This is a good moment for fans of Japanese cinema, with the Criterion Collection releasing a beloved samurai film classic and a group of five films from a director little known in this country.
The samuai classic is 1966’s well-named “Sword of Doom,” starring the great Tatsuya Nakadai as a killing machine who gets crazier and crazier the more he kills. Great samurai cinema.
The little-known director is Keisuke Kinoshita, celebrated in Japan (but not in the West) for his humanistic cinema. The Criterion Eclipse set of five films, including his 1943 debut, “Port of Flowers,” is called “Kinoshita and World War II.”