ALL3920 Week 10


Position papers please.


The film “Seven Samurai” is among the most popular foreign films in the United States. It is a story about heroism and brotherhood, honor and courage. The events of the film begin with a group of bandits essentially pledging to return soon to a village, whereupon the villagers embark on a long journey to find a group of samurai who might help defend the townsfolk. After being refused several times, they finally meet a man named Kambei, who agrees to help and then tries to find six companions to help him and the villagers. Originally finding only five, one-by-one, the samurai leave with one man, a seventh samurai, refused entry because of his perceived immaturity and antics. The samurai arrive at the town and are not given a warm welcome; when an alarm sounds, however, indicating an imminent bandit raid, the townspeople rush to the samurai and beg their help. Kikuchiyo, the seventh, comes forth, informing everyone that he sounded a false alarm, to show the hypocrisy of the townspeople. The six samurai finally see his worth and allow him entry into their group. For a long time after this, the film focuses on relations between the samurai and the townsfolk before finally climaxing in the foretold battle. During the battle, four of the seven samurai are killed, and Kambei says that the victory over the bandits lay with the townspeople, not with the samurai.
The film was among the first films to utilize the plot technique of gathering the main protagonists one-by-one until they finally unite and work together. This plot device has been used many times since, including such films as Ocean’s Eleven, X-Men, and the Italian Job, to name some recent western examples. Additionally, other plot devices, such as the reluctant hero, the love story between the youngest hero and a local girl, and the nervous citizenry were brought together in this film like no other film before it.
Its cinematography is very well done as well. When Kambei is looking for potential samurai in the town, the camera watches one man walk by, then follows someone else back across, then follows a third man right back, and so on, without stopping. This technique puts the movie in the perspective of Kambei, who is scouring the town looking for potential candidates. Another cool shot was when Shino was fighting with her father about the necessity of cutting her hair, the camera views the two, who are inside their house, from outside with tall grass and the house’s roof in the foreground, providing essentially a frame for the shot. The camera then shoots back and forth as the two quarrel and run about.
There is comedy throughout. The scenes with Kikuchiyo, especially in the beginning, are usually very comical. When the samurai are headed for the town, as an example, and Kikuchiyo is following them, there are a few shots in which Kikuchiyo surprises them and they, instead of fearing him or getting annoyed, tend to laugh it off. Also, when the man was cutting firewood and the samurai was talking with him, he never missed a single piece of wood until the samurai asked, “Interested in killing thirty bandits?” in a fairly random question. The man chopping the wood misses the wood and turns around, looking confusedly at the samurai. Comedy like this is scattered throughout the film. This probably helps in its reception in the United States.

Although there are many people who see Kurosawa’s "Seven Samurai" as the quintessential samurai film, this film broke a great many conventions of the jidaigeki genre. "Seven Samurai" featured a fairly large and diverse cast of main characters, with fairly complex personalities and backgrounds. This film spent quite a bit more time in production than other contemporary jidaigeki. "Seven Samurai" also does not have nearly as clear-cut a view of good and evil as other jidaigeki of the time. Also, the fight scenes in "Seven Samurai" are far more chaotic and less stylized and showy than was typical for jidaigeki.

"Seven Samurai" also shows the boundaries between classes to be plenty malleable. Kikuchiyo is the son of a farmer who had stolen a scroll with a family tree on it to be able to claim that he was a samurai. Although he was clearly not truly a member of the samurai class, the other samurai eventually accepted him as one of their own and he became a pivotal connection between the peasants and the samurai. Throughout the film we also see Rikichi, one of the peasants, becoming more and more effective in combat, which is far different than the other peasants (only two of whom are named, and neither of them distinguish themselves in battle).

I also found it interesting that the only samurai who were killed were killed by guns, a Western (and modern) technology. In contrast, we only see one peasant who is shot with a gun, and he survives. This seems to say that, although the samurai are essentially untouchable in melee combat or with Japanese weapons, they were quite fragile when confronted with outside technology and ideas. The peasants, on the other hand, seemed to be in more danger from the Japanese weapons than from the Western ones. Historically, of course, the opening of Japan to the West and the end of the Tokugawa Era did lead to the end of Japan’s feudal era and the dissolution of the samurai class, while the commoners were able to continue and adopt various Western technologies and ideas.

