"Rebel Samurai: Sixties Swordplay
Directed by Masahiro Shinoda / Kihachi Okamoto / Masaki Kobayashi / Hideo
Four mid-1960's entries in the Japanese samurai genre,
in which traditional chanbara elements have been subverted in favor of
anti-hero protagonists, double-crossing plot lines, and pitch-black humor.
Includes Samurai Rebellion (Masaki
Kobayashi, 1967, 121 minutes), starring
Toshiro Mifune as a peaceful man who decides to take a stand against
injustice. Sword of the Beast
(Hideo Gosha, 1965, 85 minutes) follows a clan defector as he teams up with
a motley band of fighters to bring about reform.
Samurai Spy (Masahiro Shinoda, 1965, 100
minutes) stars Tetsuro Tamba in a violent epic marked by deceit, ninja
spies, and back-stabbing double crosses. Finally,
Kill! (Kihachi Okamoto, 1968, 114 minutes) plays samurai film
conventions for kicks in a darkly comic maelstrom of swordplay based on the
same source novel as Kurosawa's Sanjuro.
Japanese with English subtitles. 420 minutes.