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Blackmail Is My Life


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Blackmail Is My Life + If You Were Young: Rage + Yakuza Graveyard
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Product Details

  • Actors: Hiroki Matsukata, Tomomi Satô, Shinjirô Ehara, Yûsuke Kawazu, Bin Amatsu
  • Directors: Kinji Fukasaku
  • Writers: Fumio Kônami, Hirô Matsuda, Norio Osada, Shinji Fujiwara
  • Producers: Akira Oda, Shigeru Wakita
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Homevision
  • DVD Release Date: January 6, 2004
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000YEENK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #137,425 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Blackmail Is My Life" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Interview with director Kinji Fukasaku

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The breakout success of 2000s fantastic Battle Royale resulted in long-overdue global recognition of the films of Kinji Fukasaku, and Blackmail Is My Life is a perfect example of the director working in his prime. By the time this unconventional crime thriller was released in 1968, post-war Japanese culture was caught in a vice-grip of cynicism and corruption well suited to Fukusakus singular penchant for gritty, stylized action and unhappy endings that could only be attempted under the more liberal-minded aegis of Shochiku studios. Tautly paced and fueled by a trendy soundtrack synthesis of whistled themes and electric rock, Blackmail centers on a quartet of young daredevils whove discovered blackmail as a means to enjoy the booming economy from which theyve been excluded. When they try to squeeze both Yakuza kingpins and government officials by threatening to air their dirty laundry, they quickly confront the lethal consequences of their headstrong bravado. In ad

Amazon.com

The breakout success of 2000's fantastic Battle Royale resulted in long-overdue global recognition of the films of Kinji Fukasaku, and Blackmail Is My Life is a perfect example of the director working in his prime. By the time this unconventional crime thriller was released in 1968, post-war Japanese culture was caught in a vice-grip of cynicism and corruption well suited to Fukusaku's singular penchant for gritty, stylized action and unhappy endings that could only be attempted under the more liberal-minded aegis of Shochiku studios. Tautly paced and fueled by a trendy soundtrack synthesis of whistled themes and electric rock, Blackmail centers on a quartet of young daredevils who've discovered blackmail as a means to enjoy the booming economy from which they've been excluded. When they try to squeeze both Yakuza kingpins and government officials by threatening to air their dirty laundry, they quickly confront the lethal consequences of their headstrong bravado. In addition to giving lead actor Hiroki Matsukata an opportunity to move away from the Yakuza-thriller roles he'd grown famous for, Fukusaku's raw energy incorporates a variety of compelling nihilistic touches, not the least being the use of adrenalized crime as an effective aphrodisiac. Above all, his astonishing finale serves as both moral warning and scathing criticism of public apathy--a bloody wake-up call to Japanese culture and budding criminals everywhere! --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 4, 2004
Format: DVD
Blackmail Is My Life is a great example of Fukasaku's trademark Yakuza films. It's visuals are stunning; the performances find a perfect balance between realistic and stylized; the script and structure of the film are quite ingenius. There really isn't an area where this film will leave you wanting. It's chock-full of snap zooms, freeze frames, and voice over, but all of it is handled so well that there is no real element of ceese to speak of.

Blackmail is my life is one of those classic pieces whose brilliance must be seen to be understood. Any fans of old school Japanese yakuza films or film noir in general is likely to be blown away, and only the small-minded, generic-hollywood-style addicted moviegoer will feel anything but unadulterated glee at Fukasaku's yakuza world.

This is a HomeVision dvd, so the quality is great, especially for a film of this age. The colors are vibrant and the transfer is sharper than many of recent Japanese productions. If you've never seen the film, this dvd is more likely the best version available anywhere right now to introduce yourself.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By R. J. Wessner on October 24, 2009
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
While, yes, the video has no subtitles (should be able to understand most of it at the 2-kyu level and a general understanding of Yakuza-style talk), it is a great film from the 1960's. Also, the streaming version found on Amazon is sort of fuzzy, but the DVD version is not. So, don't hold that against the film. :)
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This film by the director of Battle Royale deals with a group that decides to make it big by becoming Blackmailers. It has a great noir feel to it but be prepared for a downer ending
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Travon J. Boykins on December 11, 2006
Format: DVD
I have seen two of Fukasaku's major works (the first being Battle Royale and Battles without Honor and Humanity the second) prior to this movie. And if I had watch this before one (or both) of these, I would probably gave it a higher score. But, it is a bit light compared to those two. That is not to say there isn't anything to scoff at.

It has interesting camera work, biting black humor (with a dash of social commentary), and a passion for youth. It is a wonderful film for someone wanting a bit more in Yakuza films
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1 of 9 people found the following review helpful By E. J. Nesbitt on March 2, 2008
Format: Amazon Instant Video
There are no subtitles in this film--written and spoken language is Japanese!!! I speak and read English and French.

The film has the appearance of a badly colorized, old-old-old, badly edited, deteriorating, fuzzy, black-and-white film.

This was an unappealing lost of $3.99 and a jolting deflation of my expectations.
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