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A Quick Tip by woopak_the_thrill

  • Jul 16, 2012
After Takashi Miike’s  “13 Assassins”  which was an amazing remake of the 1960’s original, Miike is now poised to make another mark in a new era of chambara and Jidai geki films. Miike’s “Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai” is a remake of Masaki Kobayashi’s classic chambara black and white film “Hara-Kiri”.

I am both hopeful and excited, as well as scared to death that Kobayashi’s highly acclaimed, scathing film about the code of Bushido would see a remake. Miike may be the right man for job, and I am excited to see this one!

Update: see FULL Review here.

                  Ebizo Ichikawa in "Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai."
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July 23, 2012
Oh yeah
July 18, 2012
Miike is very nearly so talented as prolific, but he's proven time and again that neither his proficiency nor visual ingenuity can elevate - much less salvage - a poor script. If Kikumi Yamagishi adapted Takuguchi's novel to the screen in preservation of its profundity and tension anywhere near so ably as Shinobu Hashimoto did, this might be a worthwhile effort. However, Hashimoto was arguably the best of all jidaigeki screenwriters; to my knowledge, Yamagishi hasn't produced anything save the script for The Happiness of the Katakuris - by no means a superlative effort.

As I can't muster enthusiasm for yet another remake of a classic, I should reiterate my adoration for its source material: Harakiri is among the best of Kobayashi's efforts produced in his prime, a devastating cultural critique and phenomenal drama that can't be bettered. I'm relieved that this production wasn't assigned to Kitano for inevitable ruination, but Miike must be subject to the most supreme criterion if he intends to renew one of the gems of chanbara.
July 22, 2012
I agree with your comment. Now as I have seen the film, I have to say, I am still undecided why such a remake would be necessary since Kobayashi's film is as timely and as incredible even to this day. Miike did a good job, he came at the material from a different approach and paid tribute to Kobayashi's film. But he could not even match the fantastic original. Seen THE HUMAN CONDITION?
July 22, 2012
Of course - though not in a single sitting!  Of all the humanist cinema predominant in Japanese theaters during the postwar era, none were so maturely developed nor somber as Kobayashi's works, every one a devastating classic save perhaps Moeru aki, in which he unearthed little that hadn't been plumbed in his preceding Kaseki. I've no especial interest in socialism and am no one's mistake for a humanist, yet it's among the most touching motion pictures known to me. However, my favorite of his films is still Kaidan, which hasn't more than a passing hint of political import.
To address your second sentence: it isn't necessary so much as profitable, but I am curious to see this if Miike's treatment of the narrative is so distinct from Kobayashi's.
July 22, 2012
My experience with THE HUMAN CONDITION was indeed one of the most memorable but emotionally draining movie watches I've had. It was a fantastic experience and I still remember watching the new Criterion collection three nights in a row. My review of that trilogy was one of the most challenging ones I've had to write. I loved Kwaidan also, I do think I have seen most of Kobayashi's films, but I would not be surprised if I had missed some. I would like to read your take on this remake when you do get a chance to see it.
July 22, 2012
As a teenager, I was convinced that Kobayashi's trilogy was the most pathetic of all filmic narrative. Then, I saw Imamura's Black Rain and Au Hasard Balthazar, both of which left me despondent (and astonished!) for days.
More Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai ... reviews
review by . July 21, 2012
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Most of my friends and those who have followed my reviews know how rare it is that I award a perfect score to a film be it an American or foreign film. Such an honor means that a film had truly made an impression on me and had given me an experience that I may never forget in cinema. The 1962 Japanese classic directed by Masaki Kobayashi “Seppuku” (aka. Hara-Kiri) is one such film that have earned such honor for me.      When I heard that it was being remade by the …
review by . January 19, 2013
      “Are You Satisfied?”       Takashi Miike.  It’s only two words – a name, actually – but that’s usually all it takes to get some folks’ attention.  That’s because if you’re familiar with the works of Takashi Miike, then you know what kind of a visual treat you have in store for you when you hear he’s releasing yet another film.  I’ve read many reviews that draw comparisons …
review by . July 21, 2012
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Star Rating:         True to current cinematic trends, Takashi Miike’s Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai has been released in 3D. There’s no real reason this process had to be applied to this particular film, given the fact that it isn’t a fantasy, an animated family film, an action extravaganza (contrary to what the title suggests), or part of any genre in which 3D would be accepted – or, at the very least, tolerated. The film is, by and large, …
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