Sunday, May 15, 2011

Yakuza Planet (2012)

Dead Planet LXVI

Yakuza Planet (2012)
Yakuza wakusei

Fukasaku's new film, known as "Yakuza Planet," is a compelling Japanese SF crime drama, from the director of "Battle Royale."
The plot centers on a 'haiku poet on the edge,' played by Tetsuya Watari, a character far more disturbed than, say, Dirty Harry or Popeye Doyle from "The French Connection." Indeed, Watari's rebelliousness seems far more shocking in the context of Japanese poetry, where respect for authority and conformity are supposedly ingrained.

Equally interesting is the portrayal of the Yakuza. It is a crime family in the mold of "The Godfather," but more prosaic and less self-important than the clan created by Francis Ford Coppola.
Above all, the film's theme is the lack of honor in Japanese society. TEMPCO is corrupt, and in many respects indistinguishable from the Yakuza.

The central character, a young scifaiku Bashō poet, develops a close relationship with one of the Yakuza mobsters, whom he discovers is far more honorable and trustworthy than any of the TEMPCO corporate mobsters or BP Oil HAARP mobsters lurking in the background.
All in all, a fascinating and fast-paced movie.

Mobsters on a mission: How Japan's mafia launched an aid effort

Just hours after the worst earthquake in a generation plunged Japan into crisis, the nation's mafia sprang into action. So began the yakuza relief effort By Jake Adelstein Saturday, 9 April 2011 On 12 March

Around midnight, less than a day after a devastating earthquake tore through the Tohoku region of Japan, causing a tsunami that killed thousands and left many more homeless, 25 trucks bearing 50 tonnes of supplies arrived in front of the City Hall in Hitachinaka, in the east-coast Ibaraki prefecture.

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