Monday, April 16, 2012

Slashing Swords and Samurai with 13 Assassins 十三人の刺客 This Friday at the NFB

The Canada Japan Society is continuing our Japanese Movie Nights at the National Film Board of Canada with a showing of Takashi Miike’s 2010 award-winning samurai film: 13 Assassins 十三人の刺客.

The story is actually quite simple. Loosely based on fact, the events take place in the later Edo era where a cruel and evil Lord is soon to be promoted to an influential position in the Shogunate. High ranking officials are powerless to stop this from happening politically and are horrified that this will be disastrous for the country. One official takes action and recruits 13 samurai to undertake a suicide mission to kill the Lord.

The film is a remake of Eiichi Kudo’s acclaimed 1963 black and white samurai drama of the same name, and showcases an all-star cast including Koji Yakusho, Inagaki Gorou, Takayuki Yamada, Hiroki Matsukata, and Kazuki Namioka. It was nominated for 10 Japanese Academy Awards in 2011 and won 4.

This is no traditional Jidaigeki samurai film. Director Miike made his name on overtly violent, exploitative, and controversial movies such as Audition, Ichi the Killer, and Visitor Q. He has mellowed somewhat in his old age, though that is not to say there is no violence or weirdness in this film. Miike brings his unique storytelling and strangeness to the film, and the climactic battle scene (which takes up almost half of the film) puts scenes from Kill Bill, “300” and Azumi to shame.

All in all, if you don’t mind revenge films, samurai, swords and battle, it will be a great way to spend a Friday night.

We hope to see you there.

13 Assassins
Friday, April 20th, 2012
The National Film Board Theatre
150 John Street (at Richmond)
7 PM Start
CJS Members $5, Non-Members $10

PS. Don’t forget about our post party following the film at EVEREST. It’s a great time to chat with others about the film, learn more about the CJS, and hear about our exciting events coming up in the spring.

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