Slashing Samurai: A Culture Savored
OUTSIDE, the streets of Greenwich Village were drowsy and dull with summer. But inside, in the darkness, blades slashed, top knots bobbed, screaming swordsmen crashed through rice-paper screens, and blood sprayed everywhere.
Ah, the summer of 1979. I was 13, and if it was Tuesday, I was at the Bleecker Street Cinema. Japanese movie day. More than likely my friends Ben and Dan were on either side of me. The screen was small, and the floor sticky, but we didn’t care. We were enthralled.
I’d like to say we were there to peer deeply into another culture’s cinema, for intricate tales of loyalty and honor, for the subtle and nuanced acting. But we weren’t.
We were there for the sword fights.