This was my first time watching “Seven Samurai,” and as such, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the film. I had heard glowing reviews from my classmates and peers, so I was looking forward to seeing it for myself. As slow-paced as it was at times (especially during the first half), I was thoroughly impressed by the film, finding both the soundtrack and the unexpected moments of comedic relief to be particularly enjoyable.

Again with the music, I found it to be well-suited to the scenes it accompanied. With the drunken chase of Katsuhiro and Kikuchiyo, the jazzy instrument overlaying the steady drums was an unexpected combination, but I thought the rapid rhythm complemented Kikuchiyo’s aggressive, albeit stumbling, pursuit of Katushiro. The scene, too, where Katsuhiro is wandering amid the hidden grove of flowers, an enchanting yet eerie melody begins to take over. This was another piece of music that I felt complemented the scene quite nicely.

In regards to cinematography, one of the shots I thought was a bit interesting was when the camera was positioned over one of the samurai’s shoulder as he was seated on the hillside, watching the other samurai chop wood. The viewer can see a bit of the back of the idle samurai’s head, but it’s as though the viewer is peeking right over his shoulder. Another scene, where Manzo is chasing his daughter throughout the house, and the camera, shooting from outside the house, slides rapidly from right to left, one end of the house to the other, until the two emerge from at the other side. I found this shot to be rather dynamic, and it made me wonder what the cameraman had secured the camera to in order to achieve such a smooth transition.

Another shot I found very striking was the close-up given of Rikichi’s wife, as the three samurai and Rikichi had infiltrated the bandits’ camp, and were peeking through the siding of one barrack/structure. The camera, whose lens is veiled by a mesh-like fabric, captures the wife’s dazed and sallow face, and as she looks one way and then another, the veil dances over her face. I thought this scene to be rather captivating for reasons I can’t explain all that effectively, other than to say it really caught my eye and had me transfixed.

On another note, I really liked the use of the map to mark down, one by one, the directions of the village that had been fortified, and later, the tally to record the death of each enemy, almost like keeping score.

The three-and-half hours I spent watching “Seven Samurai” were worthwhile. There were moments of laughter and moments of awe (for me personally), and the ending left me dumbstruck. I am glad that I can now say that I have seen “Seven Samurai.”

I’ve seen the film Seven Samurai twice before I came to this class, indeed it was one of the reasons I decided to take this class over the other courses offered this semester. I also have seen a few episodes of a very curious modern anime which was based on the movie, but set in a fantastical sort of world filled with mechanical marvels in addition to Clint Eastwood’s movie, “The Magnificent Seven” which he based upon Kurosawa’s original. It seems as if all things that could possibly be said about this film have already been said, but I will say something regardless.
Thinking about the “Western” version of the same story, I was intrigued by the parallel between the concept of the “hired gun” and the historical figure of the masterless samurai, or ronin and how similar their roles became in the tale. This, of course, is where part of the beauty of Kurosawa’s original is lost in the Western copy. In Kurosawa’s film, an important element of the narrative is the fact that the ronins’ money seeking behavior provides a contrast to what we have been led to expect of “honorable” samurai behavior and also a parallel to the behavior of the bandits and the lowly peasants. It is unfortunate that these distinct tensions are mostly untranslatable into the Western film format.
When I first saw Seven Samurai, it was quite difficult for me to get used to the cinematography of the Jidaigeki, so I was quite pleased to avoid that since I have now become quite accustomed to the Samurai film format employed in Japan. It was also interesting to compare the excellent pacing and comedic timing which Kurosawa achieves in contrast to the earlier films we have studied. The role played by Kikuchiyo, the one samurai who is not actually a “samurai”, being born of farmers, is particularly important. Kikuchiyo bridges the gap between the helpless peasants and the powerful samurai. His desire to join Kambei, and to impress Katsushiro in particular during the battle, creates an intriguing tension between fate and choice. Also interesting to note is how Kambei “loses” in the end, and the only people who benefit after all the dust has settled are the “lowly” peasants.

