WHAT IT IS: In a Far-East treasure town, two rival clans clash in a quest for gold. A strange gunman comes to town and plays both sides against each other. His agenda is unknown.
HOW IT IS: Produced by Quentin Tarantino, Miike’s tribute to spaghetti western and samurai films is much more than a collage of film homages. By choosing to have all the actors speak English instead of being dubbed, Miike clearly enunciates the hegemony of the English language in the world today as well as his desire to incorporate his American influences into his art. In one funny scene, a clan chief foregoes his Japanese name and demands that his followers call him Henry. Like Tarantino, Miike is a postmodern director, incorporating not only different influences into his films but also intermingling genres and technology (video, film) and pushing the limits of the bourgeois aesthetic. Sukiyaki Western Django virtuously evokes in its narrative the Sergio Leone westerns (The Good, The Bad and The Ugly), old samurai films as well as Japanese classics (Kurosawa’s Yojimbo). It is an experience, the depths of which critics and scholars will argue about at length on articles and papers on the relevance of Miike’s filmography.
IF YOU LIKE: Yojimbo, Last Man Standing, Kill Bill, The Good The Bad and The Weird.