Exclusive Clip: Sukiyaki Western Django

A must-watch for fans of Quentin Tarantino and Takashi Miike and lovers of the Spaghetti Western.

by | August 27, 2008 | Comments

Tarantino fans, prick up your ears! Maverick filmmaker Takashi Miike (Audition, Ichi the Killer) is back with the culture-mashing Sukiyaki Western Django (which features a cameo by QT himself), and Rotten Tomatoes is bringing you an exclusive look at the very baddest scene of the whole film. Picture this: a mysterious gunslinger in the Wild West faces off in a duel against…a samurai sword-wielding maniac! It’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. Watch it after the jump!

Director Takashi Miike is arguably the Quentin Tarantino of Japan. Accordingly, his Sukiyaki Western Django, like the Japanese dish for which it’s named, is a delicious mash-up of all the best elements of the Spaghetti Western genre. In the exclusive clip below, you’ll watch one of the film’s best scenes — one that, even without any previous knowledge, gives you a sense of what Miike and his “Sukiyaki Western” are all about. Watch as the mysterious Gunman (Hideaki Ito) engages in a High Noon-esque duel with the warrior Yoshitsune (Yusuke Iseya), the katana-wielding leader of the White gang.

A bit of background: Sukiyaki Western Django explores the genre known as the Spaghetti Western popularized in the 1960s by films like Sergio Leone‘s The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. Specifically, Miike borrows his plot and title from Sergio Corbucci‘s 1966 film Django, which starred cult icon Franco Nero.

But the history of the Spaghetti Western is much more textured than that; Django was fashioned as a poor man’s Fistful of Dollars, like many films of the time produced in quick succession to more successful Westerns in order to capitalize on their popularity. However, Fistful of Dollars itself was a remake of Akira Kurosawa‘s samurai tale Yojimbo, which in turn was influenced by the film noir stylings of Dashiell Hammett and the early Westerns of John Ford.

Click images for more stills!

And so the storytelling lineage of the genre goes back and forth between Hollywood and Japan, each one influencing the other, making Sukiyaki Western Django a remake of a remake of remake of a remake — set in a mining town in Nevada entirely populated by Japanese characters, who wear clothes that combine Western wear with Harajuku sensibilities, wield six-shooters with samurai armor, and speak in heavily accented English.

Sukiyaki Western Django promises to be a treat for genre fans, and is out in limited release Friday, August 29. Click here to read what critics are saying and check out more photos!

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