked in order of excellence.
“13 Assassins,” the new historical samurai epic from notable Japanese director Takashi Miike, opens with a samurai warrior committing hara-kiri, or ritual suicide.