Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Shura: Demons, aka Pandemonium (1971)

Demons, aka Pandemonium (修羅 Shura) is a 1971 Japanese samurai jidaigeki / horror film directed by Toshio Matsumoto. Referring to asuras, the movie is based on Tsuruya Nanboku and Shuji Ishizawa's play Kamikakete Sango Taisetsu, and reflects the director's experimental filming background and theatrical influence. It was released on 13 February 1971 in Japan by the Art Theatre Guild and Matsumoto Productions Company, almost two years after the director's first feature-length attempt, Funeral Parade of Roses.
The film is a portrait of feudal Japan's society and culture. Related to older samurai genre films and the classic tale of the forty-seven ronin*, it begins with a colorful setting sun, but the rest of the film is shot in black and white.

* The revenge of the forty-seven rōnin (四十七士 Yon-jū-shichi-shi, forty-seven samurai), also known as the Akō incident (赤穂事件 Akō jiken) or Akō vendetta, is an 18th-century historical event in Japan in which a band of rōnin (leaderless samurai) avenged the death of their master. The incident has since become legendary.

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