Fantasia Review: ‘Crazy Samurai Musashi’ is a technical marvel, but exhausting

Crazy Samurai Musashi (Large)

If there is one thing that a film nerd loves, it’s a good long take. A long take needs planning and rehearsal; the longer the long take, the more planning and rehearsal it will require.

Spielberg and CuarĂ³n use them frequently. Martin Scorsese probably produced the most famous long-take scenes in Goodfellas, and Park Chan-wook produced one of Oldboy’s most famous action long takes. One of the more ambitious examples is the historical epic Russian Ark, which runs 96 minutes and is entirely one take.

The envelope is constantly being pushed in filmmaking, and Crazy Samurai Musashi aims to push it a little further. The film tells the story of a Samurai, Musashi, as he faces off against 588 opponents in a single 77-minute take.

And that’s pretty much the entire movie, for better or worse. Technically, it is one of the most impressive films I have seen all year, but the 77-minute scene is actually just exhausting, and not just for lead actor Tak Sakaguchi.

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