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Twilight Samurai

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In this rather gentle film from Yoji Yamada (who helmed much of the Tora-san series), Iguchi (Hiroyuki Sanada), a middle-aged, low-level samurai who works as a clerk, is nicknamed "twilight" by his colleagues, because he forgoes the after-work boozing and goes home early to care for his family. He ekes out a subsistence living -- torn between his duty to the clan and the fulfillment he finds through his domestic life -- until a crisis demands he pick up his sword. More quiet drama than action flick, there is only one battle in this film -- and even then it is between two unwilling men far from their physical prime. Indeed, Yamada's film, set in the waning 19th-century days of Japan's clans, invokes the "twilight" designation often ascribed to late-'60 and early '70s Westerns that were slower, moodier pieces that found former macho heroes contemplating new social orders as well as their own mortality. In Japanese with subtitles. Denis 3 cameras

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