Re: RARA-AVIS: Samurai hardboiled

Date: 28 Dec 2004

Juri wrote:

"I don't know about hardboiled, but what about "Kill Bill"?"

That certainly has samurai (and yakuza) film influences, as does the other film you point out, Pollack's Yakuza, written by Paul Schrader, who also wrote Taxi Driver, among many others.

"In music, try John Zorn's "Spillane" that has a cover from a picture from a film by Seijun Suzuki. I believe that Zorn, a long time fan of Japanese pop culture, knows his samurai and yakuza films."

Indeed. One of the extras on the Criterion DVD of Suzuki's Branded to Kill is John Zorn's collection of vintage Yakuza film posters.

However, I wasn't so much looking for the samurai influences in American film, but in print fiction, either translations of the source material or its adoption in western hardboiled. For instance, I know I have read books where the heroes and/or anti-heroes are explicitly placed without the samurai/bushido code/tradition, but I can't remember which. Does Crais refer to this in regard to Joe Pike in the Elvis Cole books? I seem to remember a literary assassin placing himself in this line, like the character in the movie Ghost Dog (which owes a hell of a lot to samurai and yakuza films, including the shot through a drain pipe hit taken from the aforementioned Branded to Kill).


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 28 Dec 2004 EST