Takashi Miike Series at Film Society of Lincoln Center

A scene from "13 Assassins," the new film from director Takashi Miike.

From March 17 – 20 The Film Society of Lincoln Center will present a film series entitled “Shinjuku Outlaw: 13 from Takashi Miike.”  The Japanese director, Miike, first gained the attention of American audiences in 2001 with his films “Audition” and “Ichi the Killer,” trumpeting the arrival of “Asian Extreme” sex and violence crammed titles.  Be warned, this series is not for everyone.

Miike himself will be in attendance for many of the screenings to provide introductions and post screening Q&As.  Opening night, March 17, will feature a sneak preview of Miike latest film, “13 Assassins,” followed by a reception.

I attended a press screening of “13 Assassins.”  The press notes described the film as “a faithful sword-slashing remake of the 1963 samurai-seige classic.”

The story begins with a character committing harikari, followed by a landslide of exposition.  Characters flit in and out while the film smash cuts across multiple locations to set up its story.  Like an airplane finally reaching its cruising altitude, “13 Assassins” soon levels off and settles into comfortable genre territory.  Simply put there is a bad guy, Lord Maritsugu, who the titular band wants to kill, despite the fact that he is politically well connected.

There is lots of explanation about honor and the way of the samurai, but basically it is good guys verses bad guys.  Miike keeps the proceedings moving at a good clip with innovative fight scenes: sword fights, decapitations, dismemberment, multiple deaths by bow and arrow, lots of blood, codes of honor and a sadistic bad guy we just love to hate.

The series will provide a cross section of the prolific director’s filmography of some 80 films.  Titles will include Miike’s major hits plus rarities never before screened in New York.

For more information on the series go to www.filmlinc.com.



About unpaidfilmcritic

Up until 2009 Seth Shire spent nearly two decades in the New York film industry as a post production supervisor of feature films. Highlights include working on the films of Martin Scorsese, James Toback and Spike Lee. Since leaving the film industry Seth has expanded into new and varied areas where he has found a great deal of satisfaction. Seth currently teaches in the Sociology Department of CUNY Queens College. His courses include "Mass Media and Popular Culture," "Introduction to Sociology," and "Sociology of Cinema" where he is a very popular teacher. Seth is also the film critic for "Town & Village," a Manhattan weekly newspaper, a position he has held for the past six years. Seth gives back to his community through volunteer teaching at Manhattan's "The Caring Community," a center for senior citizens, where he teaches a very popular course on documentaries called "The Golden Age of the Documentary. In the fall of 2010 Seth taught "Critical Reading and Writing" at Parsons School of Design. He has also taught "Cinema Studies" at the New York Film Academy. Seth lives in Stuyvesant Town, in Manhattan.

Posted on March 13, 2011, in Feature Articles, New, Off the Beaten Path. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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