The film begins with
Piringo [theatrically]: “Their story goes a little something like this. [Japanese accent] The sound of the Gion Shoja temple bells echoes the impermanence of all things…The color of the sala flower reveals the truth that to flourish is to fall. The proud do not endure like a passing dream on a night in spring…the mighty fall at last.” (min 3ish)
Set in Nevada
Banners of Japanese flash onto the screen as a lone horse and its black hat rider are greeted into “an ain’t nothing town” with “Bet you came for the gold too. White or Red? You Genji or Heike?” The dusty rural village rocks spaghetti western Japanese architecture. The stranger is welcomed by the aforementioned factions who offer him gold for his loyalty. A reasonable woman mediates between parties and introduces us to the town’s history. In classic Django film fashion our protagonist doesn’t choose sides to allow space for moral ambiguity.
The stunning costumes complicate the story’s sense of time. It’s difficult to assume the year, what we do know is that the plot is a ‘gold rush’. As mentioned in the previous posts, the sophistication of language use (the accented English rather than Japanese gives off a pre-emptively dubbed feel) and the mise-en-scene are met with overzealous humor bordering on slapstick reminiscent of Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez Films.
about 25 minutes in
we’re introduced to what I think is the crux of the whole film: a flower and a child that are born of both Red and White, Genji and Heike. Cross-pollination and the Star-crossed love of members from two conflicting groups costs many lives by the end. By now the storytelling becomes gruesomely recognizable as a Miike film. The brutality he shares is contrasted by a breathtaking performance by the young madonna at minute 30 that somehow allows us to transcend time and generation.
Bloody Benton, cigar in hand, says about the treasure and the young Django, “As anyone who’s getting on in years around here knows [Ruriko] was chosen to guard it. That’s the town law. I thought Heihachi would be the next chosen one, but he’s too weak. I reckon he was born at the wrong time and in the wrong place. He does have a gift for music though.” (Hr:Min 1:12:00)
One interpretation of the film might sound like
Even when it comes to glory, what we have and give is only important if there is someone to inherit it. Not because it necessarily increases its value but bc it is what lasts after we pass through this life. Heihachi is the actual hidden treasure, not the gold. The child is a wealth of beauty who inherits the present glory, gold, a gun, and roses.
What echoes in my mind are questions: what/who might have survived had the conflicting factions chosen to share the treasure amongst themselves as a greater community? How will young Django grow to share the newly acquired wealth? In our reality, what have we been left with, and what will we leave behind?
Whiskey of Choice:
Please choose to drink responsibly by waiting until you’re old enough, make sure you’re in a safe environment and, if you aren’t home already, that you know your sober driver.
“TEMPLETON RYE WHISKEY IS A SPIRIT UNLIKE ANY OTHER.
An unmistakable rye whiskey, Templeton Rye is smooth and spicy with a clean finish. There’s a reason people call it The Good Stuff. Rise up and taste Iowa’s most notorious whiskey.” (templetonrye.com)
Whether visiting the next town over or visiting another country sense of the locale by tasting what is grown, made, or distilled on that land. The bottle in the photo was purchased after a tour of TR’s new facility. This bottle could only be purchased there and is registered to my name. Yous guys can find their whiskey all over the U.S. in stores and bars however it’ll still be a few years before you can find bottles of TR that were distilled in their home location.
It’s difficult to choose a drink to pair with a film. I chose this particular whiskey for this film because I figure, if i ever meet Miike, this is what I’d serve as it exposes threads of family ties.
Thanks for reading, raise hell peacefully,