Dir: Takeshi Kitano
Samurai movies make me deeply happy; Takeshi Kitano movies make me deeply happy. There was really no way this was ever going to suck. Many people are killed in spectacularly violent ways, there are transvestite Geisha assassins, and there is a very amusing scene where a guy gets hit on the head a bunch of times with sticks. This, people, is Art. A steady flow of richly absorbing and frequently beautiful vignettes are interspersed with surreally bloody action, building up to a rollicking violent climax. And just when you think you couldn't be enjoying yourself any more, everybody starts tap-dancing. This is not a film overly worried about pansy-ass notions of 'authenticity', god bless it. I would like to voice my fervent personal hope that Takeshi's first period movie is not his last; that instead it marks the beginning of a whole new 'Samurai movies' phase in his career. If the guy were ever to make a samurai movie with the grace, depth and beauty of 'Hana-Bi'... well. I imagine it would be quite cool, that's all I'm saying.