Seven Samurai was a long film, however it maintains a fresh quality to the way in which it was filmed as well as in the aesthetic of characters and setting. It wasn’t my favorite film, particularly for the length, but I did enjoy the pace of the action shots and the artistic nature of the way in which the film was shot. I think it is an amazing piece of cinematography; however it failed to captivate my excitement. The character portrayal through makeup and costumes really stood out to me. I was especially fascinated from the effect produced by the accuracy and realism of the makeup. Where as in some of the older films we watched, such as Horo Zanmai and Orochi, the performers appear chalked out, and while historically correct, un-lifelike. I took initial notice of the Grandad. His face is almost etched into my mind; the wrinkles of wisdom and age soaked into his tough skin appear so present and alive, as if through watching him in the film I am sitting, looking at him as the action takes place.
The scene with Katushiro in the forest picking flowers was very aesthetically beautiful as well as vibrant with energy from the performer’s actions. There is a nice contrast between Katsuhiro and the flowers in which he lays in. I really love the shots of trees. I think they really convey a sense of actually being Katsushiro, laying and looking up at the sky and basking in the tranquility of nature. As he chases the unknown girl through the forest paved with flowers, there is an elegance in the pace between the two performers. Even as the aggressiveness progresses to the ground, this same beauty is maintained through the delicate imagery of the flowers.
The scene in which an old man is aggressively perusing his daughter for her hair struck me very intensely. There was such a negative manner in which the man went about what he was trying to do, however I believe because of this, and the reaction from his daughter, this is what caused such an impression on me. I was taken back, watching the daughter brutally scream in attempt to dodge her threatening dad. She had such a presence about her fear that transcended through the film, insinuating upon the fear of the villagers.

Seven Samurai

The font they used in the beginning credits of the film is most interesting and caught my eye. It looked more like calligraphy then type characters. It was also more fluid like. The opening scene is that of the bandits riding in on their horses. It was exciting and we could clearly see that their group is quite powerful. There were a lot of transitions that were fading into black. In the scene where the thief hid in the barn, you can clearly see how the weather is. The trees are blowing in the wind and the dust is kicking up. You can see the hair of the character’s flow and move in the wind. I notice throughout most of the film there is a cowardly man who seems to give a small comedic release. As they start to gather samurai and strong men it begins to get interesting. There is a fight scene where the two men are fighting with wooden sticks and it is a long shot take. You can see the man from the left charging but the man on the right was able to strike him fist. Again, the man pulls out a real sword and there is a full body shot of both men in their stances. You see that the winner will be obvious. The dialogue “It’s obvious, what a waste” you can tell that talent was wasted and a man died uselessly. There is also a side wipe transitions in this film as well, right before a Shino’s father tried to cut her hair because of the arrival of the samurai. As she runs, the camera follows her movement. She strongly refuses to cut her hair and cries out loudly. The scene in the flower field was very beautiful, with all the flowers blooming everywhere. You can see the beauty of nature. However, Shino is mistaken for a boy and is yelled at to do training. She runs off and he chases after her as they roll on the ground he figures out that she is female and jumps off her, shocked. You can see that a relationship starts to develop.

After intermission, the next scene is very comedic as the samurai tries to impress the girl by cutting a lot of the field. When Shino is at the field again, it’s a quiet touching scene, however they find strangers nearby. The battle is quiet epic and they all work together to get rid of the bandits, however a lot is burned and you see that Mazou is hit by a bullet. They continue to fight, and win. The end shows the people celebrating an planting rice for the coming year and everyone is singing happily.

The costumes were realistic. You could tell that the farmers were very poor. The dirt and tatter cloths they work were a clear give away. You also see that he samurai were well dressed. The burial plot at the end of the film also is a great setting scene. The props they used were obviously swords, however there were some guns in the film.

There is a lot of pride and deep meaning to this film. I enjoyed it and it was one of the most interesting we’ve watched so far in class. Although the death of the other four samurai were sad, their bodies were buried together. It’s heartbreaking to see that Shino and the samurai most likely do not end up together. “Again we’re defeated. The winners are the farmers, not us” this line has deep meaning, most likely refereeing to the lost of their comrades.

Before attending this class, I had seen only seen one other of Kurosawa's films. "Ikiru" had wandered onto my family's netflix queue and stood out for its unabashed slowness, yet captivating details and characters. Back then the name Kurosawa Akira meant nothing to me, but now drawing connections between that and the Seven Samurai, his auteur style clearly stand out.

I liked that in this film, the lives of the Samurai became more important than their warrior status. Kurosawa did not strive to make the protagonists infallible, but tried to truthfully represent what it would be like living out a more simple life. They did not get glory from big daimyo or live in castles, but spent their profession protecting the lives of unfortunate farmers.

