Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Jim Jarmusch's 'Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai' (1999)

Jim Jarmusch's Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999), shot in New Jersey with Japanese dreams. Stars Forest Whitaker in the title role, as a retainer of low-level mobster Louie (John Tormey). 

The film is a most excellent fantasy piece revolving around Ghost Dog, the quiet assassin; aging gangsters; Raymond, a French-speaking Haitian ice cream truck man (Isaach De Bakolé); Pearline (Camille Winbush), a very young reader of books; and active carrier / messenger pigeons, also known as war pigeons.  
The character Ghost Dog filters the world through Yamamoto Tsunetomo's Hagakure / Hidden Leaves (from the early 1700s), which strictly and philosophically lays out the samurai way of life.  Many of its "leaves" are read aloud by Ghost Dog over intertitles that show the corresponding text, in English. 
Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai. Totally hip flick with a groovy soundtrack courtesy of RZA of the Wu-Tang Clan. Throughout the film, there are lots of allusions to books, other movies, mixed genres and alternate codes of naming and living. There may be a sequel forthcoming. 
Today's Rune: Protection. 


t said...

I haven't watched this, but I'm now watching little bits of it on youtube and WOW. WOW. Pure excellence. Pure poetry. Thank you for recommending it with repeat social media imprints and excerpts so that I had to check. Maybe I'll have to watch it soon.

Charles Gramlich said...

I've heard something about this and would definitely be interested in seeing it