10 great Japanese gangster movies | BFI | IT'S A GAS, GAS, GAS!

The Japan in Black retrospective permits an overview in this parallel history of a Japanese cinema unscreened at Western film festivals and clubs, yet enthusiastically consumed by local audiences. It will include movies about subjects ranging from the itinerant gamblers (batuko) of the silent period to the boom experienced by gangster movies post-WWII, the important contributions made by moviemakers like Akira Kurosawa or Shohei Imamura or the significant incursions of excellent directors from the period of Japanese modernity (Nagisa Oshima, Mashahiro Shinoda, Hiroshi Teshigahara) who used criminal intrigue to make subversive, highly personal films. And we will particularly focus on the moment of splendour enjoyed by yakuza eiga (Japanese gangster movies) in the 60s, with an enormous output of reels about heroic, solitary gangsters; and on the decade of the 70s, when yakuza eiga took on a more realistic aspect.

Joe Shishido is actually a decent actor, he's in a lot of Japanese gangster movies. He had his cheeks surgically altered to look the part more.

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10 great Japanese gangster movies

Japanese gangster movie, Australian style - Inside Film Magazine This week I was looking for posters -- Japanese gangster movies are my new obsession -- on various vintage-film-image Web sites when I discovered a treasure trove of movie images from Mexico.

Influences from both American and Japanese gangster movies are abound

Forget the chivalry and honor that you often see in japanese gangster movies. The key word here is realism. Fukasaku shows it like it is: brutal, unpredictable and violent. It's a bit of a chore trying to keep up with all the names and affiliations and the politics of it all. The action scenes are the best parts of the picture. They're energetic and fast-paced and they feel real.

Japanese gangster movie, Australian style - WorldNews


All in all, Fukasaku was nothing less than a one-man movie industry. You could program an entire film festival with his work alone, and still have an incredibly diverse and entertaining lineup. Japanese gangster movies? Kinji re-invented them. Samurai flicks? He made them, too -- though reluctantly at first. Rubber-suit monster movies? Quasi- live action sci-fi and fantasy? Love stories? Comedies? War movies? Disaster flicks? Horror films? High camp pop-art? , and he did them justice.The mish-mash of both Western and Eastern ideals pervades the entire game. Harman Smith, dressed as a Catholic (or Episcopalian, take your choice) priest, is representative of the traditional Good. He contrasts to Kun Lan, whose red eyes immediately suggest that of Satan, and therefore Evil. Yet they routinely share insights over a friendly game of chess, suggesting a bizarre yin/yang relationship. Almost all of the characters - save Kaede - are American (Mask de Smith is Mexican, but that's close enough.) Yet Garcian addresses Harman in the same way that a samurai addresses his daimyo. Influences from both American and Japanese gangster movies are abound. Big kanji painted in blood splatter across the screen, all unsubtitled too. Most of the transition scene text is displayed in both English (at the top) and Japanese (at the bottom.)