13 Assassins Q&A with Takashi Miike

 
NEW YORK, March 18 – As a joint collaborative effort between the Film Society of Lincoln Center and Subway Cinema, a thirteen film retrospective of Takashi Miike’s (三池 崇史) work was held at the Walter Reade Theater. The centerpiece for the event was the screening of Miike’s 13 Assassins including an in-person “question and answer” (Q&A) segment with the director. However, the 2011 Tōhoku Earthquake (東北地方太平洋沖地震) made international travel very difficult in Japan. Shortly after the disaster, it was announced that he would not be present at the screening.

13 Assassins is a remake of a sword play classic. It is set in the waning years of the samurai social structure in which peace has reduced the warrior class into idle bureaucrats. When the Shogun’s sadistic brother begins massacring peasants for his own amusement, thirteen samurai are incensed by the terrible atrocities and begin to formulate a plot to assassinate him.

 
Despite the cancellation of Miike’s appearance, the screening still managed to sell out and attendance was very high. During the introduction of the film, Marc Walkow of Subway Cinema announced that the director would conduct a Q&A through Skype Video. The programmers managed to set-up the internet feed, and the prolific filmmaker participated in an engrossing conversation about the film, his career, and the psyche of the Japanese people. Minor spoilers in the video.

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