'White Elephant' director Jesse V. Johnson loves Samurai films
‘White Elephant’ director Jesse V. Johnson loves Samurai films ( Photo Credit – IANS )

Jesse V. Johnson, the director of the Bruce Willis starrer action-thriller ‘White Elephant’, is a die-hard fan of Samurai films. He recently shared what fascinated him about the Samurai films of the 1950s.

Elaborating on the same, the director said: “As a young man, I was fascinated by the 1950’s Samurai films. They were very interesting to me as they not only embraced and were heavily influenced by Westerns and detective films that would be showing in post-war 1950s Japan.”



Giving a brief peek into the history behind such films, he added, “Films were being played by the US occupying force for US troops stationed there, but because they also have interwoven codes of warrior conduct and were statements on loyalty and honour, perspectives that were less apparent in American Cinema at the time.”

The director also mentioned how ‘White Elephant’ emanates from the genre of his liking and falls in the same category.

Johnson said: “Directors like Kurosawa, Kobayashi and Fukasaku were making films that skillfully blended together the traditional Samurai ethos with the Wild West of John Ford and George Stevens. I found this mash-up intoxicating and exciting. ‘White Elephant’ is my version of a Samurai film, transposed to an established criminal organisation in the American South.”

“Gabriel Tancredi (Michael Rooker) is the aged Samurai looking to retire honourably while Arnold (Bruce Willis) is the cold-hearted Boss who is reluctant to see his best retainer retire,” he added as he subtly paints the scenario similar to the character of ‘John Wick’.

‘White Elephant’ will be available to stream from September 2 on Lionsgate Play.

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