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Seijun Suzuki, The Early Years Now Available on Blu-ray From Arrow Video

Seijun Suzuki, The Early Years is now available on Blu-ray from Arrow Video

Youths On The Loose And Rebels Without Causes In The Unruly Seishun Eiga Youth Movies Of Japanese Iconoclast Seijun Suzuki

Making their home-video debuts outside Japan, this diverse selection of Nikkatsu youth movies (seishun eiga) charts the evolving style of the B-movie maverick best known for the cult classics Tokyo Drifter (1966) and Branded to Kill (1967).

The Boy Who Came Back (1958) marks the first appearances of Nikkatsu Diamond Guys and regular Suzuki collaborators Akira Kobayashi and Jo Shishido, with Kobayashi cast as the hot-headed hoodlum fresh out of reform school who struggles to make a clean break with his tearaway past.

The Wind-of-Youth Group Crosses the Mountain Pass (1961) is a carnivalesque tale of a young student who hooks up with a down-at-heels travelling circus troupe.

Teenage Yakuza (1962) stars Tamio Kawaji as the high-school vigilante protecting his
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Yasuharu Hasebe’s Retaliation (1968) – The Blu Review

Review by Roger Carpenter

After laboring for close to a decade as an assistant director for Nikkatsu Studios, Yasuharu Hasebe burst onto the scene as a lead director in 1966 with Black Tight Killers and 1967 with the more subdued but very good Massacre Gun. Retaliation, which starred some of Nikkatsu’s primary actors (called the “Diamond Line”), was an A-list film, in color, and was a return to a more violent yakuza tale than Hasebe’s previous Massacre Gun.

Akira Kobayashi stars as Jiro, a yakuza who has just been released from a long stint in prison. He returns to find his family dismantled, with only his ailing boss and one loyal yakuza member remaining. On top of this, Hino (Jo Shishido), brother of the man Jiro was imprisoned for killing, is tailing him and seeking revenge. Jiro reaches out to another family for help in rebuilding his gang and is
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Neuchatel Announces Epic Seijun Suzuki Retrospective

The Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival - Nifff - has long been a favourite European genre celebration round these parts, and is warming up for its 17th edition, scheduled to run from 30 June - 8 July in the picturesque Swiss city. While the full line-up will not be unveiled until 15 June, the festival has announced that this year's festival will include a major 10-film retrospective of Japanese master filmmaker Seijun Suzuki, who tragically passed away on 13 February. Best remembered for his surreal yakuza flick Branded to Kill, which saw him unceremoniously fired from Nikkatsu Studos, Suzuki enjoyed a long and fruitful career that spanned 50 years and brought us such undeniable genre classics as Tokyo Drifter and Youth of the Beast. While the...

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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.

To sign up for a free two-week trial here.

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 »

Rip Seijun Suzuki, The Anarchic Japanese Auteur Who Inspired Quentin Tarantino and Jim Jarmusch

  • Indiewire
Rip Seijun Suzuki, The Anarchic Japanese Auteur Who Inspired Quentin Tarantino and Jim Jarmusch
“I make movies that make no sense,” Seijun Suzuki would often say, and he wasn’t being modest. The prolific director, who died earlier this month at the age of 93, was the Jackson Pollock of Japanese cinema, an irrepressibly creative artist who painted with gobs of color and geysers of fake blood in order to defy the strictures of narrative and remind viewers that movies are more than the stories they tell.

