Yes, you did mention the pirates, but not the women. Were there none in this film, which already sounds like the ultimate macho movie of all time?boblipton wrote:It turned out that the theme behind the current series of Japanese movies being shown at the Museum of Modern Art is that the cinematographer of all of them is Kazuo Miyagawa, who, the promo claims, is the greatest Japanese cinematographer ever. As a result, I've seen most of the movies already -- Kurosawa, Mizoguchi, Ozu, , fellows you might have heard of. His career. Movies on which he held the job stretched from 1938 through 1989, so likely you've seen his work.
Shin Heike monogatari aka Tales of the Taira Clan (1955) has two sets of Emperors! Pirates! Samurai battling berserk Buddhist warrior monks! Courtly intrigue! Imperial bastards! Pirates! in spectacular Daiei Color (that's how the credit reads) directed by Kenji Mizoguchi!
Hot dog! Or whatever the Japanese say. It's one of those sprawling historical epics set in 12th Century Japan, when every clan had its own funny hat, and samurai were struggling to become respectable as the oldest son of the leader of the Taira clan discovers he may actually be the son of an earlier emperor .... or maybe a crazy warrior monk, it's hard to tell the difference. It's an expert mixture of Book-of-the-Month Epic, so much so that I half expected to see a credit for James Clavell or James Michener, but given that the Japanese actually invented the novel, it's hardly surprising they would try something like this, given they had Mizoguchi working for them -- it's based on a novel published in 1950. Kazuo Miyagawa's colorcamerawork is dazzling and constantly moving about, but given the sumptuous costumes and sets -- it looks like they used every scrap of silk in Japan for this one -- it's well done.
Did I mention the pirates?