Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Spinning in his grave, or...

Subject: Noir
So it was brought to my attention today that there's a new series in Japan based on the legendary "Seven Samurai" by my favorite filmmaker, Akira Kurosawa.

"Wait, Fellini isn't your favorite filmmaker?"

Well, not really. "8 1/2" is my favorite film, but for #2, every Kurosawa film is clumped there in a tie. And at #2.00 is "Seven Samurai".

So I've downloaded the first two eps of "Samurai 7"; with not a little bit of trepidation because, horror of horrors, there's "mecha" in it. You know, giant robots. *sigh*

So, here I am, a guy who's working up an animated interpretation of "8 1/2", and I'm watching an animated-with-giant-robots interpretation of my #2 film.

(Needless to say, there won't be any giant robots in my film)

So I can't be too harsh on it. And since there's only 2 eps that have aired so far in Japan (2 eps every 2 weeks on PPV; the next 2 airing this Saturday, which means at least another week before I see them fansubbed) there's not enough to pass judgement yet. At least there's been enough to determine that it's not total blasphemy.

Since I'm not really a purist, I think it might have some potential. But, of course, I think it totally tossed, in the very first episode, a couple of the basic underlying themes of the original. But it remains to be seen if the core and spirit of the film is totally undermined in favor a superficial view of what it was really about. There's going to be 26 episodes running through Christmas, so there's plenty of opportunity for going somewhere interesting with this.

I'm a little worried, but life is too short to worry about such things. Right now, the question is "have I missed anything else" in the based-on-Kurosawa department? I'll research that question later. I seem to remember something about a "Yojimbo"-based effort...

Though I'd rather petition Criterion to put out a better DVD of "Yojimbo" than worry too much about an animated version.

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