Kurosawa once again used Tofuro Misune to play one of the bigger characters. In this film he was able to show a more full extent of his acting abilities in playing not just a brave and raging warrior, but participated as a being drunk, contributing a lot of humour, as well as being a dark gloomy sort of character at times. I liked how they countered Kikuchiyo's high and low moods with Kambei's steady character. He could be relied on for having wisdom and restraint. The many samurai together provided a balance of fighting personalities that we have not really seen with the other jidai-geki films. In those there is usually a bad and good, but here there were many different methods of getting something done because there were so many people working toward the safety of the farmers. The line between good and evil was not as stark either.

Another thing I thought was interesting was that we get a real birdseye view of the make up of the town before they go into battle. Usually the audience is subjected to simply accepting whatever is presented before us on the screen with little cognitive maps being formed. By introducing the layout from above, it not only makes the place more realistic, but shares the knowledge and importance of landmarks beforehand so that we will be able to recognize them and perceive more about a scene than without it. Plot and characters often shine too brightly for props to be very pertinent, but here Kurosawa pulled in a seemingly minute detail that made a significant difference.

There is so much to say about this movie! First of all, it was amazing! By far my favorite one we’ve watched! I really enjoyed the story, the character development, and the great acting! There were a lot of really cool camera shots in this movie and a lot of good effects. I liked the use of dust flying around as a way to show the poor, drought-like conditions. Also, again, Kurasawa uses rain to make the battles more dramatic which I think is very effective. I also liked how there was an extreme close up of the old man’s face. I think the point of it was to show his wisdom. Another interesting effect was that the death of two different people in the movie was in slow motion. I’m not really sure why it was used on only people, but I thought it was a good way to portray someone’s last moments. I also thought it was kind of interesting how no names were introduced until later in the movie, and even then, not everyone’s name was revealed right away. That made things a little confusing. The conflict of poverty was well established. It was so depressing to see Yohei’s facial expression when he finds out the rice has been stolen. Also, when the old lady was saying how she just wants to be dead because her son was killed by bandits was just too much. Some things that were supposed to be sad, I didn’t really get. First, when Shino got her hair cut, she was so upset and dramatic, but I thought it was dumb. Also, when Kimbei Shimada told the villagers that they needed to evacuate the three buildings, they acted like it was the end of the world. My favorite character was Kikuchiyo! The person who played Kikuchiyo was a great actor! He was a comic relief, and dynamic character, and just plain cool! At first he was portrayed as a scary man. Especially when there is a close up of his face and he’s behind a gate with a bright light shining on his face and he’s going crazy! Eventually we learn that he has a soft side and that he is a funny character. For example, when he walks into a building, Yohei runs away scared and hides the rice because he thinks Kikuchiyo is going to take it. Another funny scene with him is when he takes the dead bandits head piece and sits down next to another bandit and starts chatting with him and then kills him. I can’t believe that Kikuchiyo dies in the end! That was such a bummer, as well as some of the other samurai that died! There was a really good variety of characters in this movie. There also was some good music, especially the drum music. I like the parts at the end where the women are planting rice in sync with the music that the guys are playing. There were also some cool scenes of the people harvesting after the transition. The camera was right down with them. One of the last scenes was really artistic. It was the one where the three living samurai are standing looking up at the four graves of the dead samurai. It was just a really neat composition. That is basically everything I wanted to say. This movie was fantastic!

Seven Samurai-
Seven Samurai tells the story of a group of ronin that are hired on to protect a village that is being raided in exchange for little more than a meal. While this sort of happening is hard to conceive of had this actually been feudal Japan, Kurosawa is able to pull it off by using ronin instead of samurai being hired in a way that seems plausible. The hiring of ronin for such little compensation would have been taken as an insult at this point in time, and likely the village would never have been able to find samurai to fight for their cause. Instead, our heroes take the job and appear to be truly compassionate and altruistic soldiers.
Having seen this movie once before, I am still awestruck with how well done this movie is. Everything from the camera shots to the soundtrack is spot on for the emotions and effects that were desired. I did some research on Kurosawa for my midterm paper and Seven Samurai was mentioned several times as a brilliant work of Kurosawa. An example of Kurosawa’s touch in this film was the final battle scene where we seen rain just pouring down in torrents. It was said that one of his assistants told him that one fire truck should be enough to provide the desired rain effect for the scene, but Kurosawa disagreed and instead used every available fire truck to create a truly oppressive and apprehensive feeling for this scene. Another side note was that Kurosawa felt that new costumes were not conducive to portraying a realistic movie and frequently had his actors wear their costumes for a few weeks before filming started so that they would be broken in. In fact, for Seven Samurai Kurosawa told the actors who would be playing the peasants to make sure their costumes were worn and threadbare before filming started so that it would be more realistic.
From comedic relief to a bandit death tally sheet, this film has it all. The scenes evoke memories as if one is actually there and it is easy to tell that each scene of this movie was painstakingly wrought into existence with Akira “Tenno (Emperor)” Kurosawa’s perfectionist hands moving the pieces. This is a prime example of how to achieve the ‘suspension of disbelief’ needed to create an awesome piece, and this is held for over three hours! Truly just as good watching it for the second time as it was the first time.

