Skip to main content

GOJOE

Japan, 2000 (MIFF 2001, Electric Angels - The Films of Ishii Sogo)

Director: Ishii Sogo

In this spectacular adventure, Ishii Sogo has married the kinetic energy of Akira Kurosawa's great samurai pictures with a uniquely deranged brand of Buddhist spirituality. Gojoe liberally employs the latest computer FX technology to increase the wonder and beauty of its awe-in spiring images.

The setting is 12th century Japan, a time of social disintegration, as the Genji and Heike clans engage in a brutal civil war Outside Kyoto, the imperial capital, at the Gojoe bridge, a sentry is beheaded by an invisible demon. Comets tear across the sky, bleak omens manifest themselves, and an ancient seer predicts great turbulence between the forces of darkness and light-catastrophe for the empire.

Benkei is a formidable warrior who long ago gave up violence in order to pursue religion. He is forced out of retirement and must heed the call of a portentous inscription that has miraculously appeared on his chest, indicating that he alone must do battle with the evil deity.

Traditional Japanese mythology collides with Ishii s outrageous colour, energy, frenetic pace and apocalyptic vision. Mesmerising performances all 'round by the superior cast, with a special mention for Ryu Daisuke (from Kurosawa's Ran) as the fierce Benkai.

See also...

ELECTRIC DRAGON 80,000 VOLTS

Playing by a high-voltage power pylon as a child, Dragon Eye Morrison receives a massive electric shock. Rather than terminate his young life, the charge ignites a long dormant, prehistoric ... More »

LABYRINTH OF DREAMS

Tickets go cheap on the bus ride to hell. Tomiko is an over-worked conductor on a rural bus line. She receives a disturbing letter from a friend and co­worker claiming that Tomiko's former ... More »

AUGUST IN THE WATER

Astronomical anomalies scar the heavens as twin meteorites fall to Earth. Strange phenomena begin to assail Fukuoka; a drought blights the region and people begin to die terribly, falling prey to the ... More »

ANGEL DUST

A trip inside the mind of a serial killer, and the psychic investigator desperate to track him down and halt a murder spree. Angel Dust is a cat-and-mouse thriller that lives up to, and then ... More »

LABYRINTH OF DREAMS

Sogo Ishii's Labyrinth Of Dreams is radically removed from Angel Dust, his last film seen in Australia (MIFF 1995). However their polar differ­ences indicate the breadth and scope of Ishii's ... More »

CRAZY THUNDER ROAD

Crazy Thunder Road draws its inspiration from the Speed Tribes, real life gangs of bikers and car nuts constantly at war in Japan's colourful subculturai milieu. ... In an unnamed near future Ken ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director