Elegance & Bloodshed – Japanese Sword Fighting Films from the 1960s

Next to anime, sword-fighting films are probably the genre most readily associated with Japanese cinema. Recent years, however, have seen a noticeable decline in their number and quality. This is a good reason to look back to when the genre was flourishing in the 1960s. While movies during WWII tended to focus on a warrior’s loyalty towards his master and the immediate post-war films highlighted the sentiment of harmony and considerateness, the 1960s brought about a much darker approach: the warrior as an individual, relentlessly pursuing their own needs. These predominantly darker and more conflict-driven stories called for a different stylistic approach. Thus, the films from the 1960s tend to be more nihilistic and bleak in contrast to their kabuki-inspired predecessors.

In cooperation with the Japan Foundation Tokyo and Japanisches Kulturinstitut Köln

© 1962 Kadokawa Pictures

Kiru

  • 斬る
  • Director: Kenji MISUMI
  • Japan 1962, 35mm, 71 min, Japanese with English subtitles
  • With an introduction by Tom Mes
  • Saturday, June 2, 22:30 German Film Museum

Details

© 1964 Kadokawa Pictures

On the Road Forever

  • 無宿者
    Mushuku mono
  • Director: Kenji MISUMI
  • Japan 1964, 35mm, 89 min, Japanese with English subtitles
  • With an introduction by Tom Mes
  • Friday, June 1, 22:30 German Film Museum

Details

© Toei Co., Ltd.

Red Peony Gambles Her Life

  • 緋牡丹博徒・花札勝負
    Hibotan bakuto – Hanafuda shobu
  • Director: Tai KATO
  • Japan 1969, 35mm, 98 min, Japanese with English subtitles
  • With an introduction by Luk van Haute
  • Sunday, June 3, 20:30 German Film Museum

Details

© 1967 Toho Co., Ltd.

Samurai Rebellion

  • 上意討ちー拝領妻始末ー
    Joiuchi: Hairyo tsuma shimatsu
  • Director: Masaki KOBAYASHI
  • Japan 1967, 35mm, 128 min, Japanese with English subtitles
  • With an introduction by Luk van Haute
  • Friday, June 1, 19:45 German Film Museum

Details

© 1962 Toho Co., Ltd.

Sanjuro

  • 椿三十郎
    Tsubaki Sanjuro
  • Director: Akira KUROSAWA
  • Japan 1962, 35mm, 96 min, Japanese with English subtitles
  • With an introduction by Luk van Haute
  • Saturday, June 2, 18:00 German Film Museum

Details

Special Screening: Kurama Tengu

  • 鞍馬天狗
    Kurama tengu
  • Director: Teppei YAMAGUCHI
  • Japan 1928, DVD, 75 min, Japanese intertitles with German subtitles
  • With an introduction by Akihiko SHIOTA
  • Thursday, May 31, 17:00 Mousonturm Studio 1

Details

© 1966 Toho Co., Ltd.

Sword of Doom

  • 大菩薩峠
    Daibosatsu toge
  • Director: Kihachi OKAMOTO
  • Japan 1966, 35mm, 120 min, Japanese with English subtitles
  • With an introduction by Chris MaGee
  • Saturday, June 2, 20:00 German Film Museum

Details

© 1963 Toei Company, LTD

Thirteen Assassins

  • 十三人の刺客
    13 nin no shikaku
  • Director: Eiichi KUDO
  • Japan 1963, 16mm, 125 min, Japanese with English subtitles
  • With an introduction by Chris MaGee
  • Sunday, June 3, 18:00 German Film Museum

Details

© 1961 Toho Co., Ltd.

Yojimbo

  • 用心棒
  • Director: Akira KUROSAWA
  • Japan 1961, 35mm, 110 min, Japanese with English subtitles
  • With an introduction by Chris MaGee
  • Friday, June 1, 17:30 German Film Museum

Details