With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013
With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

ACF 1526: Kinji Fukasaku

Japanes Director Kinji Fukasaku was born in Mito, Japan on July 3, 1930, making today the 82nd anniversary of his birth. He died on January 12, 2003 while making Battle Royale II, the sequel to the terrific 2000 original. Battle Royale II was completed by his son Kenta Fukasaku.

Kinji directed over sixty films, including Black Lizard (1968) and Black Rose (1969), both of which starred transvestite singer and actress Akihiro Miwa (a.k.a. Akihiro Matuyama). He, along with Toshio Masuda, took over directing the Japanese sequences of Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970) after Akira Kurosawa left, or was fired from, the production.

But Fukasaku is most certainly best known and remembered for his numerous and innovative yakuza films which did away with any romantic notions of such gangsters having a lofty code of honor. The five film series Battles Without Honor and Humanity (1973-1974, also known as The Yakuza Papers) ranks at the top of a list that includes such Street Mobster (1972) and Graveyard of Honor (1975).

So it is with immense gratitude and much respect that AsianCineFest remembers and honors the birth of this great director who gave us so many wonderful and memorable films.

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