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Uploaded on Jan 28, 2009
Here's the final sword fight of Orochi, a obscure 1925 samurai film by forgotten director Buntaro Futagawa featuring star Tsumasaburo Bando. It story concern a unlucky samurai who fall from grace due to various misunderstandings and tries to save his reputation. It's ending makes it different than what we are used to.
It's interesting how it feels like they're trying to capture a wild animal. The whole village is there, scared to death of a single, desperate and crazy-acting man. The battle ends when he kills someone in the crowd. Viewed as a monster by everybody, it is actually the first time he kill someone and can't take it.
Japanese films of the 1920s are almost nonexistent these days due to earthquake, fire and other hazards which have destroyed much of Japan's silent legacy. Orochi is a very rare kind which survived in complete form to these days.
Though it is not exactly a masterpiece (but it is very enjoyable) it's historical importance and uniqueness status can't be overstated; it's a rare chance to enjoy a certain kind of cinema.
The voice you hear is a benshi, a traditional silent film narrator of Japan. This track was recorded for the Digital Meme's DVD release. Thanks to them, this film now can be viewed anywhere in the world.