Kanichiro Yoshimura is a Samurai and Family man who can no longer support his wife and children on the the low pay he receives from his small town clan, he is forced by the love for his ... See full summary »
During the time of change of the mid-19th Century, Yaichiro is bid farewell by his fellow samurai friends Munezo and Samon as he leaves their clan's fiefdom on the northwest coast of Japan ... See full summary »
Ihei Misawa and his wife Tayo, stranded by rains at a country inn, bring a great deal of happiness to the other residents of the inn by means of Ihei's generosity and good spirit. Ihei is a... See full summary »
Following the death of the second Tokugawa shogun, it is revealed that he was poisoned by retainers of his son Iemitsu in hopes of gaining him the shogunate despite the stammer and ... See full summary »
February 17 to March 3, 1860, inside Edo castle. A group of assassins wait by Sakurada Gate to kill the lord of the House of Ii, a powerful man in the Tokugawa government, which has ruled ... See full summary »
Kanichiro Yoshimura is a Samurai and Family man who can no longer support his wife and children on the the low pay he receives from his small town clan, he is forced by the love for his family to leave for the city in search of higher pay to support them. In his search he joins a notorious clan, known as the Shinsengumi where he does as much as possible to get money. Looked at as a money grubber,Yoshimura proves his strength physically and mentally by being loyal to his honor. During the dramatic period, with the rise of the Emperor and the fall of the Shogun. Yoshimura shows us the struggle of life in a personal way, by changing the lives of the people he meets and the way life is looked at. Written by
It's hard to believe that this is from the same director as the truly awful Onmyoji! WTLSID is an almost infinitely better film.
After watching THE LAST SAMURAI I was inspired to check out two recent Japanese films focussing on a similar time period, THE TWILIGHT SAMURAI and WHEN THE LAST SWORD IS DRAWN. It's interesting comparing the Japanese perspective of the Samurai with the Hollywood perspective - TLS romanticises the people and lifestyle far more than the Japanese films, though WTLSID is more misty-eyed than TWILIGHT when thinking about those Samurai whose world had left them behind.
Both Japanese films are much more character driven than THE LAST SAMURAI, representing the Samurai as much more human and complex people, and also giving a much less simplified view of the sociopolitical conditions of the time (though in both films the social conditions are much more in the background).
Of the three films, I think I enjoyed WHEN THE LAST SWORD IS DRAWN the most. The characters, acting, action, cinematography and soundtrack were all top notch - and though the end of the film is dragged out too much, it is very moving. I think all three films deserve to be seen though. I find it rather tragic that THE LAST SAMURAI is sure to play in every mainstream theatre in Japan, but TWILIGHT SAMURAI and WHEN THE LAST SWORD IS DRAWN will be lucky to play a couple of festivals and maybe a short art-house run in the US, with an R1 DVD likely to be years off if it comes at all. Those that have the bravery to check out the import DVDs for the Japanese films will definitely benefit from the experience, though!
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