Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Syllabus: Samurai Films


Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa)
Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance (Kenji Misumi)
Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart to Hades (Kenji Misumi)
Samurai Assassin (Kihachi Okamoto)
Throne of Blood (Akira Kurosawa)
Lady Snowblood (Toshiya Fujita)
Samurai Trilogy: Miyamoto Musashi (Yoji Yamada)
Zatoichi (Takeshi Kitano)
Samurai Reincarnation (Kenji Fukasaku)
Sword of Doom (Kihachi Okamoto)
Twilight Samurai (Yoji Yamada)
Yojimbo (Akira Kurosawa)

Field Trips:
Art of the Samurai, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Course Objectives:
The way of the warrior is to live to die. Weird titillating breast-feeding scenes: discuss. Comments on culture. How a samurai sword is made. Committing seppuku. The battle is never won. In-class homemade blood packets blood splatterings: wear clothes you don't care about. Actor as swordsman as actor. Bandits, ronin, samurai: chart qualities of all. Who's running this country. If you cut off their topknots, they will be so dishonored that they'll kill themselves. Oy rape scenes galore: why. How did death become honorable. Wait--where's his sword--oh shit how did he do that. Compare Kurosawa's version to all. Is a duel challenge a form of bragging or a wish to die. How to remain calm. What is the samurai code.


Dan Magers said...

I highly recommend you add "Harakiri" by Kobayashi, who did The Human Condition trilogy. An amazing film in its own right, it is also a critique of the "honor" of the Samurai code. It even uses as its title the more vulgar term for seppuku.

Farrah Field said...

You're right. I really should've included it. I was worried the list was getting too long, but Harakiri shouldn't have been left out. There's a crazy seppuku scene at the end of Baby Cart to Hades, in the Lone Wolf and Cub series.