CEN­TURY MAKER

Takashi Mi­ike makes it 100 not out with Blade Of The Im­mor­tal

SFX - - Red Alert -

“I feel I haven’t re­ally done much at all,” says Takashi Mi­ike. “I’m still think­ing I’m be­gin­ning now, just start­ing off.” Well, that’s one way to look at the ca­reer of the cult Ja­panese di­rec­tor of films in­clud­ing Ichi The Killer, Au­di­tion and 13 As­sas­sins. His lat­est, the thrilling adap­ta­tion of Hiroaki Sa­mura’s manga series Blade Of The Im­mor­tal, marks the 100th movie of his 26 yearca­reer. “Some­one else counted,” the di­rec­tor chuck­les.

A cun­ning blend of sword­play and fan­tasy, Blade Of The Im­mor­tal fol­lows the adventures of Manji (Takuya Kimura), a samu­rai who has been given the curse of eter­nal life by a vin­dic­tive crone who places life-sus­tain­ing “blood­worms” in­side his body. “Any place, any time, peo­ple have been fas­ci­nated by the idea of im­mor­tal­ity,” says the 57-year-old di­rec­tor. “It’s some­thing that is quite scary as well as some­thing that is very at­trac­tive.”

In Manji’s case, it’s most def­i­nitely a bur­den; it’s only when he meets Rin (Hana Sugisaki), a lit­tle girl whose par­ents were killed by a group of swords­men, that he finds “pur­pose in his life”, promis­ing to help her ex­act re­venge. Along­side the eye-open­ing CGI and stun­ning fight scenes, there’s a se­ri­ous mes­sage be­hind the car­nage, says Mi­ike. “Life is some­thing that’s not for­ever. You should re­ally live it to the full and en­joy it while you have it.”

Blade Of The Im­mor­tal is in cin­e­mas from 8 De­cem­ber.

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