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Tarantino plays Eastwood-esque in "Sukiyaki Western"

TOKYO (Reuters Life!) - Quentin Tarantino has never made his love for Japanese films a secret.

U.S. director Quentin Tarantino arrives for a party after the gala screening of his film "Death Proof" at the 60th Cannes Film Festival in this May 22, 2007 file photo. Tarantino has never made his love for Japanese films a secret, but the maverick American director has gone a step further and is playing a role in a "Sukiyaki Western", just as Clint Eastwood did in spaghetti Western films. REUTERS/Victor Tonelli

But the maverick American director has gone a step further and is playing a role in a “Sukiyaki Western”, just as Clint Eastwood did in spaghetti Western films.

Tarantino appears in Japanese director Takashi Miike’s remake of the 1966 spaghetti Western classic “Django”.

“I play Piringo, who is sort of the ‘Eastwood-esque’ character at the opening of the movie. It kind of sets the tone for the sukiyaki-slash-macaroni Western vibe of the film,” Tarantino told a Tokyo news conference to introduce the film.

“I’ve always loved Japanese films so much, and so it’s always been a desire of mine to actually work in a Japanese movie for the Japanese film industry.”

Miike’s “Sukiyaki Western Django” takes a Japanese pop-culture take both on the Italian western style and the story, based on the Genpei Wars in 12th century Japan when the Genji and Taira clans fought each other.

Some warlords appear in a samurai-like outfit brandishing swords, while others, wearing cowboy hats, fire away their machineguns. And the fully Japanese -- minus Tarantino -- cast, speak their lines in English.

Miike said he hoped audiences abroad would enjoy the film, although no date has been set for overseas distribution. It is due to be released in Japan in September 2007.

For Tarantino, the movie may even inspire him to make a companion piece.

“I had such a good time. And I was so inspired by the whole process that I’m thinking of doing a companion piece to this movie. It’s called: ‘Macaroni Samurai Eastern Zatoichi’,” he said, referring to a popular Japanese samurai movie.

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