Japanese Samurai Film Series 2005
March 3, 10, & 17
All screenings at the Wang Center Theater. Co-sponsored with the Japan Center. Admission is free.
Unanimously hailed as one of the greatest masterpieces in the history of motion pictures, Seven Samurai has inspired countless films modeled after its basic premise. The story is set in the 1600s when the residents of a small Japanese village are seeking protection against repeated attacks by a band of marauding thieves. Offering mere handfuls of rice as payment, they hire seven unemployed "ronin." The climactic battle with the raiding thieves remains one of the most breathtaking sequences ever filmed. (Akira Kurosawa/ 1956/208 min./Japanese with English subtitles)
Thursday, March 3, 7:00 p.m., Wang Center Theater. Free to all.
This Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Language Film and the winner of 12 Japanese Film Academy Awards is set in the late 19th century as the feudal Shogun period was giving way to the Meiji Restoration. Seibei is a low-ranking samurai in the Shonai Province of northeast Japan, and when word of Seibei's easy victory using only a wooden sword begins to circulate, his reputation for sword fighting prowess begins to change his colleagues assessment of him. Seibei is caught in the shifting turmoil of the times and is assigned, against his wishes, by his superiors to confront and kill a renowned warrior on the wrong side of a clan power struggle. (Yoji Yamada/2002/129 min./Japanese with English subtitles)
Thursday, March 10, 7:00 p.m., Wang Center Theater. Free to all.
The Last Samurai
In Japan, Civil War veteran Captain Nathan Algren, played by Tom Cruise, trains the Emperor's troops to use modern weapons as they prepare to defeat the last of the country’s samurais. But Algren’s passion is swayed when he is captured by the samurai and learns about their traditions and code of honor. Academy Award Nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in 2004, Ken Watanabe plays the leader of the country’s samurais. (Edward Zwick/2003/148 minutes/Japanese with English subtitles)
Thursday, March 17, 7:00 p.m., Wang Center Theater. Free to all.