For the last time, Tsui Hark’s Seven Swords is not at attempt at remaking Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, quote “and a piss poor job at that”, so say the folks who hated Hark’s latest film. For the record, Seven Swords is based on the much-read novel “Seven Swordsmen From Mount Tian,” by Liang Yu-sheng, one of the fathers of 20th century Hong Kong martial arts fiction.
I know what you want to say. “So, you must be a Tsui Hark fan eh, standing up for his work like that. ” I beg to differ. Seven Swords certainly had its merits in the character design and fight choreography departments, ( not to mention Hark’s excellent decision in asking Kawai Kenji to score. Let’s face it, original scores in Hong Kong films just ain’t that great. ) but its Kurosawa that’s taking the insult here by that “remake” comment. What amuses me, maybe even irritates me is how the chaps came up with the idea of this Seven Samurai remake connection. Do these folks even know what they are talking about ? I figured there are 2 possibilites : 1) They are simply outta their minds or 2) They’ve never watched Kurosawa’s Samurai, or didn’t understood a thing if they did, but since it was such a famous film and it puts credit to their film literacy they decide to mention it, “and hey, both films have the word SEVEN in them !”
Anyone who’s actually watched Samurai and enjoyed it understand that the film’s concern is not about the fighting, but the in depth study of the different characters that exist within and their actions and consequences, the beautiful and brilliant use of visual patterns which accentuate the narrative, and so on. Nadda on fighting. Last but not least, the film’s a CLASSIC. When was the last time anyone compared a piece of contemporary music to say, Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata in terms of grandeur ?
ps Check out this beautiful Seven Swords Japanese movie pamplet.