6 February 2017 | pdmc-23460
Epic Samurai Film
Samurai Banners (1969) is Hiroshi Inagaki's, know for The Samurai: Musashi Miyamoto trilogy, crowning achievement-a nearly three hour historically based epic starring Toshiro Mifune as a ronin determined to achieve greatness in his new clan by uniting Japan under one ruler. The story is based on a novel adapted by Shinobu Hashimoto (Rashomon and Seven Samurai) and takes place in the Sengoku warring period 1500-1600. At the time it was the most expensive Japanese film produced with several massive fight scenes that must have been expensive to stage. It immediately calls to mind Akira Kurosawa's two late samurai epic masterpieces Kagemusha and Ran. I wonder why he wasn't involved in the project that was made with his former leading man and the script writer of his greatest triumphs. Nonetheless, Inagaki with cinematographer Kazuo Yamada has created a stylish, colorful, and dynamic film.