Take Aim at the Police Van (1960) - News Poster

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All of the Films Joining Filmstruck’s Criterion Channel This April

Each month, the fine folks at FilmStruck and the Criterion Collection spend countless hours crafting their channels to highlight the many different types of films that they have in their streaming library. This April will feature an exciting assortment of films, as noted below.

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Monday, April 3 The Chaos of Cool: A Tribute to Seijun Suzuki

In February, cinema lost an icon of excess, Seijun Suzuki, the Japanese master who took the art of the B movie to sublime new heights with his deliriously inventive approach to narrative and visual style. This series showcases seven of the New Wave renegade’s works from his career breakthrough in the sixties: Take Aim at the Police Van (1960), an off-kilter whodunit; Youth of the Beast (1963), an explosive yakuza thriller; Gate of Flesh (1964), a pulpy social critique; Story of a Prostitute (1965), a tragic romance; Tokyo Drifter
See full article at CriterionCast »

The Eclipse Viewer – Episode 52 – Nikkatsu Noir [Part 1]

  • CriterionCast
This podcast focuses on Criterion’s Eclipse Series of DVDs. Hosts David Blakeslee and Trevor Berrett give an overview of each box and offer their perspectives on the unique treasures they find inside. In this first episode of a two-part series, David and Trevor are joined by Pablo Knote to discuss three films (I am Waiting, Rusty Knife and Take Aim at the Police Van) from Eclipse Series 17: Nikkatsu Noir.

About the films:

From the late 1950s through the sixties, wild, idiosyncratic crime movies were the brutal and boisterous business of Nikkatsu, the oldest film studio in Japan. In an effort to attract youthful audiences growing increasingly accustomed to American and French big-screen imports, Nikkatsu began producing action potboilers (mukokuseki akushun, or “borderless action”) that incorporated elements of the western, comedy, gangster, and teen-rebel genres. This bruised and bloody collection represents a standout cross section of what Nikkatsu had to offer,
See full article at CriterionCast »

A Journey Through the Eclipse Series: Seijun Suzuki’s Take Aim At The Police Van

  • CriterionCast
As Ryan mentioned in his excellent summary of recent Criterion-related blogging activity, I’ve spent considerable time over the past couple months watching and learning about the films of Mikio Naruse. Last week, on my Criterion Reflections blog, I summarized those impressions in my review of Naruse’s 1960 masterpiece When a Woman Ascends the Stairs. One thing I didn’t mention there that I discovered though was that Naruse’s films, aimed primarily at a female audience, were typically shown as the first feature on a double-bill, paired with another film intended to be mainly of interest to men in the interest of maximizing attendance at the theater. Though I doubt that Naruse films were ever shown in conjunction with any of the titles included in Eclipse Series 17: Nikkatsu Noir (different studios, mainly), I got my own version of that melodrama/action flick combo when 1960′s Take Aim At The Police Van
See full article at CriterionCast »

Nikkatsu Noir: Seijun Suzuki’s Take Aim At The Police Van

Seijun Suzuki started as a contract director for Nikkatsu in 1956. By the time 1960 rolled around, which was the year Take Aim at the Police Van was released, Suzuki had over a dozen films to his credit. Suzuki’s entry in the Eclipse’s Nikkatsu Noir box set is ultimately a minor work in his overall canon, but it is nonetheless a solid film.

In Take Aim at the Police Van, a police van (really?) transporting prisoners is attacked early in the first act. Both prisoners and guards die as a result, and a prison officer named Daijiro Tamon (Michitaro Mizushima) takes the heat for letting the incident occur. His punishment is a six month suspension, which he simply writes off as an extended vacation. Tamon is bothered by things he noticed at the time of the incident, including a name scrawled in a dirty bus window by a prisoner named
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

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