Snow on the Blades is a contemplative, elegant drama set at the end of Japan’s feudal era, spanning the decline of the Tokugawa shogunate in the 1860s and the dawning of the Meiji period thereafter.
The story follows one Shimura Kingo (Kiichi Nakai), a young man whose family are samurai in service to Ii Naosuke, chief minister to the Shogun. A master swordsman, he has recently married and has been elevated to the position of chief bodyguard to the minister, … (read more)
It’s possibly shameful to admit – I’m only familiar with Tezuka Osamu’s Dororo thanks to the people at Sony. It was a game, you see, and pretty kick ass too, if a little weird. In the game, forty-eight demons strike a bargain with a man; rule the world for the price of his firstborn son. However, in a macabre twist more suited to a Miike or Nakata film perhaps, these demons aren’t that greedy. They don’t want the child’s soul … (read more)
Director He Ping’s film Warriors of Heaven and Earth clearly owes a debt to the American Western as well as the films of Akira Kurosawa. It has been a while since a Chinese historical sword flick has been made with this sort of lineage and it is interesting to consider the ways in which this film deals with its somewhat traditional subject matter.
Much like Kurosawa, who insisted that motion pictures should be full of motion, He Ping makes sure … (read more)