Samurai – jolly good


but not always so people,

as these few films show.

I am putting together a list as I go along of Samurai films which are historically accurate or at least do not romanticise the Samurai.  Films preferably made in Japan, but not exclusively so.

I`m thinking, in comparison, of a film from 2003 set in the Meiji era featuring a certain top gun tosser and I honestly believe they romanticize the samurai in that film.   They were not all as noble as that, in any way.  Apart from that, the Hollywood schmaltz makes me cringe and the script is a bit `what the hell??`.   Not so `jolly good`.

I haven`t seen that many samurai films yet and have yet to see the real classics, Ran and Seven Samurai, so the list is short to start with.  As I see them, I`ll add them to the list.

Another samurai drama is due out this year with Keanu Reeves no less in the lead role (oh god, at least be better than the topgun tosser) and though there are some respectable Japanese actors in there with him, that is no guarantee for a decent show – as the one I described above proves.

So far I`ve seen, in no particular order (obviously, as one is from 1978!!):

– Twilight Samurai

– The Hidden Blade

– Love and Honour

[These last 3 are part of a trio by the same director, but not quite a trilogy correct me if I`m wrong, as the main protagonist is a different actor each time and the other actors are also different]

– Zatoichi (a rather blond Beat Takashi in the lead role)

– Shogun`s Samurai (I bought it as an impulse buy, it`s from 1978 but with a very distinguished director and the promotional trailer in the extras is seriously hammy – `a big boned production for big-boned actors!!`)

– 13 Assassins

You can see this list along with other Japanese films I`ve enjoyed in my Film Homage page.


Any thoughts? In haiku form or not?

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