Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Twilight Samurai

Yoji Yamada, Japan, 2002 (9.2*)
This is a beautifully simple story of a samurai in 1870's Japan who has grown weary of battle and who now just wants to take care of his family. Seibei, played by Hiroyuki Sanada  is just a low-paid storeroom worker at the clan castle helping keep up with the emergency food supply in case of war or siege, and is derided by his fellow workers as the "Twilight Samurai" because he no longer even goes out drinking and carousing with them.

However, Seibei's wife has died from consumption and he takes care of his two daughters and aging mother by himself, and is content with this. His best friend, whom he grew up with, is a more successful samurai, and his sister also grew up with Seibei, so she becomes involved again with Seibei's family after moving back to her brother's house after a bitter marriage.

This is not an action samurai film, with only two small man-to-man swordfights, but is an intelligent elegy to an entire culture in its last days. There's some beautiful scenery here with Mt. Fuji in the background, flowering cherry trees and azaleas, and classical Japanese architecture. This story will grow on you more and more after you've seen it, one of the best samurai films.

37 Awards overall (with just 43 nominations), including going 12 for 14 at the Japanese Academy Awards

Quote: In order to kill a man, you must have the ferocity of an animal and a carelessness for one's own life.


About Me

My photo
Artist, photographer, composer, author, blogger, metaphysician, herbalist

About This Blog

This is our new template: ProBlogger.

These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

Author at EZines

  © Blogger templates ProBlogger Template by 2008

Back to TOP