Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Chambara gold this Saturday at Japan Society NYC

Hey New Yorkers, two of my all-time top sword films are playing this Saturday, April 24th at the Japan Society: The third installment in the Zatoichi series, New Tale of Zatoichi, and the fourth film in the so-called Sleepy Eyes of Death franchise, Sword of Seduction. The latter film in particular is my favorite in the 12-part series starring the incomparable Raizo Ichikawa.

Sword of Seduction was a make-or-break film for the series; box office hadn't been great and the Daiei studio execs tasked director Kazuo Ikehiro with turning things around or else. Fortunately, Ikehiro had the good sense to take a page (or two) of the more transgressive material contained in the original novel by Renzaburo Shibata to liven things up. And it worked. Sword of Seduction is the chambara equivalent of sex, drugs and rock 'n roll (with swords replacing electric guitars). You can read my drooling review of the film in Stray Dogs & Lone Wolves or in the booklet that accompanies AnimEigo's box set of the first four films.

6 comments:

Joel Neville Anderson said...

Sword of Seduction is amazing. And were those a few pointed piano keys I heard on the soundtrack? Your rock and roll comparison is a good one.

Tornadoes28 said...

Oh I would love to see those. That Zatoichi is one of my favorite. I wish they would have some of these showings in Los Angeles. If you ever hear of any in LA, let me know.

Patrick Galloway said...

Most of these flicks played at the Egyptian Theater in LA a few years back. Hopefully they'll do another samurai thing soon ...

Tornadoes28 said...

Thanks.

Phantom of Pulp said...

Big fan of this film, too. I like how they heated up the mix.

Tornadoes28 said...

You're right Patrick. I just checked the Egyptian Theater and they are showing several Kurosawa films this month and in May.