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Harakiri--yuck!


slaytonf
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How can a movie that's about a man who proposes to cut out his guts in front of a whole bunch of people be any good?  Well, you'll just have to tune in to see.  Kurosawa has nothing on this one.  Chock full of samurai-era scrupulous attention to ceremony and honor, underlain with the most unscrupulous self-interest and hypocrisy.  Watch as one man overturns an entire corrupt regime by pledging to kill himself.  1962, directed by Masaki Kobayashi, with a cast of unknowns (to us) that should be known.

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Harakiri is one of my favorite Japanese films. The cast includes Tasuya Nakadai and Tetsuro Tamba, who are both familiar faces to fans of Japanese cinema. Tamba is also known to Western audiences for his role in the James Bond film You Only Live Twice.

 

Terrific acting, stark black and white cinematography, and a scalding indictment on the much-hallowed, but ultimate hollow, "Samurai code".

 

Samurai Rebellion, airing tonight after Harakiri, is also very good.

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How can a movie that's about a man who proposes to cut out his guts in front of a whole bunch of people be any good? Well, you'll just have to tune in to see. Kurosawa has nothing on this one. Chock full of samurai-era scrupulous attention to ceremony and honor, underlain with the most unscrupulous self-interest and hypocrisy. Watch as one man overturns an entire corrupt regime by pledging to kill himself. 1962, directed by Masaki Kobayashi, with a cast of unknowns (to us) that should be known.

 

Tatsuya Nakadai is probably one of the best-known Japanese actors in the world of cinema after World War II.

 

Nakadai has appeared in more than 230 feature films as well as TV mini-series.

 

He starred in two of Akira Kurosawa's late masterpieces-- the 1980 epic Kagemusha and the 1985 version of King Lear, Ran.

 

After Kurosawa's death his team got together to make a hauntingly beautiful film from the Sensei's last film script, After the Rain. Nakadai Co - starred with Toshiro Mifune's oldest son Shiro Mifune.

 

Nakadai also appeared in Kurosawa's the Seven Samurai, Yojimbo, Sanjuro and the High and the Low, this is a modern-day police murder mystery with Toshiro Mifune playing a business executive who was relying on a police inspector, played by Nakadai to solve a child's kidnapping.

 

In a career that spans from 1954 to the present Nakadai has worked with all of the Great post war Japanese directors--Naruse, Ichikawa, Yamamoto and Kobayashi, who directed Harakiri in 1962.

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