The great epic Seven Samurai by Akira Kurosawa is arguably one of the best-known Jidaigeki around the world. Its award-winning reputation is definitely well deserved, as the cinematography and epic story line is extremely well crafted by Kurosawa. This film is one that should not be missed.
Kurosawa’s cinematography is something that makes him famous as a director. His combination of long shots, close-up shots, and tracking shots are edited together during the most opportune times of heightened emotion. An example of this is during the opening scene. The farmers are all on the ground and are trying to decide what to do about the bandits. The camera goes close up on one individual at a time, then goes back for a long shot of the group, the back to another individual. In this case, the camera moves up on a peasant named Rikichi who suggests killing the bandits. This camerawork creates the emotion of the fear of one individual translating into the fear of the entire town. The ominous fear of the bandits towards each and every individual farmer, who ultimately work together as a group.
Many scenes demonstrate this cinematography. Another one that is a particular favorite is when Kyuzo fights with another samurai. The camera goes back and forth between Kyuzo and the other samurai, and then to the crowd where Kanbe and Katsuhiro stand. The camera tracks the fight, then goes to the crowd right after the two hit the swords. As Kanbe says it is hopeless, the samurai is struck to the ground, and he slowly falls, which is also popular with Kurosawa in this film.
Another aspect that makes this film great is the way that Kurosawa makes the samurai figure a humble hero. The samurai are a little cliché: there’s the “great one” who is Kanbe, the disciple who is Katshiro, and the one who is kind of an underdog, who is Kikuchiyo. What is interesting though is that in the end of the film all of these samurai prove themselves being worthy, as they all fight equally against the bandits making them a group. So even though they are individuals, they act as a group, or even as one samurai. The flag that is made, with the six circles and the one triangle shows this. The triangle represents Kikuchiyo, who, even though is a little dysfunctional, is still fighting for the farmers.
This film is really exciting to watch. It’s chalk full of emotion and character depth. Plus, it employs the theme of samurai and their loyalty to one another and to the group they are fighting for. This movie is one that everyone should see.

Seven Samurai was an interesting film. It was really long and slow-paced but it was able to hold my attention throughout the length of it. It doesn’t have as much of an epic feel to it as other samurai films seem to. Usually in samurai films it seems like it is one person against thirty or more bad guys, but in this film, it is seven samurai plus the villagers against thirty to forty bad guys. There is a much more realistic view of how to defeat a large number of enemies in Seven Samurai than in other films. However, there was one major thing that stood out to me as being unrealistic about the film.

There was a lot of mobility between classes in the story, particularly regarding Kikuchiro. Historically, the samurai class is something you are born into; it isn’t something you can just decide to join. I imagine that if it is possible for someone born outside of the samurai class wanted to join, they would probably have to work really hard and gain recognition over many years. In Kikuchiro’s case, all he had to do was follow the group of samurai around and prove himself useful once in order to be accepted into the group. In the end, Kikuchiro dies an honorable death and proves to be worthy of his burial as a samurai, but I don’t think it would have happened quite as easily in real life.

The ending was definitely intriguing. The whole movie carried this heavy, sometimes hopeless and sometimes inspired feel to it, with some bits of comic relief. The music in the film often reflected the intense moods conveyed by the plot. It was almost surprising at the end to hear all of the farmers cheerfully singing their planting songs as they put the rice into the ground. It was a rather sudden contrast to what the rest of the film had been, so it almost felt out of place. It was as if it was disconnected from what was actually going on, making it hard to fully appreciate the happiness of the scene. When the focus shifts to the remaining samurai, it becomes obvious why it feels that way. They have taken heavier losses than the farmers and haven’t really gained anything from it. You can get a good sense of what the remaining samurai are feeling from this last scene, which is why it was one of the most memorable to me.

