Shiba, a wandering ronin, encounters a band of peasants who have kidnapped the daughter of their dictatorial magistrate, in hopes of coercing from him a reduction in taxes. Shiba takes up ... See full summary »
A young samurai, Shojuro Sako, travels on the Tokaido to Edo with his two servants, Genta and Gonpachi. Gonpachi has been told by Shojuro's mother to prevent his Master from drinking... See full synopsis »
Loyal samurai Samanosuke is attacked, mutilated, and left for dead while carrying out a mission for his clan. He recovers but has lost an eye and an arm. Taking a new identity as Tange ... See full summary »
A sadistic Daimyo (feudal lord) rapes a woman and murders both her and her husband, but even when one of his own vassals commits suicide to bring attention to the crime, the matter is ... See full summary »
Long before the events of the movie Ôki, who was approaching middle age, had a relation to 16-year-old Otoko. She got pregnant, but the child was stillborn. Their relation stopped at the ... See full summary »
The first period film from Shochiku graduate, Masahiro Shinoda. The film follows the brief life of Hachiro Kiyokawa, an ambitious ronin (master-less samurai) in a time of political tumult in 19th Century Japan. Kiyokawa, a mysterious character and expert swordsman, shifts between both factions - the Tokugawa Shogunate and the Emperor - to further his own ends.
Ansatsu is a strongly nihilistic film, characterized by a lack of honour on all sides. The tone is set early on in the film, when the man charged with assassinating Kiyokawa challenges him to a public duel. Despite losing the duel, he does not take his own life for the sake of his honour and his master bemoans it as a sign of the times; the descent of honourable samurai into political assassins, for sale to the highest bidder. The Kyoto ronins have no loyalty or ideals and Kiyokawa himself embodies an amoral, mercenary attitude to life - mediating peace in the face of civil war only to realize his own ambitions of power. The film is lavishly shot in black and white cinema scope and features a fantastic, atmospheric score by Toru Takemitsu.
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