|Hideo Gosha on the set of Three Outlaw Samurai|
Japanese director Hideo Gosha was born on February 26, 1929 in Akasake, Tokyo, Japan. He died on August 30, 1992 at age 63. From 1964 until his death he directed 24 feature films.
His first, Three Outlaw Samurai (1964), is an almost nihilistic view of the code of the samurai, rampant with failures of loyalty and betrayals. It recently came out in the U.S. in a Criterion Collection release. The transfer is, as one would expect, gorgeous. However, the only extra is a trailer, which is interesting to watch because several shots in it were replaced by others in the released film.
His second film, Sword of the Beast (a.k.a. Samurai Gold Seekers, 1965), is also available from Criterion. It's another tale in which betrayal plays a prominent role, leading to the protagonist fleeing his clan to live in the wilds like a beast. It, too, does not come with any significant extras.
Both films are must sees for anyone interested in samurai films in particular or Japanese cinema in general. Perhaps more of Gosha's films will become available in the coming years. Meanwhile, these will have to suffice to keep his memory alive on our flat screen televisions.