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Ten to Chi to (1990)
Spectacular Made-in-Canada Samurai
One of my favorites, despite all the historical inaccuracies. As a Canadian, I feel a certain pride watching it repeatedly.
Filmed in Alberta, Canada for its wide open space and abundance of horses. Morley Flats standing in for the Plains of Kawanakajima. 3,000 Canadian extras and 1,000 horses were used for the huge battles. During the filming, several behind-the-scenes TV documentaries were made and I was fortunate to video-tape most of them.
Alberta's superb riders, cowboys and cowgirls, and native Americans, 1,000 of them were employed to appear as mounted samurai. 2,000 other extras were transported by schoolbuses to the shooting location to appear as samurai infantry. Many were young kids, many were young girls, because they were the right height to fit into the thousands of samurai armor used for the film. These extras were trained in spear-fighting and drilled to march in unison.
To hide their Caucasian features, the 3,000 Canadian extras all wore armoured face guards. These technically made them all Samurai. One of the flaws in the film, since the bulk of actual samurai armies were composed of peasant soldiers (ashigaru), whose faces would have been exposed and unarmoured.
As a Canadian, I still get chills watching the spectacular battle scenes. Those Canadians made fine samurai.
Nights in White Satin (1987)
Every now and then, a late night movie catches you at the right moment. This one did. I was a struggling artist at the time who knew someone like Lisa. So I could understand what Walker Jordan went through. This movie haunted me for weeks. Everytime I heard one of the songs from the movie played on the radio I was immediately reminded the first time I saw the movie.
After so many years this one still haunts me. Sadly real life didn't have the same resolution as this film. It has become one of my all time favorites.
Island of the Blue Dolphins (1964)
I Remember watching this when I was very young in the Philippines. It would be shown for weeks at a time.
I just learned the tragic true story recently. She was the last of her tribe. Every one of her tribe died when the ship she missed sank. Karana's fate was just as sad. Seven weeks after she was rescued she died from illness, contracted from the White men.