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Seven Samurai: My yearly Tradition

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    JohnVFerrigno

    I thought the readers of this forum might like to check out this article:

    http://www.murmur.com/tv_film/seven_samurai_my_yearly_tradition.html

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    lawless

    Thank you for sharing that insightful article with us! Seven Samurai is also my favorite film ever for many of the same reasons you enunciate and I agree, The Magnificent Seven eliminated much of the subtlety and social commentary. To my mind, the only remake of a Kurosawa movie that stands up to the original is Sergio Leone’s A Fistful of Dollars.

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    NoelCT

    lawless:To my mind, the only remake of a Kurosawa movie that stands up to the original is Sergio Leone’s A Fistful of Dollars.

    For some reason, I always preferred the cheese-tastic knockoff The Warrior and the Sorceress. 😛

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    cocoskyavitch

    NoelCT, what a wonderful thing to share! I have exactly the same feeling learning about your yearly screening that I have when I see a puppy-just unadulterated, pure joy uncomplicated by any mixed emotions.

    Awesome!

    I guess, too, your ritual harkens back to my own yearly t.v. viewings of the Wizard of Oz and It’s a Wonderful Life. Both were events-and just like holidays, the cycle of the years turned on viewing these favorites, In those days before video and DVDs.

    Nice stuff.

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    Ugetsu

    Lovely article. Its a nice idea to have an annual film – I can’t do that with Seven Samurai or Yojimbo as I watch them both much more than once a year!

    I had no idea The Warrior and the Sorceress was based on Yojimbo. I’ve never seen it, but I remember marvelling at the cover of the copy in my local DVD store – I thought that with the wierd David Carradine’s head on Arnold Schwartzeneggers pecs painting it had to be some sort of send up. I must go rent it!

    I do think Star Wars isn’t a bad remake. I like the suggestion in Martinez’s book that Galaxy Quest is a kind of wierd homage to Seven Samurai.

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    lawless

    NoelCT – I wasn’t aware of the existence of The Warrior and the Sorceress. It does sound cheese-tastic, although probably more to the taste of male viewers than me.

    Ugetsu – I agree with your about Seven Samurai. I watch it more often than once a year. If I had a copy of Yojimbo, I’d probably watch it more often than once a year as well.

    I don’t see Star Wars as a remake of anything, though. It may be inspired by Hidden Fortress, but it’s hardly a remake or even an adaptation of it.

    As the article points out, Seven Samurai depicts warfare realistically and refuses to glorify it even though the cause being advanced was entirely just and our sympathies are engaged wholly in favor of the surivival of the village the samurai are defending. I applaud Kambei himself refusing to whitewash the reality of violent conflict even as he understands why it’s sometimes necessary. In that, its viewpoint is different from almost any succeeding action/war movie influenced by it. Saving Private Ryan – a good, maybe even an excellent movie (but to my mind not a great movie), may be one of the few exceptions.

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    NoelCT

    Ugetsu: I like the suggestion in Martinez’s book that Galaxy Quest is a kind of wierd homage to Seven Samurai.

    I’ve never seen it that way, but, now that I think about it, once you look through the mistaken identity aspect that A Bug’s Life also brought to the table, the basic story really is quite similar. I doubt it was intentional, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

    Lawless: I wasn’t aware of the existence of The Warrior and the Sorceress. It does sound cheese-tastic, although probably more to the taste of male viewers than me.

    Yeah, sorry, I probably shouldn’t have brought it up, but I was tired at the time and oddly giddy. It truly is a terrible movie, but amusing because it’s every bit as blatant and obvious a knockoff as A Fistfull of Dollars, but so “bottom of the barrel” that nobody really cared.

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    lawless

    NoelCT – No worries; sometimes the worst movies are the most amusing. Besides, David Carradine? It makes me laugh just to think of him being in something like this.

    Now I’m kind of curious, actually.

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    Ugetsu

    Lawless

    I don’t see Star Wars as a remake of anything, though. It may be inspired by Hidden Fortress, but it’s hardly a remake or even an adaptation of it.

    You don’t think? I know Lucas claimed he only got the R2D2 and C3PO character from it, but when I first watched Hidden Fortress I was struck by how similar the plots are, and even individual scenes. The whole thing of a Princess being escorted through enemy territory to safety, aided by a rag bag bunch of heros and oddballs seems quite a distinct and unmistakable narrative core that both films share. I think Marinez even claims that the Wookie is based on the released slave girl (a bit of a stretch I think!). I think the last scene of both films are very similar, just more extras for Lucas.

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    NoelCT

    Ugetsu, there’s definitely similarities, and I think the bearded general smuggling a princess disguised as a commoner (and even picking up a slave) is far more promenent in PHANTOM MENACE, but I think Lucas added and twisted enough stuff that it definitely falls into the realm of “inspiration” rather than “adaptation”. Plus, at least he admits to the influence.

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    JohnVFerrigno

    Star Wars and The Hidden Fortress are VERY similar plot-wise, especially in the first part of the movie. Two lowly characters escape from a war, in a desert, and go their seperate ways. They argue and go in separate directions. They are both captured by different groups of the same people and forced into slavery, where they are reunited, and join up with a warrior bringing a princess across enemy lines. Same plot, both movies.

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