The film seven samurai by Kurosawa has definitely been my favorite film so far. I thought it was really interesting how we watched the western film to see the influence it had on this film. There were several things that I noticed that had a western influence. In the very beginning there is a scene with running horses as the "bandits" are attacking the villages and stealing their food and goods. There is the strong theme of good vs. evil in this movie. The seven samurai (the good) against the bandits (the bad) are just like the infantry (the good) against the Indians (the bad.) Most of the film also took place in a a much more rural area, like the western, where most of the other films we have seen before were mostly urban backgrounds. Just like the leader of the army int he western, the seven samurai also had a leader whose name was Kimbel Shamadas. Both of these leaders protected the weak and helpless form the enemies attacking villages.

Another theme that was similar between these films was the need of women to be protected by males. In the Western they were unable to fight the Indians because they were afraid of endangering the ladies. In the Seven Samurai the villagers are also worried about protecting their women, but in this case it's against the samurai themselves. One father even cuts the hair of his daughter and tells her to dress like a boy. When the Samurai finally came they are greeted by what appears to be a deserted village. It is only when the samurai who followed them there rings a fake alarm that the villagers express their true desperate need for the samurai to protect them.

Thomas James Nosbish
Seven Samurai

There are other characters and subplots, equally simple in conception, that are saved from cliche by the compassion that Kurosawa sheds on them. The most distrustful and pigheaded of the farmers is allowed the dignity of his pain when his greatest fear—having his daughter seduced by a samurai—becomes a reality. (Seven Samurai has a modern—and surprisingly bitter—sexual edge, most vividly expressed in the languorously extended shot of a woman driven half-mad by brutality as she seizes the chance to avenge herself on her captors.) Even the bandits’ deaths are made into ghastly, appalling affairs by the villagers’ ravenous appetite for revenge.
Seven Samurai contains some of the most dazzling battles ever put on film. The movie’s action scenes cover the spectrum of moral and physical complexity, from explosive outbursts to supple silences, from scenes of intense grief (some of the deaths in Seven Samurai don’t bear thinking about) to the vision of a higher community that appears when the samurai share their rice with village’s children.
Shot in nearly every type of weather and at all times of day, Seven Samurai is alive to the elements of nature—to cold and rain and dust and flowers. As much as through dialogue, the movie communicates through the sight of a barley field tossing in the wind, slats of firelight playing across the bodies of entwined lovers, a mountain fog through which our eyes strain to discern the shape of a samurai who’s gone missing in action. Seven Samurai is smitten with topography, and its otherworldly settings—a hillside blanketed in luminous flowers, a canyon that looks like it was carved by the hand of God just the day before yesterday—speak with an emotional clarity that erases the distance between movie and viewer.

Seven Samurai is more storied than any other film if only every other film has ripped it off. The plot conventions—I can’t tell you how many times I have seen the little gimmicks in this film in others growing up. Star Wars came from this. Damn.

Cinematographically speaking, the film is a winner. There is an opportunistic range of shots to heighten the emotion at any turn in the movie. As when Kyuzo duels with another samurai, the camera is eye level like a spectator, shifting between the duelers in expectation. The other samurai runs and screams to Kyuzo, but it is hopeless as the others say. The other samurai falls in slow motion to the ground. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen slow motion, but to use it to exemplify Kyuzo’s skill only proves his mastery as beyond reality.
The seven samurai themselves are distinct characters, yet Kyuzo stands out as a clear champion of jidaigeki excellence. He is speechless mostly, and his actions are deadly and direct. He is profound in his life, and the young disciple Katsuhiro champions him beyond everybody else. Their relationship runs very closely to a homosexual one, and Katsuhiro might even have more feeling in him for Kyuzo than the girl (who looks like a boy). Brotherhood is emphasized at all costs: all for one and one for all, as the saying goes.

Kikuchiyo is the motor of the film, symbolic of the chaos inherent in any community. He is damaged, yet cocky; he loves the children and identifies with them the most. He loves the hunt and the kill, yet the viewer identifies with him the most. Is he an anti-hero? Or is he just too sympathetic? Either way, he inspires the seven samurai over and over in his actions, despite the fact he is not a by-birth samurai. He is an other that must be integrated into the community for it to succeed. His tale is the most astonishing because it is by far the most artificial of all the samurai’s.

Seven Samurai is too good of a film to summarize in 350 words, and I doubt I could do it justice in 350,000,000,000,000,000 words.

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This page contains a single entry by Mark Anderson published on March 25, 2010 12:58 PM.

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