Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Hara-Kiri coming to UK DVD, Blu-Ray and.... Cinema??

The latest film from one of the hardest working directors in Japan, Takashi Miike, is getting a limited UK cinema release of the 4th May and will be available to purchase on DVD and Blu-Ray on the 7th May. The film is entitled Hara-Kiri: Death Of A Samurai and is a remake of Misaki Kobayashi's classic from 1962.

Poverty stricken samurai Hanshiro Tsukumo (Ebizo Ichikawa) requests to commit ritual suicide at the House of Ii, run by obstinate Lord - Kageyu Saito (Koji Yakusho), in a desperate attempt for a honourable end. In an effort to persuade Hanshiro to rethink his request, Kageyu tells the tragic story of a similar plea from young ronin Motome (Eita). Hanshiro is stunned by the horrifying details of Motome's fate, but insists on dying with honour. With his final breath, Hanshiro makes a last request which results in the shocking revelation of a bittersweet tale of vengeance against the house of a feudal lord.

You want me to do WHAT with the sword?!

Hara-Kiri was highly talked about because it was the first 3D film to be shown at Canne film festival. Bearing in mind, Miike's earlier gory films, one would expect blood and guts to be flying out the screen in 3D. But Hara-Kiri is more of a well made, slow paced, period drama. And the 3D is used more subtly to show scenery, sets and costumes like thread on kimonos, trees with autumn leaves and snow flakes falling. However, there is enough sword play to keep Miike's fans and Samurai film fans happy! The movie has received pretty positive reviews and is sitting with a 7.1 on iMDB and 80% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Hara-Kiri is getting a limited release so check your local cinema listings to see if you are getting it. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like Glasgow is! Unless GFT gives it a small run. DVDs and Blu-Ray are available to pre-order from the usual places like Amazon and Play. And if you need something to keep you going until then, I highly recommend his last Samurai epic "13 Assassins" which was one of my favourite films of 2011.

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