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Thursday, April 24, 2014 
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Cinematronic by Michael Snyder
Film
cinematronic
  The Twilight Samurai cinematronic
  director

Yoji Yamada

cast

Hiroyuki Sanada, Rie Miyazawa, Min Tanaka, Tetsuro Tamba, Erina Hashiguchi, Miki Ito, Reiko Kusamura

year

2002

rating rating cinematronic
  "The Twilight Samurai," set in 19th-century feudal Japan, confounds one's expectations. Despite its milieu and a bit of swordplay, it's a bleak, broody domestic drama about a low-ranking samurai reduced to working as a clerk. Seibei (Hiroyuki Sanada) is a poor widower whose sick mother and young daughters rely on him. He's so devoted to his family that, lacking a wife and helpmate, he rushes home from his bookkeeping job every day to take care of household duties. His refusal to ever join his co-workers for happy-hour drinks earns their disdain. His dual roles of breadwinner and homemaker are so draining that he cares little for personal hygiene, further jeopardizing his standing at work. So all who know him are astounded to learn that Seibei reluctantly crossed swords with a better-regarded samurai and won the encounter. This success gives Seibei hope that he might find happiness with a kind, caring female neighbor in need. But his newly recognized skill as a swordsman puts his future in doubt when his superiors command him to kill a noted warrior. Japanese filmmaker Yoji Yamada, respected for his contributions to the long-running "Tora-san" movie series, directed "The Twilight Samurai." Although it moves slowly and hints at the gentle tragicomedy of the "Tora-san" films, it's a transcendent, mature triumph for Yamada.  
cinematronic
cinematronic


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