Yui Natsukawa

Yui Natsukawa

Yui Natsukawa Quick Links

Film RSS

Zatôichi Review


Excellent
Seated at a gambling table with his head tilted downward in silent, intense concentration, Zatôichi, a 19th-century blind Japanese nomad enjoying a game of dice, listens closely to the two white cubes clank against one another inside a wooden cup. Suddenly, the sound of the dice changes. The men, Zatôichi recognizes, are trying to cheat him. He looks up, his eyes closed but his face nonetheless stern, and without warning unsheathes his gleaming cane sword and begins to hack and slash his way through the gaming establishment's samurai warriors. When the melee is over, only a pile of bodies remains in Zatôichi's wake. If Zatôichi, Takeshi "Beat" Kitano's period piece featuring the classic Japanese superhero, teaches us anything, it's not to mess with the handicapped.

Zatôichi, the hero of 26 feature films and a long-running television series in his native Japan, was a wandering masseur, gambler, and warrior (played by Shintaro Katsu from 1962 to 1989) who fought for the rights of the downtrodden working-class man against villainous crime lords and land barons. In this reinterpretation of the Japanese icon, director Kitano plays Zatôichi with blond hair and a red cane (which houses his ferocious blade), and reimagines the friendly samurai as a dour, remote hero prone to isolate himself in meditative silences. While Kitano retains the character's impish chuckle and sympathy for the countryside's maligned outcasts, his Zatôichi substitutes Katsu's balletic gracefulness with a swift physicality. This new Zatôichi is a viper coiled to strike with tornado-like ferocity at any moment, and in his silent-but-deadly manner, the character more than slightly resembles the gun-toting yakuza madmen of Kitano's Sonatine and Brother.

Continue reading: Zatôichi Review

THE BLIND SWORDSMAN: ZATOICHI Review


Good

The master Japanese filmmaker Takeshi Kitano made his reputation in the United States with his violent, whisper-to-a-scream gangster films like "Sonatine," "Fireworks" and "Brother." His most dedicated fans also know about his softer side, shown in warm, almost sentimental works such as "A Scene at the Sea," "Kids Return," "Kikujiro" and the extraordinary "Dolls," which has yet to secure a distributor here.

None of this prepares us for "The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi." Even if you've seen some of the classic 1960s-era Japanese films (many of which are available on DVD) about a blind masseuse and accomplished swordsman, you're at a disadvantage.

Based loosely on the novels by Kan Shimozawa as well as the original films, "The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi" begins normally enough. The rock-steady, stoic actor Kitano (known in an acting capacity as "Beat" Takeshi) appears as the bleach-blond title character, eyes glued shut, head cocked to one side as if to listen to the world. He's taunted by a band of would-be robbers and he vanquishes them with very little effort, barely registering a hint of an expression.

Continue reading: THE BLIND SWORDSMAN: ZATOICHI Review

Yui Natsukawa

Yui Natsukawa Quick Links

Film RSS
Advertisement

Occupation

Actor


Suggested

The Lumineers - Walls Audio

The Lumineers - Walls Audio

The Lumineers honour their friend and hero Tom Petty with a sensational cover of his 1996 song 'Walls' from the 'She's the One' soundtrack.

Olly Murs - Moves ft. Snoop Dogg Video

Olly Murs - Moves ft. Snoop Dogg Video

Watch Olly Murs get his nerd on as he blags his way into an exclusive Snoop Dogg party (where Rowan Atkinson is the bartender) in the video for their...

Mid-Week Playlist: 15 Happy Tunes To Get You Through Work

Mid-Week Playlist: 15 Happy Tunes To Get You Through Work

From 'Happy' to 'Banana Pancakes', these are soaked in positivity.

Mariah Carey - With You Video

Mariah Carey - With You Video

Mariah Carey is the picture of glamour in the black and white video for her brand new single 'With You'. It's the lead single from her forthcoming...

Advertisement
Eminem - Venom Video

Eminem - Venom Video

Eminem draws attention to the negative response his 2017 album 'Revival' received in the video for his latest song 'Venom'; a song recorded for the...

Anna Calvi - All Saints Church, Hove 5.10.2018 Live Review

Anna Calvi - All Saints Church, Hove 5.10.2018 Live Review

With the recent release of her third, very well received album 'Hunter' just behind her, Anna had plenty of relatively new songs to showcase.

Billie Eilish - When The Party's Over Audio

Billie Eilish - When The Party's Over Audio

Up and coming LA singer-songwriter Billie Eilish has unveiled her fourth single of the year, 'When the Party's Over'.

John Grant - Love Is Magic Album Review

John Grant - Love Is Magic Album Review

The quality of the back-catalogue of the once-upon-a-time Czar, John Grant, is building to be the one of the most impressive set of albums released...

Advertisement

Yui Natsukawa Movies

Zatôichi Movie Review

Zatôichi Movie Review

Seated at a gambling table with his head tilted downward in silent, intense concentration, Zatôichi,...

THE BLIND SWORDSMAN: ZATOICHI Movie Review

THE BLIND SWORDSMAN: ZATOICHI Movie Review

The master Japanese filmmaker Takeshi Kitano made his reputation in the United States with his...

Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.