January 21, 2008
Storyline: A Great Lord decides to divide his kingdom into three, one for each son, with the oldest becoming the new Great Lord. When his youngest objects and calls his father naive, he is banished. Soon enough, intrigue and politics between the two older sons strip the old man of his standing and begin tearing the kingdom apart.
Like I said, dark and beautiful. There is no happy ending, and there are many disturbing scenes. The battles are frequent and huge, involving armies and castles. Even so, the very human story is never overwhelmed by the scope of the action. The entire film is heavily influenced by Noh theater, most noticable by the old man himself, who's face gradually changes from one mask-like visage to another during the course of the story.
The cinematography is gorgeous, as is the area of Japan that it was filmed in. It's not a quickie at 2 hours and 40 minutes, and there's not many chances to fast forward through the filler. All subtitles.
Like I said over at the Wildside Cinema forums, I think I'm Japanese'd out for a while. This one was wonderful but draining.
Posted by: Cindy at January 21, 2008 09:48 AM (0co3K)
Posted by: The Maximum Leader at January 25, 2008 05:10 PM (WpYbd)
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