The Black Society Trilogy
with Tomorowo Taguchi, Kazuki Kitamura, Show Aikawa
Directed by Takashi Miike
(Arts Magic DVD)
by Chad Van Wagner
Available individually, or as a three-DVD set, Takeshi Miike’s Black Society Trilogy is as good a cross-section of Miike’s signature Yakuza films as you’re going to find. Three very different works, one common theme: Gangsters who deal with being half breeds (which, in Japanese society, is roughly similar to being half black and half white in the deep South). The isolation inherent in this circumstance provides a common element to tie these three very different films together, so much so that it makes perfect sense to view them as a piece. The DVDs in the individual and “all together” packages are identical, so there’s no reason to make four purchases here.