The Violent Beauty of Lady Snowblood

Inside Criterion / Sneak Peeks — Jan 8, 2016

Toshiya Fujita’s chanbara cult classics Lady Snowblood and Lady Snowblood: Love Song of Vengeance, now out on Blu-ray and DVD, remain two of the most influential works of their genre. Set in turn-of-the-twentieth-century-Japan and released in the mid-1970s, the revenge saga centers on a young sword-fighting woman who has been raised from birth to avenge the harrowing murders of her family. Quentin Tarantino, one of Lady Snowblood’s admirers, revered Lady Snowblood so much that he took inspiration from the film for his Kill Bill series. The clip above features the saga’s star Meiko Kaji in a scene from Lady Snowblood: Love Song of Vengeance that highlights that film’s dazzlingly choreographed combination of visual beauty and unflinching ferocity.