Season 14 concludes with this multiple award-winning story about an aging and unsung hero of Japanese samurai films who never gets the limelight – until now.
Uzumasa (Kyoto) is considered the Hollywood of Japan. It has produced many “jidaigeki” films (period dramas with sword fighting) that are loved by many Japanese, and are highly praised all over the world. These films wouldn’t be what they were if it weren’t for the “kirareyaku” (actors whose main job is to be killed by the lead star). Men who are killed, without ever being lit by the limelight.
This story is about those men, the unsung heroes of classic jidaigeki films. They loved and respected the art, even when the production of classic jidaigeki films began to dwindle. Using Charlie Chaplin’s film “Limelight” as an underlying theme, the admirable story of these men dealing with a new generation and fading craftsmanship is told with melancholy and soul.
“movie magic” – The Los Angeles Times
“Being killed on screen isn’t as easy as it looks, as actors who make their living by dying will attest…Owner of one of the great faces of Japanese cinema, Mr. Fukumoto, warm-eyed and hollow-cheeked, was made to be looked at. Dying with panache might be a near-obsolete talent, but holding an audience’s attention will never go out of style.” – The New York Times
Japan, 2014 | Language: Japanese | 103 minutes | Cert: CLUB
Director: Ken Ochiai
Starring: Seizo Fukumoto, Chihiro Yamamoto, Masashi Goda