Harakiri

This was a hell of a year in The Criterion Collection. Between films about phantom carriages, angry jurors, beasts and beauties, stranded astronauts, international revolutionaries, and great dictators, Adam Charles and Landon Palmer found their wallets empty and their cinephilic obsessions sated. Here are their eleven favorite releases and upgrades of the year…

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Before the deep inhale of air and rage that comes with the announcement of a remake – especially something as untouchable and classic as Harakiri (Seppuku if you’re nasty) – it’s important to point out that Takashi Miike is at the helm, and Miike is responsible for bringing Ichi the Killer, Gozu, and Audition into the world. The man is a living legend, and it might just be fascinating to see him tackle Kobayashi’s immortal tale of revenge in feudal Japan that saw a father avenging the forced harakiri suicide of his son. It actually sounds right up Miike’s dark alley. Plus, it’ll be in 3D, so audiences can have the suicide right up in their face. According to Variety, filming begins this October, and the movie should be out next year. Even if it’s a remake, Miike making another film is always good news.

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For 36 days straight, we’ll be exploring the famous 36 Dramatic Situations by presenting a film that exemplifies each one. From family killing family to prisoners in need of asylum, we brush off the 19th century list in order to remember that it’s still incredibly relevant today. Whether you’re seeking a degree in Literature, love movies, or just love seeing things explode, our feature should have something for everyone. If it doesn’t, please don’t make us kill ourselves with a bamboo sword. Part 8 of the 36-part series takes a look at “Self-Sacrifice for Kin” with Masaki Kobayashi’s samurai masterpiece Harakiri.

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If there’s one thing I love more than seeing a great movie for the first time, it’s sharing a movie that I find great with someone whom has never seen it before. It might be part of something essential in human nature: a desire to share an experience that one finds profound with those whose opinion you trust and value. Whether it be something intensely moving, shockingly original, incredibly interesting, intellectually challenging, or unprecedentedly hilarious, introducing a valuable cinematic experience to a friend can induce the most rewarding of feelings for the cinephile.

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