His hyper-stylized gangster sagas, which had a way of turning the most basic B-picture plots into unfettered symphonies for the senses, were born out of a rabid intolerance for boredom; audiences never knew what was going to happen next, and sometimes it’s tempting to suspect that Suzuki didn’t either. Few directors ever did more to fundamentally demolish our understanding of what film could be, and even fewer did so while working under the auspices of a major production studio.
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Rushes. Proust, Seijun Suzuki, "Song to Song" & "Zama" Trailers

  • MUBI
Get in touch to send in cinephile news and discoveriesNEWSSeijun SuzukiThe great Japanese studio rabble rouser Seijun Suzuki, best known for his crazed remixes of pulp genre films in the late 1950s and 1960s (Tokyo Drifter, Branded to Kill) and also for his late career renaissance (Pistol Opera, Princess Raccoon), has died at the age of 92.On the other side of the industry, Time critic and documentary filmmaker Richard Shickel has also passed away.On a more positive note, the second film program for the great Knoxville music festival Big Eats has been announced, and it's a humdinger, ranging from a focus on directors Jonathan Demme and Kevin Jerome Everson to programs of new avant-garde work.Recommended Viewinga researcher in Quebec has identified the only known moving image footage of Marcel Proust, found in a 1904 recording of a wedding.Finally, a view at Terrence Malick's long-in-the-works drama set in the Austin music scene,
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Rest In Peace, Suzuki Seijun

Cult Japanese filmmaker Suzuki Seijun has died at the age of 93. Best known for avant-garde yakuza masterpiece Branded to Kill, the director made his name turning out features for Nikkatsu studio throughout the 1960's. Starting his career at Shochiku, Suzuki moved to Nikkatsu in 1954. Stepping into the director's chair in 1956, he was highly productive over the next decade, putting out several titles a year, including such classics as Youth of the Beast, Gate of Flesh and Tokyo Drifter. The relationship between director and studio would eventually turn sour, with Suzuki earning the ire of his employers for his surreal and wildly imaginative takes on the studio's B-movie and yakuza material. Eventually he was fired and found himself struggling to get work for...

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Seijun Suzuki Dies: Cult Japanese Helmer Was 93

Seijun Suzuki Dies: Cult Japanese Helmer Was 93
Seijun Suzuki, the celebrated Japanese director behind such cult films as Tokyo Drifter and Branded To Kill, has died at the age of 93. He died February 13 in Tokyo, with the cause of death given as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Suzuki was largely famed for matching pop art visuals and pulp stories and his work influenced directors such as Quentin Tarantino, Jim Jarmusch, Baz Luhrmann and Wong Kar-Wai. Born in Tokyo in 1923, Suzuki served in Japan's…
See full article at Deadline Movie News »

Cult Japanese director Seijun Suzuki dies aged 93

Film-maker who paired pop art visuals and yakuza hitmen in Tokyo Drifter leaves behind a singular, surreal body of work that gained international acclaim

Celebrated Japanese film director Seijun Suzuki, best known for cult 1960s yakuza films Tokyo Drifter and Branded to Kill, has died at the age of 93. Suzuki died on 13 February, with the cause given as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in a statement from Nikkatsu film studios.

Born in 1923, Suzuki served in Japan’s meteorological corps in the second world war, and then in 1948 joined the Shochiku studio as an assistant director. Despite spending his time there as “a melancholy drunk”, as he described it, he was hired by the newly reopened Nikkatsu in 1954, again as an assistant director. Two years later he graduated to the director’s chair with Victory Is Mine, a pop-song movie credited under his given name, Seitaro Suzuki.

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Japanese Auteur Seijun Suzuki Dies at 93

Japanese Auteur Seijun Suzuki Dies at 93
Japanese director Seijun Suzuki died Feb. 13 at a Tokyo hospital after a battle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which affects the lungs. He was 93.

His death was announced by Nikkatsu, the studio that famously fired him in 1967 after 12 years and 40 films, for what is now seen as his masterpiece, Branded to Kill. The film was made in black and white as a punishment for his work on Tokyo Drifter — now also considered a classic — the year before. Both films were intended by Nikkatsu to be straightforward, B-movie yakuza gangster flicks, but Suzuki’s experimental style,...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Win Outlaw Gangster VIP: The Complete Collection on Blu-ray

  • HeyUGuys
To mark the release of Outlaw Gangster VIP: The Complete Collection on 18th April, we’ve been given 1 copy to give away on Blu-ray. In 1968, acclaimed director Toshio Masuda (Rusty Knife, Tora! Tora! Tora!) and rising star Tetsuya Watari (Tokyo Drifter) teamed up for Outlaw: Gangster VIP. The series offers up a depiction of

