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Author Topic: YOJIMBO VS. FFOD  (Read 42916 times)
Bill Carson
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« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2004, 12:44:06 PM »

 Cool  hola JON.   LAST MAN STANDING was awful. Walter Hill lost his touch YEARS ago. remaking the ol' SERVANT OF TWO MASTERS plot didn't help none.

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« Reply #16 on: May 03, 2004, 06:53:17 PM »

I enjoy both films for different reasons, so I prefer to stay away from "which is the better movie?" arguments.  I don't think either movie is the best work of the respective director, but they are both fun to watch; IMO Yojimbo has a bit more "style" to it, probably due to Mifune's acting; I suppose that's just personal preference (although to be honest, I haven't seen "Fistful" for a while).

Did Leone copy Yojimbo?  Yes.  Is it a bad thing?  Not at all.  All artists, at some point, build on what has been done before, whether it's an homage or just to explore an idea in a different way. The great ones borrow and put their own vision/style on it, something that Leone definitely did.  

There is one scene in FFOD that I prefer over the comparable scene in Yojimbo: After the protagonist has been beaten up and locked in the storeroom, I always thought Eastwood's escape was more realistic and satisfying.  In Yojimbo, Mifune hides in a box, and the guards think he's escaped (even though he's half dead, the door was locked, and the bars are still on the window).  I always feel like yelling out, "He's hiding in the box, you fool".

Alternatively, I always preferred the ending to Yojimbo. The "gun vs. sword" battle is done brilliantly; the way Mifune moves is just amazing. Also, I think there is more subtext in Yojimbo.  The use of the "western revolver" story element, and the implication that it makes the traditional Samurai weapons and culture obsolete.  Yet, Mifune walks away triumphant at the end demonstrating that skill counts for something.

And, how Mifune manages to cut the rope around the bartender... it astounds me every time.

Of course, to top everything, Yojimbo's crying brat isn't nearly as annoying as the one in FFOD.

I don't know if it's been mentioned on this board, but there is a "modernized" trailer for Yojimbo here: http://www.maximument.com/yojimbo.html

Anyway, I've rambled long enough for my first post.

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« Reply #17 on: May 04, 2004, 05:06:19 AM »

What do you guys think of Sanjuro (a lesser known Kurosawa with the same charcter as Yojimbo)? I actually prefer it. Especially the ending which, as a friend of mine pointed out, is like the Hegelian synthesis of Leone showdowns and battle scenes from the Lone Wolf and Cub series, even though it predates both of them.

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« Reply #18 on: May 04, 2004, 12:21:57 PM »

What do you guys think of Sanjuro (a lesser known Kurosawa with the same charcter as Yojimbo)? I actually prefer it. Especially the ending which, as a friend of mine pointed out, is like the Hegelian synthesis of Leone showdowns and battle scenes from the Lone Wolf and Cub series, even though it predates both of them.

I've only seen Sanjuro once, but I think the end, stylistically at least,  is remisicent of the Harmonica/Frank standoff at the end of OUATITW.  Only, there's a LOT more blood in the Sanjuro fight; I sometimes think the effects guy over did it a bit.

I think the western movie "stand-off" owes a lot to Kurosawa (or Japanese film).  I'm not an expert on the American west, but as I understand it, the concept of two gunslingers facing each other, staring each other down, and then drawing is largely a myth; there wasn't that much "fair play" involved.  Whereas, the formal duels between Samurai were very stylistic.  Perhaps someone can correct my thinking on that point.

There's a strong comedic element running through Sanjuro that doesn't link up to anything in Leone's movies.  Leone's movies have comedy, but it's just a different sort.

I wonder how many of Kurosawa's films Leone saw.  

Good movie.  I'll have to get the Sanjuro DVD out tonight and watch it.

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« Reply #19 on: May 04, 2004, 03:08:24 PM »

Only, there's a LOT more blood in the Sanjuro fight; I sometimes think the effects guy over did it a bit.

You probably wouldn't like the Lone Wolf and Cub films then - Sword of Vengeance, Babycart at the River Styx, Babycart to Hades etc. They have effects like that all the way through. Also the main influence on the final scenes of Kill Bill volume 1.

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« Reply #20 on: May 04, 2004, 04:44:57 PM »

Only, there's a LOT more blood in the Sanjuro fight; I sometimes think the effects guy over did it a bit.
I always saw it as to be a sobering shock, It does reinforce Sanjuro's point to the watching samurai at the end. That its just bushido bullsú$t. I don't think anybody had seen a arterial spray like that in Japanese film. First of its kind, and ofcourse thousands followed.

