In Jersey City, an African American hit man follows "Hagakure: The Way of the Samurai." He lives alone, in simplicity with homing pigeons for company, calling himself Ghost Dog. His master, who saved his life eight years ago, is part of the local mob. When the boss' daughter witnesses one of Ghost Dog's hits, he becomes expendable. The first victims are his birds, and in response, Ghost Dog goes right at his attackers but does not want to harm his master or the young woman. On occasion, he talks with his best friend, a French-speaking Haitian who sells ice cream in the park, and with a child with whom he discusses books. Can he stay true to his code? And if he does, what is his fate? Written by
The man in camouflage whom Ghost Dog meets on his way to the park toward the end of the movie is The RZA, who composed the original score for the movie. See more »
Before killing the hunters, Ghost Dog turns off his car by turning the key in the ignition. When he stole the car, however, he used an electronic device to override the ignition. See more »
In the Kamigata area, they have a sort of tiered lunchbox they use for a single day when flower viewing. Upon returning, they throw them away, trampling them underfoot. The end is important in all things.
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"From Then Till Now"
Written by Walter Reed, Ernest Aye, D. Black, J. Barry, W. Warwick
Performed by Killah Priest
Published by Rudy Zariya/Solomon Publishing ASCAP/IllBase Music BMI/
EMI Unart Catalog, Inc. (BMI)/Regent Music Corp. (BMI)
Courtesy of Universal/MCA Records See more »
The movie is about codes of conduct, with 2 main codes that are dying out or are dead.
One is the code of the Mafia the other is the Samurai.
The basic plot is this. One of the Mafia wiseguys must be killed as he is having an affair with the daughter of the Mafia Don.
The person they get to do it is an African American who lives by the code of the Samurai and goes by the name of Ghost Dog. To be honest, I have met many Japanafiles so this is not so unbelievable.
But the code of the Mafia means that if you kill a wiseguy then you must be killed or the Mafia person who hired him must be killed.
Jim Jarmusch makes movies where the characters close relations based on only very small things. The Mafia wiseguy saved Ghost Dogs life, so now he must be his retainer. He lives off the land (lives on a roof, steals the cars and equipment he needs to do a job). There is also a friendship between 2 people who don't speak the same language. It is the connection between people that is so important here.
If you saw Dead man and like it, then you will love Ghost Dog. It is funny, serious, dark, tragic and beautiful all at the same time. Dead man missed the mark with some similar themes (though the DVD of Dead man has some deleted scenes that would have made the movie much better and reflected better the idea of small connections being strong connections).
I loved this movie, and I don't expect everyone else to. Art house movies have small audiences for this exact reason. I know a lot of people who avoided this movie because they thought it was cheesy. The answer is, yes it is, and most of the bad reviews reflect this same idea.
Also I love the sound track, with lots of Phat beats, and uses Hip Hop (African American culture) to reflect Japanese culture.
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