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.