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Seijun Suzuki appreciation thread

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Seijun Suzuki appreciation thread

Old 11-13-12, 03:04 PM
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Seijun Suzuki appreciation thread

I watched Branded to Kill last night, and it further reinforced the fact that I love Suzuki's style. Now, I've only seen this, and Youth of the Beast, but I've got around 7 or 8 of his films already, so I'm planning to do a little retrospective shortly to get through them all.

I appreciate that he was just a B-director-for-hire at Nikkatsu, so rather than pump out redundant swill to fill out double-features, he attempted to make each of his films as unique as possible, whether that be through his always impressive cinematography, odd character quirks (boiling rice = erection city), fragmented editing, or usually all of the above.

He was fired from Nikkatsu after Branded to Kill, and once he (successfully) sued the studio for withholding his films from the public, he ended up being blacklisted by the majors for a decade. Very interesting guy. The interview with him on the Criterion Collection of Branded showed that he didn't exactly have a passion for cinema, seeing it as just a job to support himself. He is, surprisingly, still alive at the age of 89, though he's on an air tank 24/7 for lung problems.
Old 11-13-12, 03:18 PM
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Re: Seijun Suzuki appreciation thread

Let's see, I've got:


Take Aim at the Police Van
Youth of the Beast
Tatooed Life
Detective Bureau 2-3: Go to Hell Bastards!
Tokyo Drifter
Branded to Kill


I like all those, and think he's a really interesting, reliable director---from workmanlike genre pictures (Detective Bureau) to wacked-out arthouse (Branded to Kill). I tend to prefer him a little more reigned in---really liked Take Aim at the Police Van and Tokyo Drifter. Branded to Kill is interesting but a little too out there for me.
Old 11-13-12, 03:25 PM
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Re: Seijun Suzuki appreciation thread

Lets see how many posts this thread gets.

He is a true auteur & his films are one of a kind, love him. His influence can be seen in films by Tarantino, Jarmusch, Miike & countless others.

Besides Branded to Kill & Youth of the Beast (which I consider 2 of his best) I highly recommend the following :

Underworld Beauty (one of his more restrained films)
Tokyo Drifter
Fighting Elegy
Zigeunerweisen (a change in style)
Pistol Opera (sequel to Branded to Kill)
Old 11-13-12, 03:27 PM
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Re: Seijun Suzuki appreciation thread

I love Seijun Suzuki, I would recommend watching all of his films that have been released by the Criterion Collection. Gate of Flesh and The Fighting Elegy have a ton of bizarre humor in them. Tokyo Drifter is another stylish Yakuza film that's near incomprehensible towards the end, but it's still incredibly entertaining. I love his style and never get sick of watching his movies.
Old 11-13-12, 03:29 PM
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Re: Seijun Suzuki appreciation thread

Right now I've got:

Branded to Kill
Tokyo Drifter
Youth of the Beast
Underworld Beauty
Gate of Flesh
Fighting Elegy
Tattooed Life

Checking on DVDAf, he doesn't have a lot of R1 releases, maybe around 15-18. I hope CC gives a few more of his films a release. I need to nab that Nikkatsu box set, too.
Old 11-13-12, 03:39 PM
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Re: Seijun Suzuki appreciation thread

I liked "Gate of Flesh". More of a pulpy melodrama (instead of crime story), but filled with the style you expect from Suzuki's movies. Criterion did a nice release of this.
Old 11-13-12, 04:19 PM
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Re: Seijun Suzuki appreciation thread

Originally Posted by KillerCannibal View Post
I watched Branded to Kill last night, and it further reinforced the fact that I love Suzuki's style. Now, I've only seen this, and Youth of the Beast, but I've got around 7 or 8 of his films already, so I'm planning to do a little retrospective shortly to get through them all.

I appreciate that he was just a B-director-for-hire at Nikkatsu, so rather than pump out redundant swill to fill out double-features, he attempted to make each of his films as unique as possible, whether that be through his always impressive cinematography, odd character quirks (boiling rice = erection city), fragmented editing, or usually all of the above.

