FILMS/

13 ASSASSINS

Screenings

Sun, May 1

   8:30 / Castro
buyTickets-screening

Jűsan-nin no shikaku

World Cinema

Japan, 2010, 126 min

CREDITS

dir
Takashi Miike
prod
Minami Ichikawa, Toichiro Shiraishi, Michihiko Umezawa, Takahiro Ohno, Hirotsugu Yoshida, Masaaki Ujo
scr
Daisuke Tengan
cam
Nobuyasu Kita
editor
Kenji Yamashita
mus
Koji Endo
cast
Koji Yakusho, Takayuki Yamada, Yusuke Iseya, Goro Inagaki, Masachika Ichimura,
source
Magnolia Pictures, 2222 South Barrington Avenue, Los Angeles CA 90064. EMAIL: aayers@magpictures.com.
web
http://www.magpictures.com


13 Assassins

Cult filmmaker Takashi Miike (Ichi the Killer, SFIFF 2002; Izo, SFIFF 2005) delivers possibly his most surprising film of all, a nearly straightforward homage to the glory days of Japanese swordplay movies. A remake of a little known (at least in the West) 1963 film by Eiichi Kudo, 13 Assassins begins in 1844, when the noble samurai Sinzaemon Shimada (Koji Yakusho, Charisma, SFIFF 2000; Babel 2006) is chosen to assassinate the brutal and extremely well-protected Lord Naritsugu (a giddily sadistic Goro Inagaki). A job this daunting needs more than a few good men; Shimada slowly recruits a dirty dozen of them, some more willing than others to kill and, most likely, die. All roads, of course, lead to a final showdown: our 13 assassins versus literally hundreds of villains in a remarkable, roughly 45-minute battle scene filled with life, death and dynamite—a sequence that finds Miike holding his own against any Kurosawa, Inagaki or Leone set piece. While inserting his dry humor and a few of his trademark over-the-top moments, Miike otherwise refuses any snide genre send-ups or satire here, instead focusing on the simple pleasures of a well-crafted genre film. “13 Assassins is a samurai terror film showing the flowers of life and death,” he notes. “Simple, radical, beautiful.”

Special support for this program generously provided by Penelope Wong and Tim Kochis.



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