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May 13 – June 2, 2016

Time and Place are Nonsense!
The Cinema According to Seijun Suzuki

Struck by an Allied aircraft during the Asia-Pacific War and disinvested of any remaining macho illusions of combat, Seijun Suzuki, then Pvt. Seitaro Suzuki, was reportedly rescued in the ocean somewhere outside the Philippines during the waning days of battle in the mid-1940s. It is said that he floated for days before being found, though his next destination—the hollowed-out wreckage of postwar Japan—would hardly be more hospitable. Desperate for work and vaguely recalling inspiring pre-war viewings of the early Lilian Harvey-starring German musical Congress Dances (1931) and the Japanese period film The Last Days of Edo (1941), Suzuki took the advice of a friend and applied to the Kamakura Academy, a feeder institution for major studios like Shochiku and Nikkatsu.

There may be more mysterious origin stories to be found within the history of world cinema, but likely few that seem so strangely indicative of the career that followed. Suzuki’s biography is that of a vagrant, a man who moved from one temporary settlement to another, seemingly always on the brink of isolation. His films, in turn, pop with a vitality that suggests an awareness of that fundamental impermanence, as though his consciousness of time’s passing and life’s precariousness naturally produced a compulsion to make the most of any given limitation. And as a B-director working within the rigidly hierarchical mainstream industry of Japan, Suzuki knew a lot about limitations.

After a short stint at Shochiku, where he assisted on a number of melodramas, Suzuki migrated along with Shohei Imamura to Nikkatsu, then rebranding, after a ten-year hiatus, as an ostensibly edgy genre outfit with an eye toward the youth market. His first gigs were as an apprentice to veteran Hiroshi Noguchi, whose eventual helming of a script written by Suzuki gave the studio’s executives the confidence to audition their fledgling talent in the director’s chair—though only on lower-budgeted program pictures that would play alongside A-films. Most of these early efforts, which seldom ran over an hour, have been forgotten, and none are available on home video, though their titles alone, fortuitously or not, suggest a sensibility in training. Satan’s Town (1956), for instance, might be the jokey name for the kill-or-be-killed alternate universe in which all Suzuki movies take place, while Pure Emotions of the Sea (1956) seems a premonition of a memorable instance of oceanic rear projection in 1964’s extravagant melodrama The Call of Blood.

Whatever their merits, these projects paved the way for Suzuki’s stable position in the Nikkatsu Rolodex, which he maintained for a decade at a pace of three or four films a year. (“No-name directors like me had zero time, so I had no choice but to stay up all night and never go home,” reflects Suzuki on the job requirements.) It was in this role that he developed the reputation he most popularly holds today—that is, as a purveyor of generically plotted yakuza films marked by an ever-increasing stylistic lunacy. Nikkatsu’s stock-in-trade at the time was mukokuseki akushon (“no-nationality action,” or “borderless action”), a subgenre that sought to downplay cultural, geographic and temporal specificity in order to better target global audiences, and in many ways Suzuki proved an ideal chameleon for the job. His yakuza films pull as much from American movie lore as they do from sources within his own country’s cultural legacy, staging chain-smoking hired killers and saucy femme fatales within Kabuki-like tableaux and familiar Japanese storytelling contexts, meanwhile setting it all to fizzy pop tunes. This fluency with the new Westernized market hit its zenith in 1966’s Tokyo Drifter, a hip slice of gangland warfare that treats urban Japan like neon-soaked Las Vegas, not to mention a cult object whose peculiar glow can be felt strongly in the work of Suzuki disciples Jim Jarmusch and Quentin Tarantino.

Suzuki recaps the order of business at Nikkatsu thusly: “The studio came to me with a script and asked me to make it. But whatever I cooked up after that was up to me.” For him, the role of the B-director was a double-edged sword: limited resources meant both less on-set supervision and more compromise. Like any shrewd workman, though, Suzuki was at his best when turning his limitations into strengths. Crowded shooting schedules encouraged impromptu technical experimentation, such as the in-camera superimpositions that became a unique Suzukian flourish when depicting internal states. Meanwhile, with the assistance of longtime production design collaborator Takeo Kimura, tawdry studio-built sets were embraced for their flimsiness, and it became a trend for Suzuki to disassemble them in the climaxes of his films so that his characters were suddenly adrift in two-dimensional color fields. In repeatedly calling attention to the artificiality of the medium and the construction of the narrative world, Suzuki’s form began to mirror his governing conception of society as a set of meaningless codes whose flimsy sense of order could easily be thrown into chaos.

