Posted on Friday, April 29th, 2011 by Russ Fischer
Takashi Miike is best known for his hyper-explicit button-pushing films like Ichi the Killer, Audition and Visitor Q, but he has dabbled in just about every possible film genre. Lately he’s been in ‘stately samurai’ mode. His film 13 Assassins has been available on iTunes for a few weeks and opens in some theaters today. (And is very, very good.)
His next, Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai is a 3D film, and will premiere at Cannes in just a couple weeks. The teaser trailer for that one is out now, and it looks just as good as 13 Assassins, if in a slightly different way.
Here’s the teaser:
Not much to it, right? So why be excited about that? The answer: 13 Assassins. That was Takashi Miike’s most satisfying pictures in a long time, and in the fullness of time I wouldn’t be surprised to see it emerge as one of his best. And Hara-Kiri looks like it is very much cut from the same mold, if perhaps with an emphasis on emotional character interaction rather than the action-packed bloodletting of the second half of 13 Assassins. (Both films incidentally, are remakes of ’60s samurai films, but Miike is hardly a stranger to the remake.)
Hara-Kiri is set in the 17th century and 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, Kageyu (Koji Yakusho) recounts the tragic story of a similar plea years ago from young ronin Motome (Eita). But the arrogant lord is unaware of vengeful Hanshiro’s bond to Motome.”