a page of madness

film writing by nicholas vroman

Yomigaeri no chi / Blood of Rebirth / 蘇りの血

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<img class="alignleft wp-image-774″ title=”Bloodofrebirthposter” src=”https://pageofmadness.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/bloodofrebirthposter.jpg” alt=”” width=”250″ height=”350″ />A drug bust forced director Toyoda Toshiaki into a 4-year hiatus from filmmaking. The wunderkind burst onto the screen in 1998 with his gritty debut film about street life in Shibuya, Pornostar. He returns with Yomigaeri no chi, a primal exploration, this time set in some mythical Japanese medieval past. In this dark and brooding tale, where the good guys are pure goodness and the bad guys purely evil, revenge is born of blood and the cycle continues forever. With its by-the-number Joseph Campbellisms and turgid pace, the proceedings make the “dead” hero’s journey a real slog. A stoner stylishness inhabits the screen with a palette of dark browns and greens – rocks, flora, fire-lit interiors, and twilight landscapes. The cast is uniformly typecast with appropriate tattoos and Ainu-inspired garb, marking the proceedings as in a time far far away. Giving some relief to an otherwise dreary saga is the inspired soundtrack by star Nakamura Tatsuya. His totally up-front drumming, with Katsui Yuji on processed violin and Terui Toshiyuki on bass, make Yomigaeri no chi bearable.

Originally published in EL Magazine, December 2009

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Written by Nicholas Vroman

December 1, 2009 at 3:28 am

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