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Film: Sword of Doom
Sunday, November 9, 2008 - 3:00pm
Kihachi Okamoto's awesomely titled The Sword of Doom concludes mid-slash, as the homicidal samurai Ryunosuke Tsukue (Tatsuya Nakadai) is trapped in a final freeze-frame while hacking his way through an army of blade-wielding assassins and the taunting specters of those he's formerly slain. Such an abrupt ending was intended to hint at forthcoming sequelsthe film, based on Kaizan Nakazato's 1913 serialized novel, appeared in newspapers for more than three decades, and was never technically completedyet such sudden termination winds up perfectly complementing the film's portrait of unstoppable evil. Its narrative a series of loosely connected chronological vignettes set in 1860s Japan during the end of the Shogunate era, Okamoto's story is fixated on Ryunosuke, a vicious samurai who begins the film by slaying an old man ("It's all downhill from here," the elderly gent had portentously told his granddaughter about the mountainous road they'd been traversing) and ends the film as some sort of berserk demon determined to gain access to hell through historic murderousness. Shot with an inventive mixture of tension-laced tranquility and swift, unrelenting exactitude that mirrors Ryunosuke's swordfighting technique, the film is a spectacle of symbiotic movement and sound in which the director creates subtle interplay between his delicate camera pans, atmospheric silence, and lacerating editing.

---Slant Magazine

What:
Sword of Doom (1966 Kihachi Okamoto)
Format:
35mm Film
Runtime:
119 minutes
When:
November 7th & November 8th at 7:00 pm and 9:30 pm, November 9th @ 3:00 pm
Where:
5th Ave Cinema, 510 SW Hall St. @ PSU
Admission:
Free for PSU Students, Faculty and Staff with ID; $2 for Other Students, Seniors and Children; $3 General Admission

For more information:

PSU Film Committee
film@pdx.edu
503-725-3551
http://www.fifthavenuecinema.groups.pdx.edu