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Dora-heita (2000)

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    Vili Maunula

    I watched Kon Ichikawa’s Dora-heita today, which as you all probably know was filmed from a script written in the late 60s by Ichikawa, Kurosawa, Kinoshita and Kobayashi, the “Four Knights”.

    I think the film suffers from poor acting, very uneven pacing and editing, as well as strange musical choices. In fact, I constantly felt that the film was scene after scene just failing to achieve what the director had intended to do with it. The final product, therefore, was quite below my expectations.

    This is a pity, as I found the basic story interesting enough, and thought that the script had some real potential. It could probably have gone through a final polishing (some of the dialogue and physical comedy seemed a little off), but it would have been interesting to see what the four directors who wrote Dora-heita could have come up with, had they filmed the script together (as Ichikawa claimed was the original plan).


    Lewis Saul

    I know what you mean by everything being “a little off” — but I can’t help loving this film — Kôji Yakusho carries it along for long stretches with his fantastic acting.

    Best Japanese eyes since Mifune…


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