Tuesday, March 23, 2010

#78 Yojimbo: Kill one or a hundred; only hang once.

1961. Dir. Akira Kurosawa, starring Toshiro Mifune, Tatsuya Nakadai. Japanese with subtitles.

Seen it before? No.

Yojimbo is apparently the Japanese word for shit stirrer...

OK, actually it means "bodyguard" but Sanjuro (Kurosawa regular Toshiro Mifune) doesn't really do that. He is a ronin who comes upon a town that is beset by two warring gangs. He decides to exploit the situation by inciting the two factions against each other and selling his bad-ass samurai skills to both sides.

I didn't like Rashomon very much, and I wasn't crazy about this one either. I think it's a cultural difference. I've read that the performances in Kurosawa's films are heavily influenced by Kabuki, something I don't really understand.

(also the swordplay in this looks really fake. Sanjuro taps people with the sword and they fall down. yeah yeah it was made in 1961 and I shouldn't expect better, but still.)

Position on the list: 142
Remade as: A Fistful Of Dollars

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