Saturday, May 18, 2013

Harakiri

I saw Harakiri (1962) recently at the Brooks Museum. I hadn't seen this period samurai film before, and was so glad to have this opportunity. The director is Masaki Kobayash, who also did Kwaidan, a wonderful anthology horror film from 1964.

It's well worth watching and is available online here:



Kung Fu Cinema closes with this:
HARAKIRI may start out somewhat slow. However, once the plot twists are revealed, one can only be satisfied with the tragic character of Hanshiro Tsugumo, who goes from loyal samurai to regular man to an avenger of sorts. A true Japanese samurai eiga classic!
The Spinning Image says, "It is a deft lightning strike at its target, and as such delivers a killer blow." Slant Magazine gives it 4 out of 5 stars and says, "Set in the early days of shogun supremacy, Masaki Kobayashi's film sets out to show the system was corrupt from its inception." Roger Ebert considers it a "great film". Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score of 100%.

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