Cinematic cool and masculinity had two faces in the 1960s: actors Shintaro Katsu (1931–97) and Raizo Ichikawa (1931–69). This retrospective pays tribute to these two Japanese film legends, in their most respected, representative and stylish chambara (sword fighting) films.
The series has been curated by Chris D., genre film expert, cult punk rock icon, and author of Outlaw Masters of Japanese Film. And I for one have to say he'd done a fantastic job.
Note that these are separate screenings and there is a separate admission charge for each.
The Lone Stalker (A.K.A. Lone Wolf Isazo)
The epitome of the matatabi (samurai gambler) movie, The Lone Stalker (A.K.A. Lone Wolf Isazo) ranks as one of Raizo Ichikawa’s most spectacular performances. Employing flashbacks within flashbacks and a brooding romantic style poised somewhere between Budd Boetticher and early Sergio Leone, director Kazuo Ikehiro charts Isazo’s descent from chivalrous naïf to vengeance-obsessed cynical wanderer, giving a definitive chronicle of the loneliness of the long-distance wanderer.
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The Devil's Temple
Directed by Kenji Misumi
In this little known Misumi masterpiece, an abandoned temple nestled in the mountains is the scene of a fateful encounter between a Buddhist monk, two women in love with the same man, and a fallen samurai (Shintaro Katsu, at his most ferocious). As destinies collide: it appears that not just the lives of the quartet are at stake, but their very souls. Hell awaits!
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Both screenings take place in the intimate, well-raked auditorium at Japan Society, located at 333 East 47th Street New York, NY 10017.