The Knot (Musubime,結び目)
Sword of Desperation (Hisshiken torisashi,必死剣鳥刺し)

Ryuzo and his Seven Henchmen (Ryūzō to shichinin kobuntachi,龍三と七人の子分たち)

Ryuzo and his Seven Henchmen (Ryūzō to shichinin kobuntachi,龍三と七人の子分たち)

[ Directed by ]
KITANO Takeshi
[ Produced by ]
• MORI Masayuki
[ Cast ]
• FUJI Tatsuya Boss RYUZO
• KONDO Masaomi Lieutenant Masa
[ Staff ]
• Screenplay: KITANO Takeshi
• Music: SUZUKI Keiichi
• Cinematography: YANAGIJIMA Katsumi
• Lighting: TAKAYA Hitoshi
• Production Design: ISODA Norihiro
• Sound Recording: KUREISHI Yoshifumi
• Casting: YOSHIKAWA Takefumi
• Costume Design: KUROSAWA Kazuko
• Editor: KITANO Takeshi
• Editor: OTA Yoshinori
• Line Producer: KOMIYA Shinji
• Line Producer: KAKURAI Makoto
• Associate Producer: KAWASHIRO Kazumi
• Associate Producer: FUKUDA Taichi
• Associate Producer: NINOMIYA Kiyotaka
[ Production Company ]
[ Distributor (Japan) ]

Release Date: April 25, 2015
Running Time: 111 min
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Feature
Color: Color
Screening Format: DCP
Screen Size: Cinema Scope (1:2.35)
Screening Format with Subtitles
・English (DCP,Blu-ray,DVD,HDCAM,HDCAM SR etc.)

[ Story ]
An ex-yakuza boss duped by a conman impersonating his son rallies his former henchmen in the name of justice. The racy plot is driven by veteran actors with an average age of 72, including Fuji Tatsuya, Kondo Masaomi, Nakao Akira and Shinagawa Toru. Directed by Kitano Takeshi of
70-year-old Takahashi Ryuzo (Fuji) has been ignored by everyone including his own family since retiring from the yakuza. He gets duped by a conman pretending to be his son, and the outraged Ryuzo mobilizes his former henchmen to create a new gang. The result is a huge battle with the punks from the Keihin group.
[ Official Site ]
[ Film Festivals, Awards ]
• 2015 Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia, Noves Visions One
• 2015 BFI London Film Festival, Laugh
• 2015 Helsinki International Film Festival

Ryūzō is an elderly yakuza who lives with his son’s family, his days are spent lazy to drink with old comrade Masa and remembering the past. One day they decided to write to the old members of the clan, they find themselves in seven and decide to found a new gumi to control the territory. They come across a new group of young people, not yakuza, who try to cheat and extort money from the elderly in the area, the clash is just a matter of time.
After two works with which he was in some ways returned to the genre that had launched him internationally in the early nineties, Outrage and Outrage Beyond, with his new work Kitano gives free rein to his sarcastic and cabaretist vein, while still remaining in somehow linked to the yakuza genre, here distorted in a comic key.
The premises and the basic idea are very good, a group of old yakuza who finds himself after so many years, a period in which the world has changed and their personal lives have taken different paths, to rebuild a new gumi, a clan that old comrades call Ichiryū gumi (first-level band). The comic scenes, played on the advanced age of the eight protagonists (half of the film is added in fact an eighth, Yasu) on their clumsiness and their being anchored to another century, are in some cases very funny and well stand on the test actor of the protagonists. Create a character with a certain sense of duty yakuza, the laps, but at the same time is also a nice old man with all the ailments of the case and sometimes doting, it is not easy. In this sense the most successful characters are undoubtedly those of the protagonist Ryūzō (Fuji Tatsuya, historical face of certain Japanese cinema, known above all for the series Stray Cat Rock and Ecco the empire of the senses) of Coma Masa and the bizarre Makku, always together with the inseparable gun.
But what is disappointing in the film is its remaining halfway down the ford, that is, yes there are serious references to the times that have changed and the sarcastic scenes where bitterly mocking the elderly and the situation of an elderly population increasingly numerous in contemporary Japan, but Kitano who has also edited the editing and the script, can not bring these good premises to the end, that is not bad enough and does not dare in the end too much. The film, to make a comparison perhaps out of place, could become a Japanese version a bit ‘lighter but still cutting my friends but it was not so. The pace a bit ‘slow in the first two thirds of the film and above all a structure that seems in many places to serve only to put together comedy scenes that do not see the general sense and very fine in themselves, leave with the bitter in the mouth. It seems more like the comic and surreal sketches that often see Kitano protagonist in the television varieties that he presents, rather than the essential pieces to develop the story of a cinematographic work. A work that supposedly was designed and written to make people laugh and have fun reflecting on the elderly. It must be said, however, that in truth we laugh a lot, the hilarious explosions when I saw in a Japanese room, have followed each other throughout the film. However, something is lacking precisely in terms of writing and perhaps editing, that is to say the lack of brilliance that could lift it and relaunch it like an original film.
For the rest, in some very short parts you can still notice the hand of Kitano, some movements of car and close-up on the faces of the protagonists who perhaps pay homage to certain yakuza cinema of the past decades, but we certainly did not expect a work on fine photography complex in a job like that. Here then the best part of the whole film is undoubtedly the last 15-20 minutes, period in which the action crashes and gains in speed with some twists and certain violations of the genre, including the ending, where the comedy is finally marries also with a certain rhythm of proper assembly.
The last thing to note is the beautiful and thrilling music of Suzuki Keiichi, nostalgic and from sunset to the right point, but that never becomes too heavy and invasive. A music that makes us regret even more for what the film could be but it is not. It is not that we want to make comparisons with the Kitano of 20-25 years ago, it would be stupid to do it nonsense, sorry, however, that a filmic talent like his, arrived at the threshold of 70 years, let slip an opportunity so greedy to (re) find his new poetics and start a new phase, among other things, not too far from his usual strings of the sarcastic comedy of his television personality.
[Katsuyuki Nakanishi]

Katsuyuki Nakanishi
Born on 1984 in Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture. Graduated in Vantan Film and Movie Institute major in film director. The fourth graduate of JSC Cinematographers assistant upbringing cramming school. While he was studying in Tokyo, he was also working with Director Shinya Tsukamoto's movie at the same time. After that, he became part of the lighting department of Toei Studios Kyoto, studied under Kiyoto Ando and Takashi Sugimoto. In these movies, he worked as an assistant lighting director with Takashi Sugimoto in "Chacha - Tengai no Onna"(2007) and Kiyoto Ando in "The Fallen Angel"(2010). He work as a freelancer since 2011 and became part of these latest movies as a lighting director of Director Yang Ik-June's ”Shibata and Nagao"(2012), Director Keisuke Yoshida’s ”Himeanile”(2016), Director Kohki Yoshida’s ”ThreeLights"(2017), Director Hiroshi Ando’s ”Moon and Thunder" (2017) and Director Shinya Tsukamoto’s ”Killing” (2018).

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