切腹 harakiri (1962)
thought provoking thinking
empathy and sympathy
layered meaning (good for over-thinking/multiple viewing)
excellent camera work
transcendent use of color and/or shadow
acceptable suspense (developments predicted minutes before)
untraceable (natural) acting
wow what a show.
this film shows such a mastery of pacing in cinema by the director. many scenes including the hallway stepping in the beginning are so satisfactorily slow. The suspence meter rise through the roof!!!
the film demonstrated perfectly my own “hypocrisy”. before the defining background about monote, I was most definitely on the side of the Iyi House. Yet with the unwinding of the dying child and wife, “proved” by the deathwish of a father-in-law, I do agree that coming to the conclusion that the two day grace period should not be given is not considerate yet still within limits of the reasonable. This again showcased the principle that “you can’t hate someone that you know dearly/closely.” And what really happened is that Monote was not a very “smart” man; he was mad and panicking and did not trade position when thinking or use more logical ways to demonstrate his urgency. And this is all very sad since the inevitable lack of trust between individuals brings us nothing but tragedies.
the duel and other sword fights are so very excellent. maybe Tsugomo’s style is a bit exaggerated, but I really enjoy his matery of fencing principle (standing right of way showing venerability 后发先制) and usage of the sand… it also pointed out the true human changing nature of real warfare (even the silly samurai kind). how a veteren is much more capable than a well trained athelete. The only complaint would be that some of the movement (esp. at the end with the group fight) seems a bit too choreographed in that the retainers have minor latent moves at times.
the film also touched upon issues of having rigid social class (can’t manual labor b/c samurainess) and pride, and mostly importantly and obviously the issue of “value of belief and honor is but a facade.” the only person who truly bought into the Bushido business is that 什么奇葩流剑士… he proposed the harsh “trickery” on monote first, seek revenge after friends got disgraced, ask for a private duel with no ambush, comitted harakiri after humuliating lost. but we can all agree that this brought him nothing but uptight sadness and tragedy to his family.
the emotionally resonating part was when Tsugomo yelled that monote sold his swords for miho and kingo yet he is still stubborn enough to cling on to his swords (symbol of bushido) over his family that he thought he loved (but in fact is just an empty claim relatively). that sadness when realizing what you truly should’ve wanted has been masked all along by what you “instinctively” had wanted is just such a deep lacrymosity that I cannot overcome.
#TAG SCORE: 34