The first film I think of at the mention of the yakuza genre is Tokyo Drifter. I believe it may have been the first yakuza movie I saw many years ago. Something about the title song and that baby blue suit really stuck in my head. And that will be the movie that I’ll open with (this weekend), not because it’s the best or the most famous, but because I’m pretty much finished with the post already and it seems like a good enough title to start with. Next out of the gate will be Black Tight Killers (because I’m almost done with that one, too) from the same year (1966) and same production company: Nikkatsu (the logo is pictured above), which is one of the two main studios for this genre (the other being Toei). After that is anyone’s guess, though I would like to cover Masahiro Shinoda’s Pale Flower and Kinji Fukasaku’s Yakuza Papers (a five parter). There’s just no telling when yakuza burn-out might occur, so I’ll resist the urge to over-commit. It is, in my estimation, a lesser genre than samurai films – much like the gangster film is a lesser genre to the western. Gangsters are, in real life, distasteful characters, which clouds my enjoyment of movies about them. Fortunately, the Nikkatsu movies tend to be campy and silly enough that they are relatively simple to enjoy. The Toei films are grittier and often based on true stories, taking a harder look at the yakuza phenomenon.
That is the very loose itinerary for Liverputty, though certainly not all. EscutcheonBlot has a good post on religious taxes in Germany, and Charlie Parsley has a few projects in the works. So keep checking with us….