Yakuza and More at Yerba Buena Center


There are too many film festivals in the Bay Area to keep track of these days, but this one caught our attention and wouldn’t let go: Four days of vintage Japanese gangster movies will be screened at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. The minifest runs April 10-13 and includes six Nikkatsu Studios films from the 1960s presented in spiffy new 35 mm prints, always a cause for celebration.

The schedule runs as follows:

A Colt Is My Passport: They don’t mean a horse. Sijun Suzuki plays a killer on the run. April 10 at 7:30pm

Roughneck: A classic yakuza with Akira Kobayashi. April 11 at 7:30pm

Gangster VIP: A great title. Directed by Toshio Masuda. April 11 at 9:30pm

Red Handkerchief: Another Japanese distillation of noir tropes. Again directed by Masuda. April 12 at 7:30pm

Glass Johnny: Looks Like a Beast: According to the notes, this one is derived from Fellini’s La Strada. April 12 at 9:30pm

The Velvet Hustler: A gangster falls for a slumming girl while a hit man lurks in the background. Also directed by Masuda. April 13 at 7:30pm. 

Tickets are a cheap $8 at film; see ybca.org for details.


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