Tag Archives: Haruko Wanibuchi

Yasushi Kikuchi & Kôki Matsuno – Zoku Dojo Yaburi: Mondo Muyo AKA Dojo Challengers 2: Samurai from Somewhere (1964)

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This brilliant motion picture is also based on the writings of Yamamoto Shugoro. It tells the story of Young Lord Takenaka who stands to succeed his father until a series of violent actions lead his retainers to think that he has gone mad with blood-lust. Never offering any explanation, he continues his seemingly unprovoked attacks until he is sent away from his domain. The secondary title “Mondo Muyo” translates roughly as “no need for questions and answers” or in effect “Don’t waste your breath asking why”. There is superb action throughout and regardless of his bloody actions, Takenaka presents a sympathetic persona. The grand finale brings the reasons for his crimes out as a revelation unlike anything ever seen in a samurai film. This is Japanese cinema at its finest. Read More »

Kaizo Hayashi – Harukana jidai no kaidan o AKA The Stairway To The Distant Past [+Extras] (1995)

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Stairway to the Distant Past is the second film in the Mike Hama Private Investigator Trilogy. If you’ve seen part one The Most Terrible Time in My Life you must seek this out to find out how all your favourite characters are getting on. The films themes are age and family as Mikes mother “Dynamite Sexy Lilly” returns to Yokohama with her strip act many years after deserting Mike and his sister Akane. She reveals who Mikes father is and he sets out to find him. This films DoP deserves an Oscar as the picture is stunningly shot – it reminded me most of the Cinema du Look of Luc Besson and Leos Carax. Read More »