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Seven Samurai coulda had better choreography

Old 02-28-03, 12:02 AM
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Seven Samurai coulda had better choreography

I watched it last night and enjoyed it for the most part. I've been getting into Kurosawa's films lately, but the anticipated final battle scene lacked not only a duel but, really, just nice looking fighting techniques. I mean they just waived those swords around like sticks and then pointed them when they were going to stab. There was one scene where one of the better older samurai was in a duel with another guy and there was some decent action. But the rest I just felt that that actors didnt come off as professional samurai swordsmen. Sanjuro and Yojimbo had great dueling scenes and you really felt that he was a great swordsman, that was lost in Seven Samurai.
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Old 02-28-03, 12:31 AM
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In the commentary by Jeck he mentions that SEVEN SAMURAI is the first time Japanese movie goers see Samurai fight in such a realistic manner and how this style was very shocking to the audience. Kurosawa choreogrpahed it in that wild fashion on purpose. Up until then, Samurai on film were fighting in the fashion you mention.

I think you may be used to the stereotypical "Badass Warrior who never misses and who's always cool and collected" characters portrayed in ANIME.

Last edited by Giantrobo; 02-28-03 at 12:35 AM.
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Old 02-28-03, 12:33 AM
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Wow, that's very interesting. I'm speechless.
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Old 02-28-03, 12:34 AM
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yeah...i see where your coming from....

BUT honestly...in real life...when you are in the middle of chaos...w/ numerous samurais and warriors all mixed together in utter confusion...the grace and skillfulness of swordfighting is lost to a large extent and you just settle to what kills your enemy the quickest w/ the least harm to yourself and allies....

BUT yeah...if it's a movie....it's different...anyways...

Vu
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Old 02-28-03, 12:38 AM
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This is hard for me to swallow, since Seven Samurai is my favorite film of all time.

I think that final battle scene is a concentrated study in chaos. Which is the beauty of it. How many samurai battles were things of beauty back in the history of Japan? With that many men running through rain and mud, how balletic do you want it?

I think audiences today might just be spoiled by the "in" thing--Hong Kong action--which is the most choreograped fighting scenes you'll ever find. Crouching Tiger, Matrix, any Jet Li or Jackie Chan movie--the use of wires and concentrated moves that sometimes don't seem real. Kurosawa didn't have that luxury, but then again, even if he HAD it, would he use it? I don't think he would. But I think the chaotic battle at the end is not only exciting, but incredibly realistic as well.
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Old 02-28-03, 01:11 AM
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Originally posted by vu_quy
yeah...i see where your coming from....

BUT honestly...in real life...when you are in the middle of chaos...w/ numerous samurais and warriors all mixed together in utter confusion...the grace and skillfulness of swordfighting is lost to a large extent and you just settle to what kills your enemy the quickest w/ the least harm to yourself and allies....

BUT yeah...if it's a movie....it's different...anyways...

Vu
Yeah I agree, it would of been cool if there were more fancy fight scenes. But its suppose to be realistic. Its one of the best movies in the world though, so I can't complain too much myself.
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Old 02-28-03, 01:32 AM
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What did you expect? Wire-Fu?

Other than 4 of the Samurai, the people weren't real samurai to begin with... they were farmers. They didn't know how to fight. And the bandits didn't know how to fight either. They only knew numbers and intimidation. To give it a fantasy type sword play would take a lot away from the film for me.
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Old 02-28-03, 05:36 AM
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First time I saw it (5 years ago) I was disappointed because it didn't have elaborate choreographed fight scenes. I was expecting something highly stylized and "epic" like Ran or at least something like it.

Giantrobo's comment does make a lot of sense and I did get that feeling when I recently saw it 2 weeks ago. Combat is ugly and Kurosawa captures the freakish desperation of it all. And this time I really appreciated all the characters, storylines, emotions, and ideas this film holds. The action was secondary to anything else this time. What an incredible film.
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Old 02-28-03, 07:36 AM
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I've always wondered how people really fight in war.
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Old 02-28-03, 10:26 AM
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Yeah, they should remake this with Jet Li and Jackie Chan Seriously, I think it does a very good job of capturing a REALISTIC view of combat as opposed to the overly stylized fancy choreography we've all become spoiled on.
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Old 02-28-03, 11:56 AM
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Lester-

I think you really missed the point man. The fighting is supposed to be down and dirty, and kind of pathetic. Both sides flayling like animals in the mud. The beauty of Seven Samurai is that it takes the genre achetype of honorable swordsman single combat duels and knocks it on its ass
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Old 02-28-03, 06:08 PM
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Originally posted by Pants
Lester-

I think you really missed the point man. The fighting is supposed to be down and dirty, and kind of pathetic. Both sides flayling like animals in the mud. The beauty of Seven Samurai is that it takes the genre achetype of honorable swordsman single combat duels and knocks it on its ass
well said...
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Old 03-01-03, 12:50 AM
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Originally posted by joeydaninja
I've always wondered how people really fight in war.
You should try it sometime!

Seven Samurai kicks butt, and so does the realism in it. That's not to say there isn't classic Kurosawa stylism in it as well, but I think it has quite a bit, as Pants said, of the down and dirty.
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Old 03-01-03, 11:20 AM
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Originally posted by Ian11
Combat is ugly and Kurosawa captures the freakish desperation of it all.
A scene in Rashomon depicts an even more exaggerated version of this.
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Old 03-01-03, 01:00 PM
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I think Kurosawa brought a brilliant message with this filmto the audience, which later has been copied by numerous films (e.g., Bugs Life and Magnificient Seven). Now in regard to the fighting sequences, in todays film we can trick film and use digital advancements to enhance the cinematic experience in regards to the fighting. This was very difficult during the time when Seven Samurai was made. In addition, as previous poster mentioned, in a battle with many people fighting together, it becomes chaos. Moreover, the film is not about dueling between Samurai's, just a small number of Samurai's with out a lord who is going to fight a much larger number of bandits with weapons skills, skills that the farmers lack. Thus, it was not made to be a duel, but to be efficient and therefore we can see the flooding of the rice field and walls that they built. Also, when I was in the military, I learned it is about surviving and not beauty, which was what the samurai's were attempting. In regards to what Pants mentioned, war is dirty, very nasty, and there is no way of making it look beautiful, because the guts pouring out while a man attempts to push them back is not beautiful (well, at least not in my eyes...and for you who have not seen Seven Samurai, this never happen in the film) Would you duel for a bowl of rice, I do not think I would, and to duel a bandit is degrading. Now, I might be a little biased, since it is my favorite film of all time followed by Thin Red Line.

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