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FOR CRYING OUT ALLOWED: LOVE AND HONOUR

Director: YOJI YAMADA

JAPAN • 2006 • SUBTITLED • COLOUR • DOLBY DIGITAL STEREO • 35MM • 120 MIN


FOR PARENTS MAROONED WITH THEIR BABIES, STARVED OF THE CHANCE TO SEE EXCELLENT FILMS FOR MONTHS ON END, COMES FOR CRYING OUT ALLOWED. ONCE A MONTH, THE IFI WILL PUT ON A SPECIAL SCREENING FOR PARENTS-WITH BABIES.
Simply bring your bundle with you, park your buggy or pram with us, and enjoy the best film we have on that week. As the title suggests, there is no need to worry about the noise. Baby-changing facilities are provided, and we have a cafe for lunch afterwards. Babies must be 12 months or younger, and adults pay normal admission price. RESERVATIONS STRICTLY REQUIRED: 01-6795744

JANUARY SCREENING: LOVE AND HONOUR

VETERAN JAPANESE DIRECTOR YOJI YAMADA’S LOVE AND HONOUR IS AN IMPECCABLY COMPOSED PERIOD PIECE IN WHICH A NOBLE SAMURAI’S SPIRIT IS TESTED AMID SETTINGS THAT REVEAL THE HARSHNESS AND HYPOCRISY OF A FEUDAL SOCIETY.
Following the Oscar-nominated Twilight Samurai and The Hidden Blade, the new film completes Yamada’s trilogy of samurai tales based on the short stories of Shuhei Fujisawa. As in the earlier films, Yamada here seeks to redefine the feudal samurai in human terms by having his warrior protagonist more beset with human problems than possessed of superhuman killing skills. The young hero Shinnojo (Takuya Kimura) is a low-ranked samurai employed as a food taster for his clan lord. The proud and principled Shinnojo dreams of running a fencing school for youngsters, but his world comes crashing down when he’s stricken by blindness after eating bad shellfish intended for his master. Fearful that his loss of position will put them both out on the street, Shinnojo’s beloved wife Kayo (a superb Rei Dan) follows her family’s advice and seeks the help of a shogun advisor who promises to see to Shinnojo’s welfare — for a price.
The stage seems set for a melodramatic revenge drama once the blind swordsman discovers his wife may be seeing another man. Yet, although fans can be assured that the film builds to a suitably sharp-edged climax, Yamada undermines the familiar trajectory of the samurai genre by affirming love as a value on equal footing with that of honour. True to the director’s naturalistic style, the sword moves are the real deal, the battle intensely personal, and the results grippingly final.

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