There are two films on Rikyu -- "Rikyu" by Hiroshi Teshigahara (Woman in the
Dunes) and one the one you're looking for, "Sen no Rikyu," by Kei Kumai
(Sandakan 8) which briefly stars Toshiro Mifune in it. As I remember it, the
first is more of a biography and the latter is sort of a mystery of who
killed him and why.
Both are from 1989 and though I prefered Teshigahara's version (especially
since Teshigahara runs a school for ceramics and flower arranging and you can
tell), the two films are interesting in comparison.
The Teshigahara film is available on tape and can be gotten at Facets and
elsewhere. Here's the Movies Unlimited description:
Magnificent historical epic from Hiroshi Tesgigahara ("Woman in the Dunes"),
focusing on the tumultuous events surrounding the life of Sen-No Rikyu, the
revered advisor and tea master to the powerful Lord Toyotimi in 16th-century
Japan. Filled with s weeping battle scenes and moral complexity, this is a
film not to be missed. With Rentaro Mikuni and Tsutomu Yamazaki. 116 min. In
Japanese with English subtitles.
Director: Hiroshi Teshigahara Cast: Koshiro Matsumoto, Rentaro Mikuni,
Kichiemon Nakamura, Donald Richie, Tsutomu Yamazaki
Rated: NR Color $79.99 VHS #751009
Unfortunately, I don't think Kumai's "Sen no Rikyu" was ever released in the
US and you'd have to check with the Japan Foundation who might have it. You
would probably talk to Yuika Goto at the New York branch, at 212-489-0299.
Milestone Film & Video
PO Box 128
Harrington Park, NJ 07640
Phone: (201) 767-3117 or (800) 603-1104
Fax: (201) 767-3035