April 8th, 2004

eyes black and white

The Seduction of the Dark Side

Some time ago, I watched The Last Samurai. Quite a nice picture, with Tom Cruise playing the white guy (to whom the domestic american public can identify) who becomes a Samurai (common kid fantasy) and on the way goes places and meets people few japanese (and no gaijin) have ever had the opportunity to. Ever since Mark Twain's Connecticut Yankee entered King Arthur's Court, there has been no limit to what your average american may dare fancy becoming. Of course, it is usually ignorance and lack of ambition, not knowledge and wisdom, that prevents non-americans from daring as much. Oh well.

The plot is so predictable that if you've seen the trailer, filling in the rest of the script with the prototypical elements and constraints of the genre is an academic exercise: please make it a politically correct blockbuster, in a japanese medieval setting, with historical pseudo-accuracy, flavors of war and exotism, and a touch of leftist pseudo-philosophy. After you've seen the movie or completed the above exercise, you may read the following comments without fear of spoilers.

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