Kihachi Okamoto (岡本 喜八 Okamoto Kihachi?, February 17, 1924–February 19, 2005) was a Japanese film director who has worked in several different genres, including jidaigeki.
Born in Yonago, Okamoto attended Meiji University, but was drafted in 1943 and entered World War II during its most difficult hours, an experience that had a profound effect on his later film work, one third of which dealt with war. Finally graduating after the war, he entered the Toho studies in 1947 and worked as an assistant under such directors as Mikio Naruse, Masahiro Makino, Ishirō Honda, and Senkichi Taniguchi. He made his debut as a director in 1958 with All About Marriage.
Okamoto directed almost 40 films and wrote the scripts for at least 24, in a career that spanned almost six decades. He worked in a variety of genres, but most memorably in action genres such as the jidaigeki and war films. But he was known for throwing “curve balls”, or making films with a twist. Inspired to become a filmmaker… read more
Pure insanity. This movie has everything from neo-Nazis to mad scientists to spies to beautiful women to treasure hunting to slapstick comedy that it puts a James Bond flick to shame. And Tastuya Nakadi is probably Japan's greatest actor. He's one of those performers that makes you forget that the character he's playing isn't a real person. The transformation his character undergoes at the end is a perfect example of this. Okamoto's direction is brilliant here, too. Like Suzuki and Imamura he takes full advantage of the Scope screen, filling it to the brim with crazy compositions consisting of limbs and faces and exaggerated shadows. Check this one out.