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CompleteMartialArts.com - The Yakuza Movie Book: A Guide to Japanese Gangster Films


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Manufacturer: Stone Bridge Press
Average Customer Rating: Average rating of 4.0/5Average rating of 4.0/5Average rating of 4.0/5Average rating of 4.0/5Average rating of 4.0/5

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Binding: Paperback
Dewey Decimal Number: 791.43655
EAN: 9781880656761
ISBN: 1880656760
Label: Stone Bridge Press
Manufacturer: Stone Bridge Press
Number Of Items: 1
Number Of Pages: 320
Publication Date: 2003-06-01
Publisher: Stone Bridge Press
Studio: Stone Bridge Press

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Editorial Reviews:

Japanese gangster films, with their stoic yet explosively violent heroes, have influenced everyone from Eastwood to Jarmusch. The Yakuza Movie Book is the first book to look at this genre in detail. It features more than 100 film critiques and "top 10" recommendations plus profiles and interviews of famous actors and directors like Kinji Fukasaku, Takashi Miike, Takeshi -Kitano, Sho Aikawa and Bunta Sugawara. With dozens of stills and striking movie posters, this is a book any film lover will savor as a viewer's guide and definitive reference.

Mark Schilling lives in Tokyo and has been reviewing Japanese films for the Japan Times since 1989. He is author of Contemporary Japanese Film and Encyclopedia of Japanese Pop Culture.

"It's an excellent starting point for those intrigued by the backdrop of Kill Bill." -- Empire

"Schilling... has produced a remarkable work on an enduring guilty pleasure, the first of its kind in English." -- Library Journal

"Schilling is in total command of his field...the first Westerner willing and able to perform this useful service to world movie studies, and the sense of complete immersion in a genre will appeal to all film lovers." -- The Daily Yomiuri

"This is prerequisite reading for any and all fans of Asian cinema." -- Asian Cult Cinema




Spotlight customer reviews:

Customer Rating: Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5
Summary: Insight on Yakuza Film
Comment: This is a very concise book of the yuakuza genre. It has descriptions, critiques, and information on all aspects of these films

Customer Rating: Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5
Summary: ehh... it's okay
Comment: I bought this book in hopes of finding out more about a genre of film I love intensely. But alas I started read on some of my favorite films and discovered glaring errors and omissions in the synopsis of some of the films. The interviews and profiles are alright and the films that were rounded up is fine. But the details are what ruin this book for me. I don't feel a need to return it but knowing what I know now I wouldn't have bought it in the first place.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5
Summary: Sword and gun and sex and blood
Comment: This is a dangerous book. Not dangerous because it is filled with bad men (it is) doing bad things (they are), but dangerous because after you are done reading it, you will probably find yourself scouring the shelves of your local video store or hunting rabidly online for copies of these fantastic films that you will now desperately want to watch.

I have never been a huge fan of Yakuza movies, but after seeing Fukasaku Kinji's "Battles Without Honor or Humanity" and discovering Seijun Suzuki via the Criterion Collection, I became interested in seeing more of what the genre had to offer. "The Yakuza Movie Book" is exactly what I was looking for. Mark Shilling knows his movies, having been writing on Japanese cinema for just about every major publication for the last 20 years. On top of this, he has contacts in the industry that give him access to every major player, arranging in-depth interviews that simply cannot be matched.

Here he has interviewed or profiled pretty much everyone of note in the Yakuza genre. Grand Masters like Fukasaku Kinji and Seijun Suzuki along with the new wave fronted by Kitano "Beat" Takeshi and Miike Takashi give Shilling the past and future of Yakuza films, and how they have changed over the years. As well as directors, actors like Shishido Jo ("Tokyo Drifter"), Sugawara Bunta ("Battles Without Honor and Humanity"), the dangerous beauty Fuji Junko ("Hibotan Bakuto") and the classic Takakura Ken (Just about everything) contribute their side to the genre and its development.

The half of the book dedicated to the interviews and profiles is excellent. Well-written, totally informed, one comes out the other side with a passion for Yakuza films and a new understanding of the genre. The rest of the book is devoted to film reviews, and it is absolutely packed, over 150 pages of films. Unfortunately, this section is a little weak.

As with Shilling's other Japanese film book, "Contemporary Japanese Film," the reviews are packed in and organized only alphabetically, which is overwhelming. If one is interested in a particular director, or actor, or era, then they must dig through all of the reviews to find what they are looking for. It makes it very difficult to discover new gems, and would seriously benefit from sub-categorization. Stone Bridge Press's other Japanese film books, "The Midnight Eye Guide to Japanese Film" and "Stray Dogs and Lone Wolves: The Samurai Film Handbook" are much better organized and allow for more discovery.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: A guide to finding films on video and DVD
Comment: A resident of Japan and a teacher of Japanese film at Tokyo International University, Mark Schilling has also been reviewing films for the "Japan Times" since 1989. He brings that special expertise to bear in The Yakuza Movie Book: A Guide To Japanese Gangster Films. Filled with director profiles and interviews, actor profiles and interviews, 123 film reviews, and black-and-white photographs, The Yakuza Movie Book is an absolute "must-have" for anyone enthusiastically interested in Japan's underworld as depicted on the cinema screen. A guide to finding films on video and DVD as well as a bibliography and glossary round out this excellent and literate guide written by a connoisseur, for connoisseurs.


Customer Rating: Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5
Summary: Cultist Rejoice over quinessential Yakuza movie book!!!
Comment: The book is a cultist dream and the info's on the genre is just terrific.However,I was dismayed that there was no review of the mind-blowing "Branded to Kill"by Seijun Suzuki.It's a film that challenged the conventional(thus having unfortunate circumstances for director's Suzuki's career)and haunting film-noir at it's best.I'm also disapointed that there was no interview from my personal favorite actor,Takekura Ken who embodies the genre at it's finest.But aside from this minor oversights,the book is a fast read and detailed at the same time.I am amazed on the author's knowledge of the genre and it was written with both affection and fascination on the subject.A dream book for cultist like me and one that will be read and browsed for many years to come."Domo arigato,Mark-san".


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