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Friday, February 4 at 7pm
60th Anniversary Screening — 35mm Presentation! In 18th-century Edo, a masterless samurai (Tatsuya Nakadai) wanders into the virtuous House of Iyi, asking to commit ritual seppuku (suicide). He is met with skepticism by the clan’s retainers, who have learned of drifting ronin making similar requests as a means of extortion. Nevertheless, the samurai promises to disembowel himself, but not before imparting the tragic circumstances that have led him to this final act. Adorned by stunning chiaroscuro compositions, an unnerving Toru Takemitsu score, and a bitingly acerbic script by Kurosawa scribe Shinobu Hashimoto, director Masaki Kobayashi’s slow-burn rebuke of authority culminates in a scathing takedown of the bushido code and the shallow valor it vowed to uphold.
Dir. Masaki Kobayashi, 1962, 134 min., 35mm. With Tatsuya Nakadai, Rentaro Mikuni, Akira Ishihama, Shima Iwashita.