Part of our The Way of the Sword: Samurai Film Talk Series!
Hosted by Ryan Ferguson
Samurai, the sword-bearing warrior, has been one of the central images of Japanese Cinema from its inception. The Way of the Sword is a look at the films on the fringe of mainstream samurai and chanbara cinema. These darker, stylized films found their place at late-night screenings and have indelibly influenced cinema and pop culture.
Ryan Ferguson is a film programmer and musician based in Hamilton, ON. He was the lead programmer of the AGH Film Festival between 2014 and 2021 and is the former Curator of Film at the Art Gallery of Hamilton. Ryan currently programs the theatrical and special event film screenings at The Westdale. Japanese historical and contemporary cinema is Ryan’s primary area of interest, and ‘The Way of the Sword’ is part of a series of film programs he is developing to provide more exposure to the lesser seen corners of Japanese Cinema.
Ryunosuke is a samurai with an unusual style of execution. Instead of maintaining honour, he is ruthless and brutal in his killings. He eventually finds himself pursued by a clan of other samurai after he kills one of their members in what was supposed to be a friendly fencing match. Two years later, he joins a paramilitary group known as the Shinsengumi, which specializes in murder and assassination. This is a perfect fit for Ryunosuke, who is secretly a sociopath.