Yasuo Furuhata – Eki Station aka Station (1981)

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A very beautiful film. This is a Ken Takakura vehicle, and as such follows his formula. Takakura plays to type as the laconic brooder who suffers multiple tragedies with manly stoicism. While the variety of his film varied greatly, his films with director Yasuo Furuhata were always of the highest quality, and this is no exception. Takakura is a cop training to be a sharpshooter for the Olympic games, he divorces his wife and abandons his daughter when he discovers she’s had an affair. Later his coach is gunned down by a fleeing criminal. Years later Takakura returns to his snowy hometown and starts an affair with a middle-aged bar owner. The story is a bit thick, with a number of subplots, yet it is extrordinarily melancholic, as Takakura seems to regret everything he’s done in his life and is made over and over again to relive his mistakes. There is very little “action” as such, and no yakuzas of any kind; but beyond that this is one of the most lushly beautiful and emotional films you can see (if you can see it), with an excellent score by Ryudo Uzaki. Continue reading

Yasuo Furuhata – Gokuchu no kaoyaku AKA Prison Boss (1968)

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Synopsis:
Ken Takakura stars in yet another bad-ass Prison film, in “Prison Boss”. Here, rival gangs battle it out over ownership of a bicycle race track. The outside life for the yakuza mimics prison life in two respects,…. First, there are rules that must never be crossed and second, when opportunity arises, the rules will always be broken. Continue reading