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THE WAY OF THE SAMURAI
USA: Artisan Pictures
Cast: Forest Whitaker, John Tormey, Cliff Gorman, Henry Silva, Isaach De Bankole, Tricia Vessey, Victor Argo, Gene Ruffini, Richard Portnow, Camille Winbush, Frank Adonis, Paul Diomede, Gary Farmer, Kenny Guay, Tracy Howe, Rob Kamphausen, Dennis Liu, Frank Minucci, RZA, Vince Viverito, Damon Whitaker
Director: Jim Jarmusch
Countries: France / US / Germany
Languages: French / English
USA: 116 mins
UK: 115 mins
USA Rated: R for strong violence and language
UK Certificate: 15 for some moderate violence and coarse
USA Release Date: 10 March 2000 (Limited Release)
USA Release Date: 3 March 2000 (Limited Release - New York)
UK Release Date: 28 April 2000
Written and directed by Jim Jarmusch, GHOST DOG: THE WAY OF THE SAMURAI, is a contemporary spiritual gangster story.
GHOST DOG: THE WAY OF THE SAMURAI, stars Forest Whitaker as a mysterious, physically imposing loner, guided by the strict code of a very old Samurai text. A cool, professional hitman, Ghost Dog is loyal only to his "master", the inept mafia goon, Louie (John Tormey) who saved his life years ago. In return, Ghost Dog performs the occasional hit for Louie?s bumbling mafia gang. Ghost Dog lives in squalor on a rooftop arranging his contracts by racing pigeons - his way of life and code of conduct totally out of place in the modern, chaotic world. Graceful and ethereal despite his size, Ghost Dog is famed for his ability to move about the city unseen. But when Ghost Dog is spotted on a job, Louie and his gang turn against him. Realising he is now a target, Ghost Dog sets about eliminating his enemies in increasingly ingenious ways.
Renowned for cult classics such as DOWN BY LAW, MYSTERY TRAIN and NIGHT ON EARTH, maverick director Jim Jarmusch often examines genres and themes ingrained in myth. In his previous film, DEAD MAN, Jarmusch subverted the Western while in GHOST DOG: THE WAY OF THE SAMURAI, he gives the mafia film an ironic twist. He creates an absurd world populated by misfits and outcasts where mafia, samurai, and rap cultures live side by side leading to an inevitable clash.
Forest Whitaker?s charismatic performance imparts Ghost Dog with a world-weary sadness. In 1988 Whitaker was named Best Actor at Cannes for his portrayal of jazz legend Charlie Parker in BIRD. In 1992 he went on to win widespread recognition for his role in the award-winning THE CRYING GAME. His acting credits include SMOKE, PLATOON, GOOD MORNING VIETNAM and he made his directorial debut with the box-office hit WAITING TO EXHALE.
Produced by Jarmusch and Richard Guay, GHOST DOG: THE WAY OF THE SAMURAI, has an eclectic mix of characters played by John Tormey, Cliff Gorman, Henry Silva and Isaach De Bankole. The film is beautifully shot by Jarmusch?s longtime collaborator Robbie Muller and is driven by a soundtrack from RZA, the founding member of the iconoclastic rap meisters, the Wu-Tang Clan.