Where Forgotten Films Dwell

Welcome to this site! It exists for one reason: to preserve the memory of films that have been forgotten about or under-appreciated throughout the ages. Take a seat, read an entry, leave a comment. You might discover your new favorite movie!

Friday, April 8, 2011

New Video: 殺陣師段平 Tateshi Danpei (1950)

New video, folks!

Today, we have Tateshi Danpei!

Never heard of Tateshi Danpei? Well...let me tell you about it...

Directed by Japanese pulp master Masahiro Makino, Tateshi Danpei is the story of a man, and a country, at a crossroads. Swordfighting instructor Danpei works at a local theater in Tokyo, instructing the actors how to fight realistically. However, when his realistic choreography became a huge success, Danpei's obsession with the samurai tradition of swordfighting consumes his whole life, forcing him to sacrifice his health, wife, and life.

Sounds like your average Japanese melodrama, right?


What you may be surprised to find is that this film was written by none other than Akira Kurosawa!! Written the same year as when he made Rashomon, Tateshi Danpei focuses on several of Kurosawa's favorite themes: masculine identity and the legacy of the samurai and bushido traditions.

I won't lie, it isn't the greatest film ever made. It cranks up the melodrama HARD, especially near the end. But the film does benefit from strong performances, solid directing, and, of course, a script from a master filmmaker.


Nathanael Hood

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