The post Win Outlaw Gangster VIP: The Complete Collection on Blu-ray appeared first on HeyUGuys.
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Weekly Rushes. 14 October 2015

  • MUBI
Rushes collects news, articles, images, videos and more for a weekly roundup of essential items from the world of film.Chantal Akerman's Je tu il elle"She was a gay woman – proudly, unabashedly – who refused to be placed in either category, would not show her work in “gay” or “women’s” festivals, (“I won’t be ghettoized like that”) but never refused the ghetto of Judaism, and would always show in Jewish festivals. She was, it sometimes seemed, a Jew before she was anything, even before she was a person, and she was more of a person than anybody I’ve known."...from "Our Lives With (and Without) Chantal Akerman," by Henry Bean.Another Chantal Akerman tribute done proper: Janus Films is making its Akerman films—News from Home, La chambre, Je tu il elle, Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai Du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles, Hotel Monterey, and Les rendez-vous d'Anna—available to stream for U.
See full article at MUBI »

Restoring Japan’s Gangland Poet to his rightful place in history

By 1967 the dictatorial Nikkatsu studio president Kyusaku Hori had had enough. He approached filmmaking like an auditor going over a company’s finances, there were boxes to be ticked and conventions to be adhered to. His corporation was a factory, mass producing entertainment for the cheaply exploitable youth market. The constant spanner in Hori’s assembly line was Seijun Suzuki. Over the previous twelve years, he had directed thirty-nine films and in that time had developed a canon of hysterical, hallucinatory and heretical works. With each production, the insanity became more liberated, excessive and frenzied. He was the enfant terrible of Japanese cinema and Hori was done with his shit.

As a warning shot, Suzuki’s next film would be given only a shoestring budget with the cautionary note that he was ‘going too far’ and needed to ‘play it straight’. Suzuki responded with Branded to Kill, an expressionist fantasia
See full article at SoundOnSight »

The Cool, Wild World of Seijun Suzuki’s ‘Tokyo Drifter’

There comes a point in each country’s film history when the filmmakers seem to collectively create a cultural and formal renaissance of film at the same time. Out comes a film movement that cinematically defines the country’s culture, and iconography emerges from those films that go on to influence future filmmakers. The Japanese New Wave was one such movement, and Seijun Suzuki was one of its most noted and iconic filmmakers.

Suzuki made a name for himself in how he rewrote the formulas of the gangster film in his work, and no film of his was more pioneering in his resistance to conformity or structure than Tokyo Drifter. Tokyo Drifter is all over the place, and I mean that as a compliment. It is absolutely nuts in the most captivating fashion.

Tokyo Drifter follows Tetsu, otherwise known as “Phoenix”, a reformed yakuza member in a group that has been disbanded.
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Exclusive: A Knife Fight Gets Bloody In Clip From Yasuharu Hasebe's Yakuza Film 'Retaliation'

There are always new corners of cinema history to explore, and one very much worth investigating is the '50s and '60s output of Nikkatsu. The popular Japanese studio unleashed a wave of genre films, many of which are still unknown on this side of the ocean —"Retaliation," which has just arrived for the first time on home video, is ripe for discovery. Directed by Yasuharu Hasebe ("Massacre Gun," "Stray Cat Rock: Sex Hunter") before he made his name as a sexploitation director, the film stars the great Jo Shishido ("Tokyo Drifter," "Branded to Kill"), Akira Kobayashi and Meiko Kaji. The gritty tale follows a yakuza lieutenant recently released from jail only to find his old boss dying and a rival who wants him dead. Things get up close and personal in this clip in which a knife fight gets bloody. "Retaliation" is on Blu-ray right now, but you better get on it fast.
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Fandor Hosts Rotating Criterion Collection Films at Hulu Plus

  • Comicmix
Fandor, the premiere streaming service for independent, classic and critically-acclaimed films, shorts and documentaries, in a partnership with the Criterion Collection and Hulu Plus, is currently home to a rotation of uniquely curated bundles of Criterion films available to watch instantly via desktop, set top and mobile devices.

