Format: DVD from NetFlix on kick-ass portable DVD player.
Every now and then, I am confronted with a film that leaves me nowhere to begin and not really sure where to go. Such a film is Kon Ichikawa’s Yukinojo Henge (known as both An Actor’s Revenge and Revenge of a Kabuki Actor). As you might expect based on that second English title, this is a revenge picture. It’s not a difficult film to follow, but Ichikawa’s vision is a strange one, and I’ll do my best to make sense of it here.
The story behind this film is that Ichikawa was being punished by his production company for creating a few self-indulgent and money-losing films. To make up for this, he was told to direct Kazuo Hasegawa’s 300th film appearance, a remake of a film early from the actor’s career. The issue, of course, is that when Yukinojo Henge was first produced, the actor was a young man. For this version, he’d aged a good three decades.