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