Every Tuesday, Fandor rolls out a new collection of films that share a common theme, genre, time period, film style, etc. These films are available on the site for 12 days before being replaced by a fresh new batch of featured Criterion masterpieces.

Fandor’S Criterion Picks For March

March 17-28: The Sixteenth Century

Carnival in Flanders(1935, Director Jacques Feyder): A small village in Flanders puts on a carnival to avoid the brutal consequences of the Spanish occupation. Ivan the Terrible(1944, DirectorSergei Eisenstein): As Ivan ascends to lead Russia, the Boyars are determined to disrupt his rule. Ivan’s relationship
See full article at Comicmix »

What Did You Watch This Weekend?

The Weekend Watch is an open thread where you can share what you’ve recently watched, offer suggestions on movies and TV shows we should check out (or warnings about stuff to avoid), and discover queue-filling goodies from other Fsr readers. The comments section awaits. I’ll get the ball rolling with the movies/TV my eyeballs took in this weekend. I’ve had the Criterion Blu of Seijun Suzuki’s Tokyo Drifter on my shelf for over a year now, and I finally decided to open and watch it this weekend. The film follows a Yakuza tough guy left to the wind after his particular clan disbands. Rather than becoming a ronin-like tale though of a warrior without a master this particular enforcer is just looking to drift away into retirement. His fellow Yakuza have other plans though. The story is just engaging enough, but what makes the film a delight are the stylistic choices in
See full article at FilmSchoolRejects »

Notebook's 6th Writers Poll: Fantasy Double Features of 2013

  • MUBI
Looking back over the year at what films moved and impressed us, it is clear that watching old films is a crucial part of making new films meaningful. Thus, the annual tradition of our end of year poll, which calls upon our writers to pick both a new and an old film: they were challenged to choose a new film they saw in 2013—in theaters or at a festival—and creatively pair it with an old film they also saw in 2013 to create a unique double feature.

All the contributors were given the option to write some text explaining their 2013 fantasy double feature. What's more, each writer was given the option to list more pairings, with or without explanation, as further imaginative film programming we'd be lucky to catch in that perfect world we know doesn't exist but can keep dreaming of every time we go to the movies.

How
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Michael Bay Might Have Apologized for ‘Armageddon,’ But The Criterion Collection Never Will

This week, Michael Bay did something that I thought was only possible if you were named Joel Schumacher: he apologized for a loud, bloated late-’90s summer stimulus-athon. In an interview with the Miami Herald promoting his Florida-set Pain & Gain, Bay said, “I will apologize for Armageddon, because we had to do the whole movie in 16 weeks. It was a massive undertaking. That was not fair to the movie. I would redo the entire third act if I could. But the studio literally took the movie away from us. It was terrible. My visual effects supervisor had a nervous breakdown, so I had to be in charge of that. I called James Cameron and asked ‘What do you do when you’re doing all the effects yourself?’ But the movie did fine.” It’s unclear exactly what Bay’s problem is with the third act of Armageddon that isn’t also characteristic of the film as
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Hey, Toronto! Win Tickets To Get Your Suzuki On With Tokyo Drifter At The Tiff Bell Lightbox Saturday!

Having showcased works by a number of lesser known directors - at least in this part of the world - it's time to break out the big guns at the Twitch curated Tokyo Drifters: 100 Years Of Nikkatsu screening series. Yep, it's time for some Seijun Suzuki, with a rare big screen showing of his classic Tokyo Drifter!The Nikkatsu brass imposed strict budget limitations on Tokyo Drifter as a means to curb director Seijun Suzuki's eccentric tendencies; instead, the renegade director employed his relative lack of resources to push his already bizarre aesthetic even further towards the avant-garde and surreal, creating a pop-art masterpiece that only got him in hotter water with his bosses. (Nikkatsu subsequently punished Suzuki by forcing him to shoot his next...

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