Tag Archives: Muga Takewaki

Tai Kato – Jinsei gekijô – Seishun aiyoku zankyohen aka Theater of LIfe: Youth, Lust and Spirit (1972)

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Few novels were filmed as many times as Shiro Ozaki’s famous Theatre of Life . So rich and appealing is this roman fleuve about chivalrous yakuza that, over the decades, it was rendered in “youth”and animated versions, as a lavish epic or omnibus film (including one by Kinji Fukasaku), and indeed was initially made by Uchida in 1936 as a highly regarded “social tendency” film. But Uchida’s later version is considered the gold standard, partly because of his mastery at visual storytelling, partly because of his superb ensemble cast. The yakuza Hishakaku kills someone in a dispute over a barmaid, but turns himself in at the urging of Kiratsune, an old gangster who has just returned from eight years in Shanghai and has become his protector.When he gets out of prison, Hishakaku finds himself once again torn between his sense of duty to his gang and his sense of humanity, and is drawn back into the bloody clan feuds. Read More »