Scene from film
|Directed by||Buntarō Futagawa|
|Distributed by||Digital Meme|
|Release date(s)||1925 (Japan)|
|Running time||74 min|
|Language||Silent Film Japanese intertitles|
Orochi (雄呂血 Orochi?) is a 1925 black and white Japanese silent film with benshi accompaniment directed by Buntarō Futagawa. This is the most popular and beloved film of Tsumasaburō Bandō, featuring the star at the height of his fame.
The film tells the story of a samurai who falls on hard times due to misunderstandings and explains the plots of his enemies. Such explanations superbly depict the absurdity of the samurai's unjust world, making this work pertinent even in present day.
The kinetic sword fighting scenes masterfully performed by Bandō were quite novel in an age when kabuki-style, leisurely and dignified movies were the norm. This style has been passed onto modern chambara films. Additionally, the sword fighting style's aesthetic value is slightly lost in Orochi due to the pace at which the fight scenes were filmed (fast forward motion). Due to the kabuki style, the makeup on the characters transformed them into almost identical representations of Ukiyo-e (woodblock prints), a major Japanese art form.
The original title of the movie was supposed to be "Outlaw," but the Japanese censors and police banned the title, because the depiction of an outlaw as a hero was seen as a very dangerous suggestion. The title was later changed to "Serpent," describing how Bando Tsumasaburo wiggles when he fights back, and how even in death, a serpent still looks terrifying. Confused, the censors allowed the title.
- "Orochi (1925)". Retrieved 26 December 2013.
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