Hello Fellow Sword Swallowers,
Just wanted to say hi Lisa ("Hi, Japanesa Lisa.") and salute all you Japanese culture vultures out there. I just now came across this website for the first time and thought I'd drop in to see what condition my old Mazda Miata's transmission was in.
[Since this is my first post, a brief "Discovering Japan" intro: I'm a big fan as well, Lisa, of Kurosawa's 80's movies, Ran and Kagemusha. And what do you know, now I watch Cartoon Network's Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi Show. Am I coming backwards?]
Hope you all caught this week's installment of The Blind Swordsman on IFC-TV today, entitled Zatoichi's Revenge. Zatoichi, as always acted with such brilliant subtlety by Shintaro Katsu, is a former samurai ever wandering through feudal-era Japan. This film series from the 60's features rapturous action, light comedy and touching pathos. In this film Zatoichi even inspires a con man to become a warrior -- why the comic sleight of hand man's only a natural wizard with the sword.
Zatoichi is my weekly inspiration to keep on fighting against the cold, rain and snow of this world. And I'm not even talking about the latest outrageous New England weather we've been having lately. (Go Patriots!) Now if only Ichi's endless moving on down the road, leading into fresh adventures of saving poor common folk from their cruel oppressors, would lead him to Pennsylvania Ave. If only reality were like film, then our troubles here would soon be over.
I have obviously been watching too many Samurai Saturdays on IFC, and it's been a steady heady pleasure cruise of classic form, style and grace under pressure. But what really kicked my Eastern groove into high gear was seeing Kill Bill Vol. 1 on video, twice in one week, last June. Inspired by classic samurai celluloid, Quentin Tarantino's dazzling epic tale of revenge is the best movie I have seen of the new millennium. My heart goes boom boom boom for zooma zooma Uma, my Goddesszilla Killa Bride.
Anyway, I would be interested to know what you Japanese film lovers think of Kill Bill Vol. 1. (As for Kill Bill Vol. 2, I was disappointed, but I went in expecting so much. Perhaps I should give it a second look.) And I was wondering if anyone in here recommends I see the new, House of the Flying Daggers. Road trip anyone?
For now I'll follow the sun, leaving you to ponder this classic bit of dialogue from the 1999 Jim Jarmusch movie, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai.
Sonny Valerio (reads aloud a message sent by carrier pigeon): "If a warrior's head were to be suddenly cut off, he should be able to perform one more act with certainty." What the [censored] does that mean?
Ray Vargo: It's poetry. The poetry of war.