HARAKIRI (Masaki Kobayashi, 1962)

Story-telling within the story we watch unfold: different perspectives; compounded realities.      Seventeenth-century Japan; civil war has ended, eliminating some clans, scattering warriors to the winds of uselessness, demoralization, poverty. The samurai code prescribes an honorable solution: gaining entrance to a lord’s castle and committing harakiri. Tsugumo Hanshiro (Tatsuya Nakadai—his greatest role until Akira Kurosawa’s Kagemusha, […]

OUT 1: SPECTRE (Jacques Rivette, 1972)

Originally made as the 13-hour Out 1: Noli me tangere, Jacques Rivette’s subsequent 4¼-hour version (which is what I have seen), involving two theatrical troupes, is his most entrancing multilayered “created reality” to draw us into a self-referential dream of doubled and parallel existences. It duplicates its cast (including marvelous Jean-Pierre Léaud, who, when first […]