Samurai Film Series at SIFF [Seattle]

UPDATE: now with dates and times!

Via the PNWJETAA Transitions Team:


Love classic samurai films? The Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF)’s Samurai Film Series is planned for September and October 2013 and includes seven films.

SIFF Cinema Uptown
511 Queen Anne Avenue N
Seattle, WA 98109


The seven films:

Monday, Sept. 9, 7:00 pm
Seven Samurai (『七人の侍』) (1954). Directed by Akira Kurosawa.

In Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai (Shichinin no samurai), sixteenth-century villagers hire the eponymous warriors to protect them from invading bandits. This gripping three-hour ride is one of the most beloved movie epics of all time.

Monday, Sept. 16, 7:00 pm
Harakiri (『切腹』) (1962). Directed by Masaki Kobayashi.

Following the collapse of his clan, an unemployed samurai (Tatsuya Nakadai) arrives at the manor of Lord Iyi, begging to be allowed to commit ritual suicide on the property. Iyi’s clansmen, believing the desperate ronin is merely angling for a new position, try to force his hand and get him to eviscerate himself—but they have underestimated his beliefs and his personal brand of honor. Winner of the Cannes Film Festival’s Special Jury Prize, Harakiri, directed by Masaki Kobayashi is a fierce evocation of individual agency in the face of a corrupt and hypocritical system.

Monday, Sept. 23, 7:00 pm
Kill! (『斬る』) (1968). Directed by Kihachi Okamota.

In this pitch-black action comedy by Kihachi Okamoto, a pair of down-on-their-luck swordsmen arrive in a dusty, windblown town, where they become involved in a local clan dispute. One, previously a farmer, longs to become a noble samurai. The other, a former samurai haunted by his past, prefers living anonymously with gangsters. But when both men discover the wrongdoings of the nefarious clan leader, they side with a band of rebels who are under siege at a remote mountain cabin. Based on the same source novel as Akira Kurosawa’s Sanjuro, Kill! playfully tweaks samurai film convention, borrowing elements from established chanbara classics and seasoning them with a little Italian western.

Monday, Sept. 30, 7:00 pm
Yojimbo (『用心棒』) (1962). Directed by Akira Kurosawa.

A wandering ronin (Mifune), realizes a skilled Yojimbo (bodyguard) could rake in the ryo in this town. And after checking out the sake merchant’s thugs squaring off against the silk merchant’s goon squad, twice as much, if he hires out to both sides.

Monday, Oct. 7, 7:00 pm
The Sword of Doom (『大菩薩峠』) (1966). Directed by Kihachi Okamoto.

Tatsuya Nakadai and Toshiro Mifune star in the story of a wandering samurai who exists in a maelstrom of violence. A gifted swordsman—plying his trade during the turbulent final days of Shogunate rule—Ryunosuke (Nakadai) kills without remorse, without mercy. It is a way of life that ultimately leads to madness.

Monday, Oct. 14, 7:00 pm
Samurai Rebellion (『上意討ち 拝領妻始末』) (1967). Directed by Masaki Kobayashi.

Toshiro Mifune stars as Isaburo Sasahara, an aging swordsman living a quiet life until his clan lord orders that his son marry the lord’s mistress, who has recently displeased the ruler. Reluctantly, father and son take in the woman, and, to the family’s surprise, the young couple fall in love. But the lord soon reverses his decision and demands the mistress’s return. Against all expectations, Isaburo and his son refuse, risking the destruction of their entire family. Director Masaki Kobayashi’s Samurai Rebellion is the gripping story of a peaceful man who finally decides to take a stand against injustice.

Monday, Oct. 21, 7:00 pm
The Hidden Fortress (『隠し砦の三悪人』) (1959). Directed by Akira Kurosawa.

Two constantly bickering farmers on the run from clan wars are dragooned by General Makabe Rokurōta into aiding his rescue of fugitive princess Yuki Akizuki and her family’s hidden gold. Acknowledged as the source for Star Wars.

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