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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



The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.