This worldview infused all of Suzuki’s output, which included not just crime films but war melodramas, absurdist comedies and seishun eiga (youth pictures), and it reached its most powerful expression in his “Flesh Trilogy” (1964’s Gate of Flesh, 1965’s Story of a Prostitute, and 1966’s Carmen from Kawachi), a series of button-pushing adaptations of popular Taijiro Tamura novels that together constitute the filmmaker’s crowning achievement at Nikkatsu. Despite their tricky gender politics, frank depictions of sex work, and subversive attitudes toward the Japanese military, however, these films were not the ones that finally broke the studio’s patience. That honor went to Branded to Kill, a surreal noir sketch starring the director’s jumbo-cheeked alter ego Jo Shishido that took Suzuki’s often-palpable disinterest in his pulp material to new extremes. The film stimulated a firing that was the culmination of a string of warnings handed down to Suzuki by Nikkatsu president Kyusaku Hori since 1963’s Youth of the Beast, and it so inflamed Hori in its “unintelligible” excesses that he suspended a thirty-seven-film retrospective in development at the time. Suzuki would later win a court settlement against Hori’s actions and regain some of his dignity, though by that point his contract potential was more or less dead in the water.

Ten years of television features and corporate commissions followed before Suzuki was welcomed back into the theatrical film business with a smattering of works for smaller production companies, most of which satiated certain appetites left unfulfilled by his day job years earlier. It was in films like 1980’s Zigeunerweisen, 1981’s Kagero-za, and 1991’s Yumeji, for instance, that he was finally able to indulge a longtime fascination with the uncanny, while 2001’s Pistol Opera, billed as a spiritual sequel to Branded to Kill, afforded him an unprecedented opportunity to push his action filmmaking eccentricities into overdrive on the dime of a sympathetic backer.

But to imply that Suzuki was finally self-actualized as an artist once liberated from the clutches of the commercially safe Nikkatsu would be a patent mistruth. Not only did the eternally pragmatic and humble director embrace his responsibilities as an entertainer-for-hire (“I didn’t feel like rebelling against the system…I was just trying to grind out program pictures,” he submits), but it might also be argued that the industrial context within which Suzuki worked provided the walls he needed to push against in developing his filmmaking voice. A restless, tinkering innovator at heart who’d jumped from one lackluster or hostile environment to another during his youth, Suzuki was overdue for a sturdy support system to give shape to his talents, and it’s thanks to Nikkatsu’s leap of faith that a Japanese cinema seeking a new identity after the war was energized by one of its zaniest visionaries. – Carson Lund

Film descriptions by Carson Lund and Tom Vick, author of Time and Place Are Nonsense – The Films of Seijun Suzuki (University of Washington Press, 2015).

Co-organized by the Japan Foundation, New York. Special thanks to: Tom Vick—Freer and Sackler Galleries, Smithsonian Institute; Kanako Shirasaki—The Japan Foundation, New York; Ned Hinkle—Brattle Theatre; Stacie Matsumoto—Reischauer Institute, Harvard.

Part of the Suzuki retrospective is taking place at The Brattle Theatre in Harvard Square. For more information on their shows, please visit www.brattlefilm.org.

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Friday May 13 at 7pm
Thursday May 19 at 7pm – BRATTLE THEATRE

Tokyo Drifter (Tokyo Nagaremono)

Directed by Seijun Suzuki. With Testsuya Watari, Chieko Matsubara, Tsuyoshi Yoshida
Japan 1966, DCP, b/w & color, 82 min. Japanese with English subtitles

Tasked with making a vehicle for actor/singer Tetsuya Watari to croon the title song, Suzuki concocted this crazy yarn about a reformed yakuza on the run from his former comrades. The film is mainly an excuse to stage an escalating series of goofy musical numbers and over-the-top fight scenes. Popping with garish colors, self-parodic style, and avant-garde visual design, Tokyo Drifter embodies a late-1960s zeitgeist in which trash and art joyfully comingle. “With influences that range from Pop Art to 1950s Hollywood musicals, and from farce and absurdist comedy to surrealism, Suzuki shows off his formal acrobatics in a film that is clearly meant to mock rather than celebrate the yakuza film genre” (Nikolaos Vryzidis, Directory of World Cinema: Japan). Print courtesy Janus Films.

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Friday May 13 at 9pm
Thursday May 24 at 9:15pm – BRATTLE THEATRE

Passport to Darkness
(Ankoku no ryoken)

Directed by Seijun Suzuki. With Ryoji Hayama, Chako van Leeuwen, Masumi Okada
Japan 1959, 35mm, b/w, 88 min. Japanese with English subtitles

In this stylish film noir, a trombonist goes on an all-night bender after his wife disappears during their honeymoon. When he returns home to find her corpse in their apartment, he sets off on a frantic quest to find her killer by piecing together a night he can’t remember. Suzuki used this classic noir material to play with genre tropes and make expressive use of darkness and light. Print courtesy the Japan Foundation.

