Nothing Is Invisible

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Posts Tagged ‘Yakuza’

Brother (Aniki) – Starring & Directed by Takeshi Kitano

Posted by the editors on Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Brother (Aniki) (2000)  Written, directed and edited by, and starring Takeshi Kitano (see partial filmography below).  In this Japanese/American Yakuza film, the first part set in Tokyo, the second in Los Angeles, an exiled Yakuza captain, Yamamoto, played with his signature, and captivating, explosive impassivity by Kitano, joins up with his half-brother’s drug dealing gang in Los Angeles.  Kitano, as writer, director, and editor, plays the density and ritual of Tokyo and the Japanese Yakuza against the space and marked lack of respect of Los Angeles and its brutal gangs.  This is Kitano’s first film set in the U.S., (and his last) and one cannot help but be impressed by the way he is channeling the myths of the American west, its wide open spaces, lawlessness and rugged individuality, reminiscent of early Eastwood, through his vision of the codes and life of the Japanese underworld.  Though perhaps not his best film, there is some very good acting, and excellent writing and directing, Kitano’s distinctive humour, and superb music by Joe Hisaishi, making Brother (Aniki) a must-see for anyone interested in Japanese or world cinema, and especially for those who are fans of Kitano’s work. (PR) (Note: As expected, there is a good deal of rather bloody violence.)

See our posts on other films by and/or starring Takeshi Kitano: his latest film Outrage – Way of the Yakuza, Violent Cop, the excellent Fireworks (Hana-Bi), Boiling Point (Jugatsu), the superb Sonatine, Zatoichi and Battle Royale.

We recommend that you buy your DVDs and Blu-ray Disks.  Have a great personal film library..  Here are links to amazon.com (Amazon Instant Video, DVDs, and Blu-ray Disks, in that order when available):

top image: Wikipedia

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Outrage – Way of the Yakuza – Directed by and starring Takeshi Kitano

Posted by the editors on Thursday, 8 December 2011

Outrage – Way of the Yakuza (2010) (DVD) Written, directed, and edited by, and starring, Takeshi Kitano (see partial filmography below).  This Japanese contemporary Yakuza film, which had its premier at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, in competition for the Palme d’Or, and its U.S. premier 2 December 2011 in New York and Los Angeles, is the latest film from the brilliantly original, and multi-faceted Japanese artist/actor/director Takeshi Kitano.   Outrage – Way of the Yakuza builds slowly, with a bit of a quack, shall we say, in the middle.  However, as the sub-story of the illegal casino in an African embassy in Tokyo concludes, the film and Kitano’s mastery as actor and director, become distilled, clean, hard and serious.  Violent, and indeed brutal, Outrage – Way of the Yakuza, is nevertheless laced with Kitano’s special brand of sharp humour. Obviously a must-see film for all Kitano fans. (PR)

See our previous posts on the excellent films by and/or with Takeshi Kitano:  Sonatine, Fireworks (Hana-Bi), Boiling Point (Jugatsu), Zatoichi, and Battle Royale.

We recommend that you buy your DVDs and Blu-ray Disks.  Create a wonderful personal film library…  Here are links to amazon.com:

 

top image: Wikipedia

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Graveyard of Honor (Jingi no hakaba)

Posted by the editors on Sunday, 20 March 2011

Graveyard of Honor by Kinji Fukasaku poster

Graveyard of Honor (Jingi no hakaba) (Cimetière de la Morale) (1975) (DVD) directed by Kinji Fukasaku (Blackmail is my Life, (1968); Sympathy for the Underdog, (1971); Battle Royale (2000)) starring Tetsuya Watari as Rikio Ishikawa, and others.  In Graveyard of Honor, Kinji Fukasaku offers a beautiful and cinematically accomplished look at life, death, fate and absurdity through the radical and dramatic self-destruction of a tragic yakuza.  Thoroughly contemporary, poignantly portrayed, exquisitely filmed. (PR)

We recommend that you buy your DVDs.  Have a wonderful personal film library..

top image: Wikipedia

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Blackmail Is My Life (Kamikaze Club)(Kyokatsu koso waga jinsei)

Posted by the editors on Saturday, 12 March 2011

Blackmail is my Life (Kamikaze Club) (Kyokatsu koso waga jinsei) DVD Cover

Blackmail is my Life (Kamikaze Club) (Japanese title: Kyokatsu koso waga jinsei(1968) directed by Kinji Fukasaku (Sympathy for the Underdog (1971), Battle Royale (2000) and many others) with Hiroki Matsukata, Tomomi Sato, Eriko Sono, Shinjiro Ebara and others.  This yakuza and ambitious gangster/blackmailer film is most certainly one of the forerunners of many contemporary gangster/lowlife films:  Stylish, sexy, villains with dubious ethics, catchy, hip music, ample, dramatically bold blood, a sharp, dynamic visual style complete with sequences in black & white, sepia and color, and abundant attitude while still being a critique of politics and power. Tarantino is really nothing new. (PR)

We recommend that you buy your DVDs.  Have a wonderful personal film library..

top image: IMDb

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Boiling Point (Jugatsu)

Posted by the editors on Saturday, 19 February 2011

Takeshi Kitano as Uehara in Kitano’s Boiling Point (Jugatsu)

Boiling Point (Japanese title Jugatsu), 1990, directed by Takeshi Kitano; with Iizuka Minoru and Beat Kitano.  Boiling Point, Kitano’s second film, thought perhaps to be weaker than more recent films (Sonatine, Zatoichi), treats some of the subjects important to Kitano (e.g., Japanese culture) in ways that were to become Kitano trademarks, notably, black humor and violence and, as such, is important viewing in order to understand the development of Kitano as a director and as an actor.  Dream sequence, crime film, baseball story, Yakuza film, the choice is yours, as is the pleasure of watching a director find his marks. (PR)

We recommend that you buy your DVDs.  Have a wonderful personal film library..

 top image: from the film Boiling Point, directed by Takeshi Kitano

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