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Yojimbo (1961) More at IMDbPro »Yôjinbô (original title)


2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008

10 items from 2014


Venice: Steven Okazaki Directing Doc on Legendary Japanese Actor Toshiro Mifune

30 August 2014 9:58 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Prominent Japanese/American director Steven Okazaki is set to shoot “Mifune: Last Samurai,” a high-profile feature docu on Toshiro Mifune, the most prominent actor of Japan’s golden age of cinema.

Mifune made nearly 170 movies, 16 of which with Akira Kurosawa. He won the best actor award twice at Venice, in 1961 for “Yojimbo,” and in 1965 for “Red Beard,” both directed by Kurosawa.

Principal photography will start in Tokyo on September 19, with other locations including Los Angeles and San Francisco.

“Last Samurai” will feature rare archive footage and interviews with key Japanese actors and filmmakers who worked with Mifune such as Tatsuya Nakadai, Kyoko Kagawa, Yuzo Kayama, and others.

“I’m particularly excited about filming Kanzo Uni, who choreographed many of Mifune fight scenes,” Okazaki enthused. “His claim to fame is that he was killed by Mifune more times than anyone, around one hundred and fifty times, four times in one movie. »

- Nick Vivarelli

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Blu-ray+DVD Review: Teruo Ishii’S ‘Blind Woman’S Curse’ (1970) From Arrow Films

5 August 2014 3:17 AM, PDT | Cinemaretro.com | See recent CinemaRetro news »

(The following review pertains to the UK release of the film on Region B/2 formats)

By Howard Hughes

The Girls with the Dragon Tattoo

Following on from its release of ‘Lady Snowblood’ and ‘Lady Snowblood 2: Love Song of Vengeance’ in 2012, UK company Arrow Films has released another Japanese cult classic in ‘Blind Woman’s Curse’, a film which mixes swordplay, horror and the supernatural into a bloody vengeance scenario.

Also known as ‘Kaidan nobori ryû’, ‘The Tattooed Swordswoman’ and ‘Black Cat’s Revenge’, this is unusual action fare from director Teruo Ishii. Meiko Kaji, who went on to star as Lady Snowblood, cuts her teeth – and several villains’ major arteries – as Akemi, the head of the Tachibana Clan. In the opening rain swept swordfight, she accidentally blind’s Aiko (Hoki Tokuda), the younger sister of Yakuza clan leader Boss Goda. After a three-year stretch in prison, Akemi returns to her role as Tachibana leader, »

- nospam@example.com (Cinema Retro)

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Best Criterion Titles to Buy During Barnes & Noble's 50% Off Sale

30 June 2014 3:54 PM, PDT | Rope of Silicon | See recent Rope Of Silicon news »

Barnes & Noble has just kicked off their 50% off Criterion sale and while it's impossible to suggest titles that will suit everyone looking to beef up their collection at this perfect time of year, I will do my best to offer some suggestions. Let's get to it... My Absolute First Pick I am almost done going through this collection and it was a collection I got for Christmas under these exact circumstances. Typically priced at $224.99, you can now get this amazing set of 25 Zatoichi films for only $112. Box sets, in my opinion, are what sales like this were made for. Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman Next Ten Recommendations It isn't easy so this is a collection of just some of my favorite films (of all-time and within the collection) and a little variety, though pretty much my standard, go to Criterion first picks, especially if you are just starting out. Persona Breathless »

- Brad Brevet

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"We Want Our DVD!": "The Fort Of Death" (1969)

25 June 2014 3:31 AM, PDT | Cinemaretro.com | See recent CinemaRetro news »

By Fred Blosser

In the Old West, small homesteaders run afoul of a big landowner who controls the local law and levies killer taxes on their ranches and farms. The homesteaders finally refuse to pay the taxes, and petition the governor for help. Meanwhile, expecting reprisal from the landowner’s hired guns, they build a makeshift fort for refuge. They also send for help from a mercenary who comes to their aid with his private army of four associates and a Gatling gun.

Just kidding about the Western setting. This is actually the plot of “Gonin No Shokin Kasegi,” also known as “The Fort of Death,” a 1969 Japanese chambara by Eiichi Kudo. Nevertheless, the similarities are there. The homesteaders are peasants, the landowner is their oppressive feudal lord, and the higher official they’ve petitioned is the emperor. It’s easy to squint and superimpose an Old West setting out of an American B movie, »

- nospam@example.com (Cinema Retro)

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'The Sword of Doom' (1966) - Best Movies #3

30 May 2014 10:32 AM, PDT | Rope of Silicon | See recent Rope Of Silicon news »

The list of great samurai films is long and it would probably consume a person's entire lifetime if they were to seek them all out in an attempt to satisfy any measure of a comprehensive list. Several of the known greats I have yet to see and most likely those that are new to the genre will start in the most obvious of places, that being the films of Akira Kurosawa, most specifically Seven Samurai and then probably Yojimbo, two films that will certainly be included on my Best Movies list before all is said and done along with several others, but as I said, the list is long. That said, I didn't want my first samurai entry on my Best Movies list to be an entirely obvious one, though fans of samurai films will no doubt be familiar with Kihachi Okamoto's The Sword of Doom. The first film »

