Updated: Sep 14, 2019
Logged on to Kanopy to watch Uzumasa Limelight, a beautiful movie about how the fickle entertainment industry occasionally leaves its hardest workers behind. Our protagonist is an aging actor that has spent his career playing bit parts in samurai flicks. Unfortunately, he specializes in getting cut down during sword fights, and a combination of his failing health and the public’s waning interest in period dramas has rendered his skills obsolete—there’s simply no place for him in modern chanbara, with its pop idol stars, gaudy costumes, and CGI blades. Still, he perseveres, intent on passing his knowledge on to those members of the new generation that actually respect their predecessors’ artistry. The result is a moving, heartfelt elegy to my favorite cinematic genre… one which has remained grievously underappreciated in recent years, sadly.
[Originally written May 24, 2018.]