He was fired from Nikkatsu after Branded to Kill, and once he (successfully) sued the studio for withholding his films from the public, he ended up being blacklisted by the majors for a decade. Very interesting guy. The interview with him on the Criterion Collection of Branded showed that he didn't exactly have a passion for cinema, seeing it as just a job to support himself. He is, surprisingly, still alive at the age of 89, though he's on an air tank 24/7 for lung problems.
I'm not that crazy about him myself, but I do recommend TOKYO DRIFTER. With those crazy color schemes, it's the most stylish of the films of his that I've seen.
Old 11-13-12, 05:12 PM
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Re: Seijun Suzuki appreciation thread

Originally Posted by KillerCannibal View Post
... I need to nab that Nikkatsu box set, too.
Yes, I would recommend that one--a very strong collection. I love this one:

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/IuQ4b_fI0Ro" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Old 11-13-12, 05:41 PM
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Re: Seijun Suzuki appreciation thread

I've never seen any of his films but have heard the name and of course, I've seens the covers for Branded to Kill and Tokyo Drifter. Which Seijun Suzuki would you guys recommend for a first timer?
Old 11-13-12, 05:51 PM
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Re: Seijun Suzuki appreciation thread

Tatooed Life


Old 11-13-12, 05:52 PM
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Re: Seijun Suzuki appreciation thread

Originally Posted by Jules Winfield View Post
I've never seen any of his films but have heard the name and of course, I've seens the covers for Branded to Kill and Tokyo Drifter. Which Seijun Suzuki would you guys recommend for a first timer?
Depends on how weird you like your gangster movies.

Youth of the Beast, fairly straightforward
Tokyo Drifer, a little more weird
Branded to Kill, pretty darn wacky.
Old 11-13-12, 05:54 PM
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Re: Seijun Suzuki appreciation thread

Originally Posted by WeylandYutani View Post
Tatooed Life


Really cool action at the end.
Old 11-13-12, 05:58 PM
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Re: Seijun Suzuki appreciation thread

Originally Posted by inri222 View Post
Lets see how many posts this thread gets.


This thread will be dead by tomorrow but if it gets one or two people to put a flick into their Netflix queue then this thread will have been worth it.


Old 11-13-12, 06:06 PM
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Re: Seijun Suzuki appreciation thread

Originally Posted by WeylandYutani View Post
This thread will be dead by tomorrow...
It's too bad because I like seeing these types of threads. Within my immediate group of family and friends, I know the most about movies. I see a thread about Seijun Suzuki and it's a reminder that I don't know as much as I think. I know for sure I've had Branded to Kill and Tokyo Drifter in my Netflix queue since forever but it's threads like these that make me want to push them to the top so that I know what's going on.
Old 11-13-12, 06:18 PM
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Re: Seijun Suzuki appreciation thread

Jules, Youth of the Beast was my intro to Suzuki and I instantly fell in love. Not a bad start.
Old 11-13-12, 06:21 PM
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Re: Seijun Suzuki appreciation thread

BTK's still my favorite of those that I've seen (Tokyo Drifter,Youth/Beast,Gate/Flesh)

I've got Pistol Opera. Still haven't watched it yet.
Old 11-13-12, 06:26 PM
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Re: Seijun Suzuki appreciation thread

Pistol Opera scares me because it's a sequel to one of his most highly regarded films - one which definitely did not warrant a sequel - and it's so recent. In my experience, almost all old-school (read: main work done pre-'80s) directors can't pull off a feat like that. Even the synopsis on Wikipedia makes it sound so needless. And I haven't even touched on the fact that they passed over having Joe Shishido reprise his role so that a young woman could take over!
Old 11-13-12, 06:28 PM
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Re: Seijun Suzuki appreciation thread

