10 items from 2011
★★☆☆☆ Takashi Miike's Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai (Ichimei, 2011) - starring Kôji Yakusho, Naoto Takenaka and Hikari Mitsushima - can best be described as troublesome; a remake (based on Masaki Kobayashi Harakiri ) that is full of potential, yet ultimately fails to deliver. The plot is your usual fair of revenge and honour that focuses on a struggling samurai who discovers that his son-in-law has committed ritual suicide, leading to him acting out his revenge upon the feudal lord who allowed his death.
The act of seppuku (harakiri) is one that has fascinated Western minds due to its extreme dedication to the concept of retaining honour to the point of death. The problem with Miike's Hara-Kiri is that rather than tackling the concept in a interesting way, Miike puts his audience through an initial, overly-grotesque scene of suicide involving a bamboo sword, that lasts approximately ten minutes. The violence goes beyond »
- Daniel Green
Takashi Miike might get away with remaking a little seen samurai flick like The Thirteen Assassins (1963), but Masaki Kobayashi's Harakiri is another story. The 1962 original, a masterpiece in pacing and storytelling, is a well distributed, widely seen and much loved classic. Among the probably audience for Miike's remake, comparisons will be inevitable and will be an unfortunate red herring to the surprisingly conventional film Miike has made. More than any other film in his career, Harakiri is a study in restraint that exudes a certain respect for the original. Unfortunately, minor added affectations don't serve the film well and the remake can't hold a candle to Kobayashi's perfection. Titled Ichimei ("One Life") in Japanese and Harakiri: Death of a Samurai, the film »
The first 3D film ever screened in official selection in Cannes, Takashi Miike's Hara-Kiri: Death Of A Samurai (Ichimei) proved to be divisive among audiences. A remake of Masaki Kobayashi's 1962 picture, the film moved much more slowly than audiences were expecting and those hoping for another epic samurai battle from Miike - who had just delivered exactly that with 13 Assassins - were left disappointed.But with the film now edging up on a theatrical release in Japan we get our chance at a longer look at it. A full trailer has now followed the previous teaser and can be seen below. Once again it is obvious that Miike is taking the craftsmanship on his samurai pictures very, very seriously as every shot is »
The reaction to Takashi Miike's Hara-Kiri: Death Of A Samurai (Ichimei) was decidedly split, with the film skewing far more towards melodrama than many were expecting from a 3D samurai picture coming on the heels of 13 Assassins. The idea of Miike scaling back into a more deliberate drama does nothing to dissuade me from wanting to see it, however - it screened in Cannes the day after I left - and neither does the below clip that recently arrived online. Don't ask me why it only has one line subtitled. I have no idea. »
Updated through 5/21.
"Miike's gonzo efforts have assaulted the fest circuit for over a decade, and at least one, Gozu, appeared in the Director's Fortnight here," recalls Mike D'Angelo at the Av Club. "But he's finally gotten the big nod for Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai, a remake of Masaki Kobayashi's masterpiece Harakiri (which itself won the Jury Prize at Cannes in 1963, taking second place to Visconti's The Leopard). Like the original, it's a methodical, often downright somber tale of honor codes gone awry, depicting the repercussions of a horrific incident in which a starving ronin gets his 'suicide bluff' called. Weary of a wave of beggars seeking to inspire pity and a handout by asking for a suitably proud spot to commit seppuku, officials at the House of Ii force one poor fellow to go through with it,even when they see that his sword is made of bamboo. »
All the latest news, reviews, comment and buzz from the Croisette, as it happens
It's 10.00am: on 11 May 2011 which means that the 64th Cannes film festival has just kicked off. Right this minute, the world's film press are huddled in the Palais du cinema as the opening credits roll on the first press screening of the opening night film, Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris. And in about 90 minutes, we'll know the verdict: is it a new Manhattan or another Curse of the Jade Scorpion? Will this year's fest have been launched with a bang or a whimper?
We'll be bringing you all the news, reviews and reaction from the Croisette, as it happens, right through the festival. My colleague Ian and I will be drawing coverage together in London; we'll be getting regular updates from the team on the ground: Peter Bradshaw, Xan Brooks, Andrew Pulver, Charlotte Higgins, Jason Solomons, »
- Catherine Shoard, Ian J Griffiths
Who doesn't love samurai?! There isn't much to feature for an Indie Trailer Sunday because the summer season is kicking off, but there is one teaser trailer that I thought was worth featuring. Japanese director Takashi Miike, mostly known for his crazy horror movies, has been obsessed with samurais recently, previously directing 13 Assassins, which just opened in the Us. He's got another film, titled Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai (or just Seppuku originally) that's not only playing in competition at the Cannes Film Festival this month, but will be presented in 3D. SlashFilm found this 30-sec teaser, and it looks quite good. Watch the first teaser trailer for Takashi Miike's Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai: Hara-Kiri, set in the 17th century, follows Hanshiro (Ebizo Ichikawa), an honorable, poverty-stricken samurai requesting to commit hara-kiri in the courtyard of feudal lord Kageyu's estate. Trying to dismiss Hanshiro's wish to save face, »
- Alex Billington
Don’t know why, but we’re always interested in Japanese projects, especially those who will premiere In Competition at the Cannes Film Festival.
Takashi Miike‘s upcoming Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai, or simply – Ichimei, is not an exception, although this movie will not be the only Japanese film at Cannes this year.
Ichimei is the first live-action 3D film to compete at any of the three major international film festivals (Cannes, Berlin, Venice) and as we said, it will be screened with the English title Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai. The movie is actually a 3D remake of Kobayashi Masaki’s 1962 film Seppuku, also known as Harakiri.
This time, Yamagishi Kikumi was in charge for the screenplay, and here’s the synopsis part:
“Seeking an honorable end, poverty-stricken samurai Hanshiro requests to commit hara-kiri in the courtyard of feudal lord Kageyu’s estate. Trying to dismiss Hanshiro’s wish to save face, »
By Ali Naderzad - April 15, 2011
Now the world knows what us festival-goers will be seeing at the next Cannes Festival. The secret is out. I did not attend this year’s press conference at Le Grand Hotel—I was there last year—but got the press release delivered to my inbox. At first glance, and even second, this year’s selection looks a lot like the previous years’. Nuri Bilge Ceylan, the contemplative (and eerily quiet) Turkish filmmaker will show another very slow movie and Paolo Sorrentino will be back on the Croisette. Last year at the press conference in Paris we felt deflated at the announcement of that year’s programming. Programmer Thierry Frémeaux explained that the economic realities of the time made it so that the film industry had been impacted, alluding to the fact that not as many movies were being pushed through the production cycle, others »
- Screen Comment
13 Assassins (Jûsan-nin no shikaku), 2010.
Directed by Takashi Miike.
The sadistic Lord Naritsugu, brother of the Shogun and therefore above the law, commits a string of atrocities across feudal Japan. The samurai Shinzaemon Shimada is hired to assassinate him, hiring a team of samurai assassins to assist him, ending in a final bloody showdown.
With some eighty films to his name, Takashi Miike is every bit the prolific director, hopping and mashing up genres to his hearts content. While Western audiences best know him for gruesome thrillers (Audition) and crime dramas (Dead or Alive) he's also dabbled in melodramas, period films and even (believe it or not) children's features. So it's with expert hands that Miike approaches 13 Assassins, a remake of the 1963 film of the same name.
Those expecting Miike's infamously violent scenes will not be disappointed, but it's not in an »
10 items from 2011
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