HARAKIRI
SEPPUKU
1962, Janus Films, 134 min, Japan, Dir: Masaki Kobayashi

An intense, intricately composed meditation by master director Masaki Kobayashi (KWAIDAN) on the war between the feudal ethos and humanity in the Japanese psyche. Recently impoverished samurai Tatsuya Nakadai attempts to take vengeance on the clan who forced his son-in-law (Akira Ishihama) to commit seppuku (hara-kiri). Using the clan’s own code of honor against it, Nakadai slowly, ruthlessly forces the film to its shattering climax. Toru Takemitsu provides the scarily dissonant score. With Tetsuro Tanba and Rentaro Mikuni. In Japanese with English subtitles.


YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE
1967, MGM/Park Circus, 117 min, Dir: Lewis Gilbert

Director Lewis Gilbert directs the fifth movie starring Sean Connery as 007. To give Bond a headstart on the opposition, his death is faked. He’s then sent to Japan to honcho Tetsuro Tanba and operatives Mie Hama and Akiko Wakabayashi (two of Toho Studios’ most charismatic contract actresses of the era). With a script by Roald Dahl.


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