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Sword Of Doom (1966)

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Sword of Doom is an acclaimed action film from director Kihachi Okamoto. It tells the story of a ruthless swordsman who is deadly with his sword. The fact that the central character is a very unlikeable character makes the movie different from many of the samurai films that have come out of Japan.

Ryunosuke Tsukue is this central character. He kills a man in a sword fight despite promising the man’s wife that he will give up winning if she … (read more)

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Kwaidan (1964)

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Kwaidan came out of left-field for me. I’ve not studied film academically, and although I’m a fan of Japanese film, I’ve not seen anywhere near as much as some of my compatriots here. Nonetheless, I’ve heard about Kwaidan — usually mentioned on places like the Mobius forums in the textual equivalent of reverential tones. So, I stuck my hand up for it when a copy arrived for review, and I’m glad I did.

Kwaidan is a collection of four short … (read more)

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Yojimbo (1961)

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Ah, Yojimbo. Forgive me for feeling little nostalgic, but once upon a time I discovered a couple of old black & white VHS tapes in the local library that became my entrance to Akira Kurosawa and then through his movies, eventually, belatedly, to the wondrous dimension of Asian cinema. Yojimbo was shorter than the other tape (Seven Samurai) so I watched it first. Ah, Yojimbo … it’s been a while, but thanks for a rather superb introduction.… (read more)

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Kagemusha: The Shadow Warrior (1980)

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Akira Kurosawa is one of world cinema’s best-loved directors. Celebrated both in his native Japan and (perhaps especially) overseas, he directed some of cinema’s most enduring and famous stories, and was responsible for bringing Japan’s cinema industry to the world’s attention with 1950’s Rashomon. Fans of action cinema will be (or should be!) familiar with The Seven Samurai, his long but brilliant film tracing the story of a group of samurai hired to protect a village from marauding … (read more)

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