Tag Archives: Ken Takakura

Kinji Fukasaku – Jakoman to Tetsu aka One-eyed Captain and Tetsu (1964)

In a village subsisting on its herring fishery, a one-eyed criminal named Jakoman terrorizes the inhabitants. One of them, the son of the head of one of the fish companies by the name of Tetsu, decides to overthrow Jakoman and his cohorts.

(Remake of a 1949 movie of the same name directed by Senkichi Taniguchi written by Akira Kurosawa and starring Toshirô Mifune) Read More »

Tomu Uchida – Mori to Mizuumi no Matsuri aka The Outsiders (1958)

Japanese Title: 森と湖のまつり

quote:One of the major joys of writing about Japanese movies is that whenever you begin to get that tired, jaded feeling that you think you’ve seen it all and that there’s nothing left that’s ever going to set your pulse racing, you stumble across a whole previously hidden seam of movies that completely revolutionises any ideas of what Japanese cinema is. I remember getting this feeling watching the works of Hiroshi Shimizu at the 2003 Tokyo FILMeX, and I got it again at the same festival exactly one year later, during a 13-film retrospective of Tomu Uchida, which travelled to the Rotterdam Film Festival in a slimmed-down version a couple of months later. Read More »

Tomu Uchida – Jinsei-gekijô: Hishakaku to kiratsune aka Theater of Life: Hishakaku and Kiratsune (1968)

Hishakaku (Koji Tsuruta), a kyakubun (visitor) with the Kokin gang, frees his lover Otoyo (Junko Fuji) from a brothel run by boss Oyokota (Tatsuo Endo), accompanied by Miyagawa (Ken Takakura) and other Kokin gangsters — and consequently brawls with Oyokota’s gang. After killing several of Oyokota’s men, including a former anikibun (elder brother) who has betrayed him, Hishakaku flees, with the police in close pursuit, and takes refuge in a strange house. There, he encounters Kiratsune (Ryutaro Tatsumi), an old man who calmly invites him in, gives him sake, and advises him to give himself up. Struck by the nobility of the old man’s character and the sageness of his advice, Hishakaku does as he says. Read More »

Kinji Fukasaku – Kamikaze yarô AKA Kamikaze Man: Duel At Noon (1966)

An elaborate criminal tango based around treasure hidden during WWII.

Write-up by sketchesofcinema:
Sonny Chiba and Kinji Fukasaku head to Taiwan in this international action thriller influenced by spy films and Hitchcock movies. Chiba is a playboy pilot who is mistaken for someone who he isn’t after witnessing a murder in ski centre. The other witness is a Taiwanese lady who is vacationing in Japan. Chiba agrees to fly her back home, but as soon as they land they run into gangsters who are searching for a lost WWII treasure and believe Chiba is the key to finding it. Read More »

Shirô Moritani – Hakkodasan aka Mount Hakkoda (1977)

Isolde Standish:
With the change in the aesthetic of the yakuza genre that occurred in the 1970s towards the realist style of the innovator Fukasaku Kinji ‘jitsuroku’ film series, the ninkyo ethic of the 1960s films again shifted genre. After the great success of the three-part epic War and Humanity (Senso to ningen), based on the six-part novel by Gomikawa Junpei (1916-1995) and released by Nikkatsu between 1970 and 1973, epics based on the war or military themes became increasingly popular throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Read More »

Yimou Zhang – Qian li zou dan qi AKA Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles (2005)

A young Japanese film maker is in hospital in Tokyo. His estranged father tries to visit, but the son refuses to see him. So, as a gesture of reconciliation, the father decides to go to China to complete the filming of a Chinese opera, called “Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles,” which the son was working on but unable to finish. Read More »