Friday, January 29, 2010

"Sword artist" Tetsuro Shimaguchi talks fight choreography and "Super Kabuki" with CNN Go

by Chris MaGee

Here's a news item that I know Matt Hardstaff, our resident martial arts film expert, will... oh, I was going to type "get a kick out of"! That's too blatant a pun even for me. Here's an item that Matt will go crazy for. That's better.

CNN Go has posted an interview with Tetsuro Shimaguchi. "Who?" you may ask? Well, if you've seen Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill, Vol 1" then you've seen Shimaguchi's work. He and his fight troupe Kamui were responsible for choreographing the entire Crazy 88 fight sequence, in fact Shimaguchi plays one of the very first gangsters to taste The Bride's Hanzo-forged blade in the scene.

Besides his work on "Kill Bill" and Masahiko Tsugawa's 2008 film "Jirochô sangokushi (Samurai Gangsters)" Shimaguchi and Kamui have performed battle reenactments, known as "Super Kabuki", at a number of festivals and events across Japan and the U.S., and CNN Go gets some really interesting insights on what it is like to be a "sword artist", the term that he prefers to be called, and this little discussed aspect of the Japanese film/ entertainment industry.

You can check out everything that Shimagumi got to talking about with CNN Go correspondents Matt Alt and Hiroko Yoda here.

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