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JACK of No Trades avatar 5:19 PM on 04.21.2010
Yojimbo....Not the Old Guy....

A Work of Art!

You might know the remake of this film bet­ter than Yojimbo itself. Clint East­wood retold it as A Fist­ful of Dol­lars. I’ve not actu­ally seen A Fist­ful of Dol­lars, but this is the sec­ond time I’ve seen Yojimbo.

What Did You Say?


What kept con­stantly catch­ing my atten­tion was the sub­tle cun­ning and glee that San­juro takes in playing the war­ring gangs against each other. He almost always has a smar­tass grin lurk­ing when open disdain is not present. His phys­i­cal pres­ence suf­fices for the two dimensional sup­port­ing charac­ters he manip­u­lates, but the audi­ence and the innkeeper are privy to the strate­gic mas­tery that is Sanjuro’s true strength.

No chance

A bunch of cowards

The innkeeper shouldn’t be dis­re­garded. He is the only per­son we see in the film that takes an independent role and sees no point in the fight­ing. His dis­dain stands in oppo­site to the undertaker. Sanjuro’s view of the war as an oppor­tu­nity. Their dif­fer­ent opin­ions are based on eco­nom­ics, the innkeeper’s cus­tom has been hurt by the fight, while for the under­taker busi­ness is boom­ing, but they also reflect the per­son­al­i­ties of the char­ac­ters themselves.

Get A Sword Pussy

As San­juro plays one side against the other, the innkeeper slowly comes to under­stand that, though he is mer­ce­nary, San­juro is vir­tu­ous under­neath. An easy dis­tinc­tion between good and evil would not have caught Sanjuro’s atten­tion the way that the bad ver­sus worse sit­u­a­tion that actu­ally exists in the town does. This nov­elty appeals to a true ronin lifestyle, self-serving but not appear­ing so, and well-suited to such a mal­ad­justed, mis­an­thropic per­son­al­ity as San­juro. Even after he gets his ass handed to him and is near death, his spirit is never more alive. This is where it is eas­i­est to see how West­ern in intent is Yojimbo; with its par­tic­u­lar style of deter­mi­na­tion and intent. It is some­what hilar­i­ous but not unex­pected then, that a film made with delib­er­ate West­ern influ­ence would be picked up and redone by a West­ern direc­tor. Although there is prob­a­bly less dif­fer­ence between East and West than mod­ern and traditional.

This film can be easily watched along with the sequel Sanjuro on Netflicks Instant!

Oh, and this...

I Thought I Threw A Stick?!

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