Originally Posted by KillerCannibal View Post
Jules, Youth of the Beast was my intro to Suzuki and I instantly fell in love. Not a bad start.
Alright, you've convinced me. Youth of the Beast it is.
Old 11-13-12, 06:37 PM
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Re: Seijun Suzuki appreciation thread

I have seen Pistol Opera and it does not disappoint. That was one bizarre flick.
Feels like a dream that David Lynch would have after watching a Suzuki film.
For those easily disturbed a word of warning, there is a scene with a fully nude 11 year old girl in that film (nothing sexual).
Old 11-13-12, 06:38 PM
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Re: Seijun Suzuki appreciation thread

Originally Posted by Jules Winfield View Post
Alright, you've convinced me. Youth of the Beast it is.

Old 11-13-12, 06:48 PM
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Re: Seijun Suzuki appreciation thread

Originally Posted by inri222 View Post
I have seen Pistol Opera and it does not disappoint. That was one bizarre flick.
Feels like a dream that David Lynch would have after watching a Suzuki film.
For those easily disturbed a word of warning, there is a scene with a fully nude 11 year old girl in that film (nothing sexual).
And you've just convinced me now.
Old 11-13-12, 06:55 PM
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Re: Seijun Suzuki appreciation thread

I guess I started in the wrong order. I saw Branded to Kill first, followed by Tokyo Drifter. I was glad I saw them from a style/influence standpoint, but I didn't much care for either film otherwise and don't have much desire to revisit them. Perhaps I'll give Youth of the Beast a shot as well.
Old 11-13-12, 09:53 PM
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Re: Seijun Suzuki appreciation thread

I prefer Koreyoshi Kurahara to Suzuki. Both filmmakers have films on the Nikkatsu Noir set. Kurahara's film, I AM WAITING, was the best on the Nikkatsu set, while Suzuki's, TAKE AIM AT THE POLICE VAN, was the weakest. The other three films on it are all recommended. Kurahara also has his own five-film set: The Warped World of Kureyoshi Kurahara. I like it a lot.
Old 11-14-12, 06:40 PM
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Re: Seijun Suzuki appreciation thread

Originally Posted by inri222 View Post
I have seen Pistol Opera and it does not disappoint. That was one bizarre flick.
Feels like a dream that David Lynch would have after watching a Suzuki film.


I LOVE Pistol Opera. Incomprehensible, but fun and gorgeous...and I'm a sucker for the girls-with-guns genre. My second fave Suzuki film after Branded to Kill.

Old 11-22-12, 09:51 AM
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Re: Seijun Suzuki appreciation thread

Not even 2 days, not surprised.
Here is something interesting :

http://twitchfilm.com/2012/05/john-w...the-beast.html

John Woo to Remake Seijun Suzuki's YOUTH OF THE BEAST

John Woo will direct an English-language remake of Seijun Suzuki's Youth of the Beast, to be entitled Day of the Beast.

Woo and his longtime partner Terence Chang will produce; the film will be a co-production of Woo and Chang's Lion Rocks Productions and the Nikkatsu Corporation.
Rob Frisbee, who does not appear to have any previous credits, wrote the script.

In Suzuki's original, Jo Sushido starred as a disgraced former policeman who infiltrates two Yakuka gangs in order to clear his name and that of his boss (borrowing the plot description from Mark Schilling's excellent book No Borders No Limits).
It's a variation on the plot idea first established in Dashiell Hammett's Red Harvest, one that has been adapted, officially or otherwise, by Akira Kurosawa (Yojimbo), Sergio Leone (A Fistful of Dollars), and Walter Hill (Last Man Standing).

The 1963 film came at or near the beginning of Suzuki's wildly experimental, cool-cat-crazy high-style phase, which would eventually get him fired by Nikkatsu.
Woo has never been as stylistically daring as Suzuki, but Youth of the Beast is a product of its era, so it might be a very apt project for him to tackle;
we'll have to wait to see who gets cast to have a better idea of what's in store.

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