Sunday, July 25, 2004

I'm a fan of Kitano 'Beat' Takeshi, and have been for a few years. Zatoichi will fill my mind for days.

It's art as popular entertainment, and popular entertainment as art. It's incredibly violent, and yet has passages that are as gentle as anything I've ever seen on film. The scene that describes the transformation of a young boy into a woman, made by overlaying two shots of him/her performing a geisha's dance as a child and then as an adult is simultaneously tragic, because of the act that initiated the transformation, and in every way the reverse, for the woman he becomes. And all this in a movie with fake blood, and swords and severed limbs flying everywhere. It's pure theater, and more moving for the fakery.

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