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TIFF Day 8

Film Recommendation / The Yakuza Papers: I-V (1973-1974)

Narrowing the choice of film for today has probably been the most difficult of the project. There are so many options I might use that I considered writing about the use of lighting, colour, or genre. Instead, I just went all-in and chose a series of foreign language films from fifty years ago.

‘The Yakuza Papers,’ is a five-film series from the 1970’s. The quintet delivers so many of the elements making film important as a cultural product. Set in the world of Japanese organized crime, these films are an invaluable cipher through which to interpret the human experience.

It’s been a couple of years since I last watched these films. They are persistently engaging and sometimes shocking. Even when juxtaposed against your experience of ‘The Godfather,’ these movies will stand out as exceptional vignettes on life lived according to an outsider code.

Contiguity is the touchstone here. Nestling up against our own reality, drawing a line or connection in theme and context to events and characters, great films weave themselves into our own meta-realities.

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