Lone Wolf And Cub has alot of spaghetti (Leone) stylings to them for a Chambara series.. extreme close ups of charactors faces. And its structure. Specially the Misumi Kenji's ones.


I think the influence swung both ways.. Leone & Spaghetti's took a dark frame of mind.. late 60s to 70s Chambara in return took a style.

Zatoichi 'The blind Swordsman' also had wide angle shots through the legs. charactors facing-off. Wouldnt be surpirsed Kenji wasnt reponsible for them.

Proberly why i love them so much. I see Leone in them

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redyred
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« Reply #21 on: May 05, 2004, 03:54:37 AM »

There's also a surprise Spaghetti style pistol fight at the end of Babycart to Hades (and a bit of a Django reference when the babycart turns in a Gatling gun).

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« Reply #22 on: May 05, 2004, 12:04:39 PM »

I always saw it as to be a sobering shock, It does reinforce Sanjuro's point to the watching samurai at the end. That its just bushido bullsú$t. I don't think anybody had seen a arterial spray like that in Japanese film. First of its kind, and ofcourse thousands followed.


It certainly is a sobering shock.  Like Leone's movies, there is nothing in Kurosawa's movies that he didn't want there (even the wind), so I'm sure that's the effect he was going for.

I'll have to see some of these other films, they sound interesting.

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« Reply #23 on: May 05, 2004, 02:11:51 PM »

There's also a surprise Spaghetti style pistol fight at the end of Babycart to Hades (and a bit of a Django reference when the babycart turns in a Gatling gun).

The Incident with the Pistols...  is straight from the Kazuo comic books. Scene for scene. Man leaves his flintlock pistols on the shore line, save a supposidly drowning Diagoro. bad move  Wink

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« Reply #24 on: May 08, 2004, 02:22:10 PM »


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« Reply #25 on: May 08, 2004, 04:29:00 PM »

Batten down the hatches.  Grin

Wonderful photo. El Topo

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« Reply #26 on: May 19, 2004, 11:46:07 AM »

I just watched Yojimbo for the first time last night, fun movie.

First thing I noticed was that early (first scene?) Kurosawa established Mifune's character with a close up shot from low, framing his face against the sky.  

Leone LOVED that same shot, he may have "borrowed" it but he sure used it effectively.  One of my favorite shots Sergio shots is in GBU when AngelEyes dismounts at the Stevens hacienda, then Sergio pulls in for the same closeup of LVC against the sky while Morricone has a flamenco guitar strumming in the background followed by a haunting "oowaoowa-ooo".  Too f*cking cool, Kurosawa can't top that!

You can see Mifune's influence on Eastwood too I think.  Very cool, movements unrushed and calm - then big explosions of violence followed by more calm.

Soundtrack was surprisingly good, didn't expect that.  Pretty modern, I'm sure Morricone took note.

Mifune is great, but the supporting cast pales against FOD.  How can you possibly top the Rojo family?   In Yojimbo you've got Mifune, and then the rest of the cast vanishes.  I think Leone was much better at fleshing out all his characters.  Even the henchmen are interesting in FOD.

I'm obviously biased, but I think FOD is a much better entertainment.  I don't know if I could sit through Yojimbo a second time.

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« Reply #27 on: May 20, 2004, 06:00:40 AM »

i found yojimbo improves with time

i always thought fistful was better but having watched yojimbo a couple of times i think its better

mifune is arguably better than clint in yojimbo but theyre both the epitome of cool

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« Reply #28 on: May 20, 2004, 08:14:16 AM »

Mifune is great, real old-school Hollywood star power.   In a way he's TOO good, the rest of the cast gets buried by his performance.    Clint was always balanced by a Ramon or a Baby Jesus or an Indio or a Mortimer or a Tuco or an AngelEyes in the trilogy movies.  \

You need a strong counterweight for your hero to play off against to build dramatic tension - he needs to be challenged.  The villains in Yojimbo are pretty lame and totally non-threatening.  Even the big guy with the hammer was a joke.  Joe/Manco/Blondie would have blasted the whole town away in the first scene, took Mifune two hours to get rid of those clowns.

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« Reply #29 on: May 21, 2004, 07:33:44 PM »

Mifune was a badass, but the big goon did knock the crap out of him. I think the movies are about a push and both are near the the top of their respective genre.

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