Skip to content

Directed by Ken Ochiai

Japan 2014 103 mins.

In this loose remake of Charlie Chaplin’s Limelight (1952), Ochiai thrusts the viewer into the highly structured world of chanbara (samurai film) production, but with a very particular subject: kirare-yaku, or actors whose sole job is to die on camera, often spectacularly. Kamiyama (real-life kirare-yaku Seizo Fukumoto), the elder statesman of the craft, is nearing retirement. When his studio decides to end production of chanbara films, citing the public’s waning interest, Kamiyama is faced with impending retirement. However, the arrival of a promising young actress (Chihiro Yamamoto), who seeks tutelage from Kamiyama, reinvigorates not only the studio’s interest, but also the mentor’s desire “to be cut” during the limelight of his career. Audience Award, 2014 New York Asian Film Festival and Best Film, Fantasia International Film Festival.

Genres: Drama