"The Way of the Samurai is found in death. Meditation on inevitable death should be performed daily. Every day when one's body and mind are at peace, one should meditate upon being ripped apart by arrows, rifles, spears and swords, being carried away by surging waves, being thrown into the midst of a great fire, being struck by lightning, being shaken to death by a great earthquake, falling from thousand-foot cliffs, dying of disease or committing seppuku at the death of one's master. And every day without fail one should consider himself as dead. This is the substance of the way of the samurai."
My friend Pinar suggested me "Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samuara", which opens up with the quoute from Hagakure above, a few months ago. I got a hold of it last weekend and watched immediately. Well I loved the movie, and thought I should pass the helpful suggestion on to other people.
The movie's about a mafia hitman, who kills a disrespectful family member, but ends up becoming the target of the Family as a twist of faith, and all because of a, very weak femme fatal I'd have to say, woman. A typical film noir story in a changing society where the (anti) hero is an African American who is into Bushido, where the Mafia foot-soldiers have already reached the age of retirement, and at a time where the breed of samurai's are facing extinction...
I'd like to write down few details which made me love the movie. Afterall its these details that distinguishes a good movie. Be careful, might contain spoiler!
- Ghost Dog steals a car to do the job. It's license plate reads ZED. An reference to Pulp Fiction's Zed, who's dead baby...
- Ghost Dog's only friend speaks French. I took it as a homage to "Le Samourai" and Mellville.
- Ghost Dog can talk with the birds, and seems to be in good company with them. This reminded me of Saint Francis of Assisi. In the end, Ghost dog lived and died like a saint.
- Ray Vargo, the poker faced Mafia boss, was a reference to unforgettable espresso spitting Vincenzo Castigliane from Mullholand Dr. . I read the rapping caporegime character a reference to Frank Booth character played by Dennis Hopper in Blue Velvet.
- Sonny Valerio, the rapping caporegime, was briliant. He after all was a real "gangstah-rapper". The movie's anti-hero, an African American into oriental philosophy, is a reference to Wutang Clan.
- Last kill of Ghost dog, the one through the water pipe is the best murder in a movie I've watched so far.
- The opening scene with the fly-over cam was excellent.
- RZA, the guys who did the soundtrack to Kill Bill, did a great job. I'd die to get a hold of the soundtrack, and play it on mya car stereo as I drive cool down the street.
- Driving through the streets and showing "the scum on the street" reminded me of Taxi Driver.