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Sunday, August 08, 2004


My first viewings of the Zatoichi canon was at the good old Lee Theatre, Hong Kong, in the company of families, amahs with their charges, and the swaggering tattoed.

For me, Katsu Shintaro defined the avenging aveugle and "Takeshi Kitano playing Zatoichi/Ichi (as Beat Takeshi)", as the latest version has it, does not "do it for me".

Distractingly fashionably coiffed, the new model lacks TK's grimness and his sword moves (mostly upward strikes) are far from fluid - possibly why they're shot in such tight closeup to avoid attracting excess boos from the cognoscenti.

And what the deuce is this about him actually being sighted?

Roobish, as they're no doubt grumbling as the faithful head out of the Hipperholme Gaumont and make for the nearest pub.

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