Uzumasa Limelight

Uzumasa Limelight

Ken Ochiai (2014)

104min
15 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Taking inspiration from Charlie Chaplin's Limelight (1952), this is a poignant paean to the passing of the jidai-geki period picture. Japanese audiences once thrilled to samurai movies, but changing tastes and techniques mean there is less work for kirareyaku (literally meaning "sliced-up actor" or those extras killed off during fight scenes), stuntmen like Seizo Fukumoto, whose long-running TV show has just been cancelled. But, while arrogant wunderkinds dismiss Fukumoto with contempt and he is reduced to giving swordplay displays to tourists, aspiring actress Chihiro Yamamoto remains eager to learn about fight choreography before the craft is lost forever. Affectionately scripted by Hiroyuki Ono and directed by Ken Ochiai with evident respect for the traditions of Japanese culture and cinema, this manages to be both critical and nostalgic without ever being strident or mawkish. Fukumoto (a real-life kirareyaku who's perished 50,000 times on screen) excels as the twilight warrior, while Hirotaro Honda (as the harassed production manager) and Hisako Manda (as a former star now running the studio canteen) provide fine support.

Cast & Crew

Seiichi Seizo Fukumoto
Satsuki Iga Chihiro Yamamoto
Kawashima Masashi Goda
Kenichi Naganuma Hirotaro Honda
Mitsuru Tamura Hisako Manda
Director Ken Ochiai
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Other Information

Language: Japanese +subtitlesColourTheatrical distributor: Third Window FilmsGuidance: ViolenceAvailable on: Blu-rayReleased on: 9 Feb 2016