Friday, May 2, 2008
1969, 86 min., 35mm, color. Directed by Yasuharu Hasebe. With Akira Kobayashi, Masako Izumi, Tatsuya Fuji.
In director Hasebe's yakuza film, Kobayashi plays Yuji, a hoodlum who becomes involved with an ototobun (younger gang brother) trying to go straight. Yuji soon takes up with a hot springs geisha, the lover of a local boss, whose gang is facing stiff competition from an outside rival.
In Roughneck, Kobayashi shines as the charismatic antihero, who remains likable for all his swagger and shiftiness. His character prefigures the even-dirtier yakuza heroes in Kinji Fukasaku’s Toei films of the early seventies, beginning with Bunta Sugawara's mad dog gangster in the seminal Street Mobster (1972).
Tickets: $10/$7 Japan Society members & seniors/ $4.50 students (first 20 tickets per screening). Purchase tickets online above or call the Box Office at (212) 715-1258, Mon. - Fri. 11 am - 6 pm, Weekends 11 am - 5 pm.