TMT: Alone with the Japanese Syndicate
This is the next entry in a Theatre… a Movie… and a Time, a series that was begun here. Along with my proclivity to snag just about anything, it seems my primary penchant over time is sitting alone in a darkened theatre watching a film hardly anyone else went to see, but enjoying the movie still. This one meets that criteria. Unfortunately, this crime film wasn’t helped by its timing, and especially its marketing, if the picture’s tagline was any indicator:
Separated by blood and centuries — United by a woman — Now, hurled together against The Yakuza… brotherhood of the East.
The Hollywood Pacific Theatre:
March 22, 1975: By the mid-70s, more than a few things were becoming clear about this decade. Economically and somewhat spiritually, it sucked to be in this time. Yet on the plus side, cinema was taking off into distinct tangents that were directly influenced by this period. I, on the other hand was wondering through college courses (“…move along… nothing to see here”). But, at least I had a job and an old car that worked. It got me from place to place, and the pull of movies with intriguing stories continued to draw me.
In this case, mainly to the glamorous, and the more than a little seedy era of, boulevard of Hollywood. The Hollywood Pacific Theatre, the venue that spellbound me to 2001: A Space Odyssey still had a wonderful allure. And with such seminal and significant fare like Chinatown arriving on scene from the previous year, the modern neo noir crime films of this time were proving to be worthy descendants of the 40s/50s film noirs. Yet, like the forgotten gem that was Hickey & Boggs, this film came and went far too quickly.
Given my growing admiration for Japanese cinema during this time (especially after one particular film experience), I had to see The Yakuza, even if its director, the co-lead, and supporting cast were American. Of course, like most moviegoers at the time, no one I was dating wanted to see this with me. I learned early not to let this hold me back. And the combination of those elements made the experience all the worth while.
The entire TMT series can be found here. If you’re interested how it’s put together, click here.
5 Responses to “TMT: Alone with the Japanese Syndicate”
You have been extremely busy writing of late. Nice to see. This is a wonderfully nostalgic thread and I’m a sucker for anything nostalgic.
I wish some of my old cinemas were around but only two or three of them had the character of your cinemas and maybe not nearly as much, but in a way, they were homes for me. They were homes away from home.
Your first paragraph had me laughing a bit. I guess I was young enough and sheltered enough to not notice the “suck” too much. For me, I was a wide eyed kid taking in all of the cinematic wonders of the world, like you, and living in a sandbox with a few metal ships and toys, a couple of dolls…. errr action figures and I was the golden child.
These were good times.
I loved Chinatown by the way when I finally did see it decades later. That was quite a film. I think we dissected it in a film class.
This one looks interesting. I find the whole idea of The Yakuza fascinating even if this is a dramatic handle on an idea.
Anyway, thoughtful posts from L13. Thanks my friend.
Yes, I’ve somehow have gotten myself on a neo noir tangent, of late. This week I even reconstituted a post and contributed a guest piece for Ruth’s fine blog of one from the 80s. It’s a certain neo noir which stars Mel, Kurt, and Michelle Pfeiffer that remains a favorite, just like the films I’ve covered in this string of posts.
I truly enjoy when you reminisce about your nostalgic times in your posts and comments, SFF. It adds another perspective to the times touched upon. And that’s great that Chinatown came up for dissection and discussion in your film course. Wish I could have audited the class ;-).
You might of already guessed, but there’s more to come about this film tomorrow… which is a Friday, I believe. Thanks, my friend.
Judging by your hint…. it has to be Tequila Sunrise and I’ve always been curious about the film. I’ll head over to Ruth’s site to find out more. Excellent.
Cheers my friend. Stay cool!
Ding, ding, ding. Correctamundo, SFF. Thanks.
[…] Yakuza remains, even decades later after I first saw it, a film worth viewing. Sure, the story does suffer somewhat from having to introduce and […]