Joshua Reviews Kon Ichikawa’s An Actor’s Revenge [Blu-ray Review]

Seemingly for as long as the medium has been around, film has consistently been in conversation with and influenced by its elder sibling, theater. Be it the rather constant flood of screen adaptations of famous plays and musicals, or the actual aesthetic back and forth between the two mediums, film and theater are two vastly different outlets for artists to practice their craft within, while working vastly different muscles. However, when films attempt to blur the lines between these two worlds, some true beauty and greatness can arise. And therein lies Kon Ichikawa’s An Actor’s Revenge.

Set within the world of kabuki theater of the nineteenth century, Ichikawa’s film tells the story Yukinojo (Kazuo Hasegawa), a man raised since age seven in the arts not only of theater (he is known as an onnagata, or a male actor cast in female positions) but also deadly martial arts.
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