- Brad Brevet

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Quentin Tarantino Will Close Out Cannes With A Special Aniversary Screening Of A Fistful Of Dollars

13 May 2014 12:49 PM, PDT | cinemablend.com | See recent Cinema Blend news »

Django Unchained writer-director Quentin Tarantino has long been an outspoken fan of Spaghetti Western auteur Sergio Leone, and now he's been given one of cinema's grandest stages to sing the master filmmakers praises. THR has gotten word that Quentin Tarantino will be hosting a special event screening of Sergio Leone's classic A Fistful of Dollars on the closing night of the Cannes Film Festival on Saturday, May 24th. The screening will not only serve as a grand finale to the esteemed French festival, but will also commemorate the movie's 60th anniversary, as well as the birth of the Spaghetti Western genre. Unofficially a remake of Akira Kurosawa's samurai drama Yojimbo, A Fistful of Dollars famously starred Clint Eastwood as a nomadic gunfighter who plays two greedy families against each other in a vice-ridden town of the Old West. Eastwood and Leone went on to collaborate again with For »

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‘Sanjuro’ deftly exposes a different side to the very gruff titular anti-hero

26 April 2014 12:00 PM, PDT | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

Sanjuro

Written by Ryuzo Kikushima and Akira Kurosawa

Directed by Akira Kurosawa

Japan, 1962

A small band of nine samurai convene in an isolated shrine in the woods to discuss a most pressing mater: the corruption that has reportedly seeped its way into the workings of their clan’s highest ranking officials. Unbeknownst to them a ronin, Sanjuro (Toshiro Mifune) has been eavesdropping on their deliberations and, in his usual gruff manner, offers his help to eventually expose and squash the ne’re do wells. The nine warriors are initially suspicious of  Sanjuro’s unorthodox approach but quickly realize he is an powerful asset in their quest to right wrongs once the ronin dispatches a series of foes with forcefulness and efficiency before their very eyes. Perhaps even more intriguing is the fact that Sanjuro’s violent act of self-defense convinces the clan’s top enforcer, Hanbei Muroto (Tatsuya Nakadai), to offer him a job. »

- Edgar Chaput

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‘Yojimbo’ is supreme entertainment under the guidance of the sensei Kurosawa

12 April 2014 3:00 PM, PDT | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

Yojimbo

Written by Ryuzo Kikushima and Akira Kurosawa

Directed by Akira Kurosawa

Japan, 1961

It is the mid 19th century in Japan as a wandering ronin (the term designated to samurai who no longer have a master to follow), Kuwabatake Sanjuro (Toshiro Mifune), roams the windy, autumnal countryside, unsure as to the direction he should head next in search for food and money. Gambling on one particular route takes him to a small town awash in corruption and gamesmanship between two warring factions, one commandeered by Seibi (Seizaburo Kawazu) and the other by Ushitora (Kyu Sazanka). Each has associated themselves with one of the two major industries the sullen town calls its own, a sake brewery run by Tokuemon (Takashi Shimura) and a silk factory owned by Tazaemon (Katamari Fujirawa). Despite the consternation and warnings of a local tavern owner, Goji (Eijiro Tono), the ronin sees a window of glorious opportunity »

- Edgar Chaput

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New on Video: ‘The Hidden Fortress’

27 March 2014 9:20 PM, PDT | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

The Hidden Fortress

Written by Ryûzô Kikushima, Hideo Oguni, Shinobu Hashimoto, and Akira Kurosawa

Directed by Akira Kurosawa

Japan, 1958

By the time Akira Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortress was released in 1958, it was more or less settled that the Japanese filmmaker — the only Japanese filmmaker most average moviegoers had heard of at that point — was among the world’s best. This was after Rashomon, after Ikiru, and after The Seven Samurai. Kurosawa’s talent was beyond question, and his global cinematic prominence was growing. However, his last three films, while positively received by critics, did not do so well with audiences. He needed something that would combine quality with commercial success. “A truly good movie is really enjoyable, too,” he once said. “There’s nothing complicated about it.” He would meet this condition with The Hidden Fortress, out now on a new Criterion Collection Blu-ray/DVD combo. While not containing the narrative innovation, »

- Jeremy Carr

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'Throne of Blood' (Criterion Collection) Blu-ray Review

6 January 2014 12:11 PM, PST | Rope of Silicon | See recent Rope Of Silicon news »

I first watched Akira Kurosawa's Throne of Blood (1957) six years ago. It was only the third film from Kurosawa I'd seen and I actually wrote a piece (which was really nothing more than an extended synopsis) after my first viewing right here, which is a rather interesting read six years removed. I remember not entirely enjoying Throne of Blood, when I first watched it and reading the piece linked above I see I found it largely interesting due to the fact it's an adaptation of Shakespeare's "Macbeth" while I also take issue with the length of some scenes, a complaint I read now and realize how much my taste has changed since writing that post. If you were to ask what I remembered of Throne of Blood before rewatching Criterion's newest Blu-ray upgrade, I'd say it would be 1.) the ghostly white spirits in Spiders' Web forest; 2.) the smoke-filled visuals »

- Brad Brevet

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2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008

10 items from 2014


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