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|Japanese Samurai-style film based on 1637 peasant rebellion|
|Date||Thursday June 18|
|Time||6:30 PM - 8:30 PM|
|Import this event into your personal calendar.|
Pacific Film Archive Theater
2575 Bancroft Way
Between College and Telegraph on UC Berkeley campus.
|Organizer/Author||Pacific Film Archive|
|bampfa [at] berkeley.edu|
Thursday, June 18, 2009, 6:30 p.m.
Shiro Amakusa, the Christian Rebel
(Amakusa Shiro Tokisada, a.k.a. The Revolutionary)
Nagisa Oshima (Japan, 1962)
Oshima’s take on the samurai film was a for-hire work for Toei and its teen hearthrob Hashizo Okawa, but it is also one of the director’s most accessible, visually stunning films, complete with brilliant chiaroscuro widescreen photography, sweeping long takes, and a rousing call to arms against oppression and injustice. A dazzling pre-credits sequence, over five minutes long and seemingly lit by candle and bonfire, serenely glides from long-distance group shot through frenetic action to a final close-up of a Christian icon, and sets the stage for the bloody 1637 Shimabura Rebellion of oppressed peasants (mainly Christians) against their brutal overlords. Massive group action scenes are juxtaposed with haunting visual miniatures—a woman’s body in a koi pond, whip marks on flesh—to reveal both the macro and micro aspects of revolution. Shrouded in darkness and with a moody cello score and somber, gliding camera work, filled with political commentary attuned more to 1962 than to 1637, it’s as far from the cliches of its genre as a samurai film can be.
• Written and directed by Nagisa Oshima. Photographed by Shintaro Kawasaki. With Hashizo Okawa, Ryutaro Otomo, Satomi Oka, Rentaro Mikuni. (100 mins, In Japanese with English subtitles, B&W, 35mm, From Kawakita Memorial Film Institute, permission Toei)
The above was copied almost verbatim from the Pacific Film Archive online calendar and posted here by Aaron Aarons, who hasn't seen this film yet.
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