Reviews written by registered user
|4 reviews in total|
Tsubaki Sanjuro is, unfortunately, not so widely seen abroad (= outside
Japan) as Yojinbo, probably because it was not copied as a western. In
Japan, however, Tsubaki Sanjuro is not less popular than Yojinbo. Not a
few Japanese actually prefer the former to the latter, and it's easy to
see why: It is stylistically more polished and smarter than Yojimbo and
Mifune is 'cooler' as well - he shows a brilliant leadership and every
Mifune fan would be really delighted to see how his young, naive
disciples run after him like chicks following the mother duck.
And while Yojinbo's female main character, Orin, is an evil and crafty woman, Lady Mutsuta in Tsubaki Sanjuro is 'irritatingly light-hearted'. But she has a deep insight into Sanjuro's personality and understands him far better than his male disciples. An excellent character, and, in fact, she is the only person in Tsubaki Sanjuro AND Yojinbo to whom Sanjuro/Mifune speaks in a polite form (in Japanese).
Tsubaki Sanjuro is, so to speak, a 'concentrate' of Kurosawa's cinematography and one sees in it every aspect of his greatness in a very compact form. Therefore no one could remake this movie.
The title "My name is Nobody" was, I think, taken from a text in
Homer's Odyssey which Odysseus said to Cyclops, the one-eyed giant.
And, indeed, if one considers that fact one could better see what this
film's message is: While old Jack Beauregard could, after a long
voyage, at last go home to Europe, "Nobody" was destined to continue
his odyssey far from home in countries that were never his cultural
Albeit the film itself is a parody of other westerns, of 'C'era una volta il West' and/or 'The wild bunch' for example, and therefore should be (and is in fact) comical and funny, one nevertheless hears a slightly melancholy song sung by/about Odysseus(= Nobody) who had forgotten his homeland. Owing to that (please let me dare say)'depth', 'Il mio nome e nessuno' succeeded in being far more than a simple parody and in appealing not only to 'genre fans' but also to 'general' movie lovers: Fonda's brilliant performance, Fonda and Terence Hill's unique combination, Morricone's perfect score. It's all really tasty.
I still remember that a Japanese film critic at that time has rated this film low, because 'it was a spaghetti western made by an assistant of Sergio Leone'. But when I myself saw the film later, I (please excuse me for being cheeky and cocky) doubted his eye of a film critic: Why hasn't he seen that this film clearly stood out from other Italian westerns? Why has he ignored the fact that Tonino Valerii could make excellent westerns without Leone and without Morricone? (I of course mean 'Il prezzo del potere' and 'I giorni dell'ira'.)
The director Duccio Tessari, who began his career as a sword and sandal
movie maker, made his second western "Il Ritorno di Ringo" with a crew
almost identical to that of his first western "Una Pistola per Ringo".
But I personally prefer this "Ritorno" definitely to "Una Pistola":
While the style of "Una Pistola" was still very similar to sword and
sandal movies, and therefore didn't appeal to me especially, in
"Ritorno" one sees a new style clearly differs from sandal movies: a
high wind blows sands and hay through a town, the pictures , and the
sore as well, are more melancholy and gloomy.
Tessari nevertheless doesn't hide his 'sword and sandal origin': the plot was taken from the last part of Homor's Odyssey, and in fact he well succeeded in transferring the Greek legend into a western. No wonder, as who could better treat Greco-Roman Classics than educated Italians? Giuliano Gemma in this movie is excellent. I cannot imagine how an other spaghetti western star would play the role of Ringo, while Ringo of "Una Pistola" could be, I think, played by anyone other (for example George Hilton or Terence Hill?).
And please let me give a tip for male viewers: If you wished to enjoy spaghetti westerns together with your wife, your girlfriend or your daughter, please begin with Gemma's westerns. She would like him. Actually Gemma was so popular with Japanese girls in the 60s/70s as Leonardo DiCaprio now. I know very well, because I myself was one of those girls at that time.
In '2001:A Space Odyssey' the following theory was put: The process of
evolution goes not always straight and successionaly but it moves
sometimes spasmodically and suddenly. A question about it is whether
those evolutional leaps are inherent in the process of evolution, i.e.
driven by internal evolutional forces, or they are driven by some
certain external forces. In this movie Kubrick and Clarke take the
second hypothesis (But, of course, it doesn't automatically mean that
they really think so). The further question 2001 puts is whether an
organic-biological being/entity alone can have a consciousness. To that
question the computer HAL gives a clear answer with 'No'.
Actually no one could answer such questions clearly, but who does NOT ask him-/herself sometimes in his/her life?: Where mankind is from and where mankind is going to go? What the consciousness is, what 'one's self' is?
In 2001 that profound and philosophical questions are 'written' in a perfect picture language. I don't know any other movies that succeeded in visualizing such deep, 'eternal' questions so perfectly.
It was more than 25 years ago when I saw this movie for the first time, but I am still asking myself how and when we mankind will leap to the another evolutional stage.
And I'd like to know what Charles R. Darwin would have said about this movie .