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Takashi Miike's Japanese Western

QuentinTarantino.jpgThere's a huge fuss being made about Takashi Miike directing Quentin Tarantino right now, and frankly I just don't get it. I think Tarantino is overhyped at the best of times, and he's not a particularly strong actor, so what's the great story?

Well, the interesting thing is that Miike is making a Japanese Western, which is quite ironic if you consider that the classic westerns from Sergio Leone and the like have come from the influence of films such as Shichinin no samurai (The Seven Samurai). What goes around, gets remade like mad by Hollywood, and comes around again.

The film is called Sukiyaki Uestan: Django, which according to Kung Fu Cult Cinema translates to Sukiyaki Western: Django. KFCC carry the story from Ryuganji.

So apart from being a Japanese western it's also going to be in English and there are Asian actors in the film:

...this western is a battle between the Minamoto and Taira clans who fought way back in the 1100s. But the stangeness does not stop there, oh no, this film will also be completely in English.

The cast which includes Ito Hideaki, Sato Koichi, Kimura Yoshino, Momoi Kaori, Iseya Yusuke and Ando Masanobu all went through a English language training that lasted them an entire two months.

So why is all the focus on an unconvincing western actor? It's not like he's co-directing, which really would make a story and get me excited. Come on, look at the talent and the real story here. Miike doing a Japanese western? Considering he totally spooked me with Ôdishon (Audition) which stays with me to this day, this sounds like a fantastic film, and possibly to be tainted with a poor performance from Tarantino.



it seems to be about a couple of things, one is the acknowledgement by tarantino of an interest in miike - although many asian film fans knock tarantino, he's a superb direct, passable actor - so this is clash of cultures that could make a film that will get a wide audience in america, which would be a first for miike cinematically, just on the tarantino connection alone. secondly, there's a semi-blind praise of tarantino over films which are infact very similar in nature to a lot of the more obscure japanese films that are referenced in his work or that others could discover and like if they tried. thirdly, possibly it's down to the idea of a growth in miike's career, a pinnacle? the most interesting part of the story is that it's a western, again something different from miike, a man who still has many interesting ideas in him.


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