'Shogun' returns 44 years after Richard Chamberlain's film.

'Shogun' returns 44 years after Richard Chamberlain's film.

44 years ago, NBC posted its best ever Nielsen data, averaging 26.3 million viewers, with the miniseries Shogun, an adaptation of James Clavell's 1975 novel about an English marine who… The Way of the Samurai in Seventeenth-Century Japan. It was one of the series between the late 1970s and early 1980s that earned Richard Chamberlain the title of the King of Miniseries.

The inevitable remake of this hit is now coming to our screens. But whoever says “inevitable” says that, at least this time, it's insurmountable: Shogun (Disney+, Tuesday) is currently the best-reviewed series of the year in the Anglo-Saxon world. When we talk to its directors, Justin Marks (Counter) and Rachel Kondo, husband and wife, for more details, it seems they're still clueless. “We live in Hawaii, with almost no connection to the rest of the world, and just the fact that someone sees our work seems incredible,” Marks says.

Shogun is set in the final stage of the Sengoku (Warring States) period, characterized by constant conflicts between the daimyos. English sailor John Blackthorn (Cosmo Jarvis) is swept by a storm to a fishing village near the area controlled by Lord Yoshi Toranaga (Hiroyuki Sanada), who watches as the rest of the lords on the Guardian Council feel threatened by their power and strength. independence. With the help of the mysterious Toda Mariko (Anna Sawai) as a translator, Toranaga will look to utilize Blackthorn's weapons, in more ways than one, to assert his authority.

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Everything is translation

What does Shogun (2024) have that Shogun (1980) doesn't? Kondo points out something important: “In our series, you can understand what the Japanese characters are saying [en l’anterior sèrie no es van utilitzar subtítols]Marks points out the importance of the change: “Being able to translate what the Japanese characters are saying and tell the story from diverse perspectives, rather than just the white man's perspective, allows you to make a series that can say so much more than the white man's perspectives.” the previous”.

The team tried to match historical reality as much as possible. “That was the reason we wanted to do the series,” Marks explains. “What could we achieve if we brought a Japanese team to work with us in British Columbia? [on es va rodar la sèrie]? What if we brought in a gesture teacher to help Japanese actors move appropriately, like in 1600? This category of experts came to the project of Sanada Arm, producer and actor as well.

This attention to small details, combined with a passion for grandeur (eruptions of epic action that call for investment in the best screen possible), results in a series that is simply stunning. In her review for Time, Judy Berman dares to classify it as a “true masterpiece.” Marks would have settled for much less: “Every time I direct a film or series, I feel good because people don't hate it,” he says.

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