Harakiri/13 Assassins Double Feature (and other ramblings)

May 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

The other day, after introducing a friend to the world of Kobayashi through his anti-feudalist masterpiece Harakiri, it occurred to me immediately I had just seen a more recent film with similar themes and time periods, so right when Harakiri ended I put in Takashi Miike’s wildly fun and semi-smart remake of 13 Assassins. It actually didn’t take place in the same time period, (they’re actually set 200 years apart) but both are set in ages of peace, both implement hara-kiri as a main theme, and both use the allegory of the time to parallel the emptiness of feudal/political/social honor. So what’s the significance of this mild discovery? Well, at the time none, I guess, other than sharing the wonderfully astute aesthetics of Japanese cinema with a friend based on impulse . . .  it’s just this hilarious coincidence then that Takashi Miike has very recently announced at Cannes 2011 that he’s remaking Harakiri. Trailer below: « Read the rest of this entry »

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Takashi Miike – “Box” Analysis

September 3, 2010 § 18 Comments

With the compilation Three… Extremes, we see very specifically how each director believes a horror movie should “behave” in a sense. With Fruit Chan, you may interpet an overall eeriness and the building of suspense with numerous but vague clues as to what is transpiring. With Park Chan-Wook, maybe he assesses the genre as something that can be self-aware and still manage to shock you. But with Takashi Miike, I feel that, in this case at least, he believes in the theme of silence and stillness, which explains firstly the hollowness of the soundtrack, in turn giving more impression to such sounds as the subtle music box and the shrill setting ablaze of the tent. Secondly, this explains the very slow pacing, giving time to feel the impact of each piece of new information you see. He also generally avoided usual horror elements and only retrieves them sporadically like a trickster. « Read the rest of this entry »

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