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Ancient Japan. Fleeing from enemies, two wounded samurai arrive at a strange old temple in a remote location in the mountains. The doors to the place are opened by a beautiful and exotic woman, who beckons them inside. Unable to walk any further, they collapse from exhaustion. One of the samurai awakens to find himself miraculously healed. He meets his saviour, a mysterious man who tells him that his friend died from his wounds. The samurai is persuaded to stay the night. His host tells him the legend of the "Tengu", a goblin which is said to reside in the mountains dining on the flesh of men. He goes on to reveal the true name of the Tengu : Aragami. When the samurai asks if Aragami poses a threat to the temple, his host answers : "I am Aragami". The only way for the Samurai to leave the temple is to destroy Aragami.Written by
Yukihiko Tsutsumi and Ryûhei Kitamura each finished their contributions to the short film anthology Jam Films (2002) in record time. As a result producer Shin'ya Kawai gave the two directors a proposal to each create a feature length movie with only two actors, battling in one setting and filmed entirely in one week. The undertaking was called the Duel Project. This was Ryuhei Kitamura's result and Yukihiko Tsutsumi's 2LDK (2003). See more »
To gain power beyond what is physically possible, the best thing is to eat a human liver.
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Aragami is Ryuhei Kitamura's film which was shot with a few rules in some sort of Japanese Director's Challenge (The other was Yukihiko Tsutsumi's 2LDK). Some rules were that the films must be of feature length and shot within one week (Aragami was filled in 8 days). The movie must take place within one room with 2 competitors fighting to the death.
Originally, I found out about this movie after watching 2LDK and found out about this challenge. I thought it was an interesting concept and would like to see how some of today's American directors could tackle such a project. Although I liked 2LDK, Aragami was simply the better movie. At times, the style and dialog (or lack of) reminded me of something from Quentin Tarantino.
The very basic plot is that Aragami (Masaya Kato), who, incidentally, is the God of Battle, challenges a samurai (Takao Osawa) to a fight to the death. Aragami is tired of living and can not commit suicide nor die of old age or other natural causes. He must be killed in battle, as he is the God of Battle. He immortalizes the samurai by feeding him his deceased friend's liver and the fight was on.
Surprisingly, this basic plot did not seem to drag on for too long and was just about the right length. The fight scenes, mostly involving swords, were pretty good and at times, the dialog was humorous. This is a good recommendation if you know what you are getting yourself into.
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