Friday, March 18

Friday Japan Awesomeness: Zatoichi

After a week of awfulness in Japan, it's high time to celebrate its opposite, and to my mind, nothing is more gleeful than the last scene in actor/director Takeshi Kitano's 2003 adaptation of the Zatoichi story. The bulk of the film is dark, moody, and violent, with an excellent score by Keiichi Suzuki and flashes of brilliant humor. But this scene is where the curtain falls on everything that came before and the clogging/tap dancing begins (things really get started after the minute mark). It was after watching this scene that I decided to pursue a career in tap dancing. (I've made some bad decisions.)

Ultimately the scene ends up being a curtain call of sorts, as the main characters file in and join the dance. You may wonder why two of the characters morph into children at one point. It's a good question! You'll just have to watch the movie to find out. It's pretty much a masterpiece so it will be time well spent. Plus it's got Tadanobu Sato in it, and he is handsome, even when he's rocking the samurai updo.