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Poster for Zatoichi
Watch trailer for Zatoichi Watch trailer


Director: Takeshi Kitano Run Time: 116 min. Format: DCP Release Year: 2003 Language: Japanese

Starring: Michiyo Ookusu, Tadanobu Asano, Takeshi Kitano, Yui Natsukawa, Yuko Daike

Selected by Tom Gross: “Zatoichi is directed, written and acted in by the great Beat Takashi. Beat, is best known in Japan as a stand up comedian more than as a film director, according to Wikipedia. The film is based around a popular series of Zatoichi films, made from the early 60’s up to the end of the 70’s. It’s about an aging blind masseur, played of course, by the great Beat himself, who travels from town to town looking for work. He’s also, of course, a master swordsman. He arrives in a town to find that the town is controlled by a bunch of thugs. he sets about craftily and amusingly to rid the town of the malevolent thugs. The film is done with beautiful artistic flourishes, containing elements of calligraphy, kabuki and slapstick. It has beautiful reds splashed across the screen, and odd, short, dance segments in unexpected moments, and a striking soundtrack. The film is funny, touching moral and most importantly has great fight scenes. The moral of the story seems to be – never underestimate an aging blind man, he can often see things you can’t



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