Blind woman’s curse (1970) review

“Pleasure (…) is to be extracted from the visuals (…) so beautifully framed by the cinematography, and from the way Meiko Kaji with her mesmerizing performance synthesizes the narrative’s mix of genres.”

Introduction

The King of Cult: Teruo Ishii. With such a prolific and eclectic career, it is no wonder that Ishii is called this way in Japan. And while his oeuvre is eclectic, a certain attraction to the more darker and the more weirder side of humanity has always guided him. This is for instance apparent in his choice to direct the 8 entries of ‘Joys of Torture’ series (1968–1973), a series investigating torture in Japan in a historical context.

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Outrage Beyond (2012) review

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“A [tense] (…) voyeuristic trip through the private spaces of the gokudōsha [that unfortunately is not able] to underline the futility of violence [in the same palpable way as its predecessor].”

Introduction

When Takeshi Beat released Outrage (2010), it was clear that he personally wanted to try something different with the Yakuza genre he was already so well acquainted with, e.g. Sonatine (1993) and Hanabi (1997). Takeshi Kitano introduced more dialogue, changed the narrative into an ensemble piece, and aimed to create a documentary-like narrative of characters killing each other.

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Deadly Fight in Hiroshima (1973) Review

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“[This] faithful account of the post-war Japanese underworld is downright fabulous to behold, [and the] lack of humanity [that underpins the narrative] (…) a serene but (…) depressing confrontation with the deregulating nature of man’s enjoyment beyond any heroism whatsoever.”

Introduction

Kinji Fukasaku (深作欣二, 1930-2003) doesn’t need an introduction. When in the seventies the popularity of the ninkyô eiga started to decline, it was Fukasaku who revived the Yakuza genre with his realistic approach, leading to the birth of the sub-genre of actual record film (Jitsuroku eiga). Supported by the meticulous research by Kasahara Kazuo, Fukasaku aimed to capture the turbulent story of various prominent, post-WW2 Hiroshima yakuza families.

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