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Saturday May 14 at 7pm
Sunday May 22 at 5pm

Gate of Flesh (Nikutai no mon)

Directed by Seijun Suzuki. With Jo Shishido, Satoko Kasai, Yumiko Nogawa
Japan 1964, 35mm, color, 90 min. Japanese with English subtitles

In Gate of Flesh,occupied midcentury Japan is an icky, sweat-soaked cesspool of sex and violence where principles have dipped so profoundly that medieval torture has become standard operating procedure within a strictly governed sorority of prostitutes. Much like Mizoguchi’s Women of the Night nearly two decades prior, the film’s scathing view of mercenary postwar life sees sex work rising from the bombed-out vestiges of inner city Japan, but while Mizoguchi gazed directly into the despair by shooting on location, Suzuki erects his overcrowded harbor shantytown from scratch on a Nikkatsu backlot. The artificial framework affords him some of the most strikingly conceptual spaces in his body of work: a foggy subterranean ruin where color-coded hookers powwow in between assignments, a “church” interior that looks more like a painted Powell & Pressburger vista, and a series of cramped port-city alleyways teeming with multidirectional movement. Within this amoral playground, Suzuki crafts one of his most evocative narratives of personal desire colliding with pack mentality. Print courtesy the Japan Foundation.

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Saturday May 14 at 9pm

The Call of Blood
(Oretachi no chi ga yurusanai)

Directed by Seijun Suzuki. With Akira Kobayashi, Hideki Takahashi, Chikako Hosokawa
Japan 1964, 35mm, color, 97 min. Japanese with English subtitles

Though Suzuki created it in the midst of his stylistic breakthrough, The Call of Blood has never received the same amount of attention as other films he made around the same time. Nikkatsu icons Hideki Takahashi and Akira Kobayashi star as brothers—one a gangster, the other an ad man—who unite to avenge their yakuza father’s death eighteen years before. The film features a bold use of color, an absurdist concluding gunfight, and, in one memorable scene, an impressively illogical use of rear projection as the brothers argue in a car while ocean waves rage around them. Print courtesy the Japan Foundation.

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Sunday May 15 at 7pm
Thursday June 2 at 7:30pm – BRATTLE THEATRE

Branded to Kill (Koroshi no rakuin)

Directed by Seijun Suzuki. With Jo Shishido, Mariko Ogawa, Annu Mari
Japan 1967, DCP, b/w, 91 min. Japanese with English subtitles

This fractured film noir is the final provocation that got Suzuki fired from Nikkatsu Studios, simultaneously making him a counterculture hero and putting him out of work for a decade. An anarchic send-up of B movie clichés, it stars Jo Shishido as an assassin who gets turned on by the smell of cooking rice, and whose failed attempt to kill a victim (a butterfly lands on his gun) turns him into a target himself. Perhaps Suzuki’s most famous film, it has been cited as an influence by filmmakers such as Quentin Tarantino, Jim Jarmusch, Park Chan-wook, and John Woo, as well as the composer John Zorn, who called it “a cinematic masterpiece that transcends its genre.” Print courtesy Janus Films.

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Monday May 16 at 7pm
Wednesday May 25 at 9:30pm – BRATTLE THEATRE

Smashing the O-Line

Directed by Seijun Suzuki. With Hiroyuki Nagato, Kazuko Yoshiyuki, Soichi Ozawa
Japan 1960, 35mm, b/w, 83 min. Japanese with English subtitles

This crime thriller features one of the most nihilistic characters in Suzuki’s early films: Katiri, a reporter so ambitiously amoral that he’ll sell out anyone—including his partner and the drug dealer he’s sleeping with—to get a scoop.  But what happens when an even more ruthless female gang boss kidnaps his sister? With its jazzy musical score and sordid milieu of drug smuggling and human trafficking, Smashing the O-Line is one of Suzuki’s darkest urban tales. Print courtesy the Japan Foundation.

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Wednesday May 18 at 8:30pm – BRATTLE THEATRE
Monday May 23 at 7pm

Youth of the Beast
(Yaju no seishun)

Directed by Seijun Suzuki. With Jo Shishido, Tamio Kawaji, Misako Watanabe
Japan 1963, 35mm, color, 92 min. Japanese with English subtitles

The densely plotted Youth of the Beast takes off from a familiar arrangement of yakuza tropes—a hard-ass outsider with a hidden agenda ingratiates himself with a mob honcho—and quickly turns madcap, hurling at the screen an unfurling network of cops-turned-criminals and violent sociopaths, vengeful kingpins and their suspicious molls. Eventually, when the distinctions become more-or-less null, the brashness of Suzuki’s developing style takes precedent. Often cited as the occasion when the director’s growing impatience with Nikkatsu’s genre dictates hit an explosive breaking point, the film treats its pulp material as pretext for formal experimentation. Widescreen frames are loaded with almost too much detail to absorb, jagged splices of hard bop keep the film hurrying along like a Charlie Parker backing band, and sets call conspicuous attention to their own construction, especially one in which a wall in a yakuza lair is animated by a projection of a scene from another gangster movie.

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Thursday May 19 at 9pm – BRATTLE THEATRE
Monday May 30 at 7:30pm

Kanto Wanderer (Kanto Mushuku)

Directed by Seijun Suzuki. With Akira Kobayashi, Hiroko Ito, Chieko Matsubara
Japan 1963, 35mm, color, 93 min. Japanese with English subtitles

Alongside Suzuki’s more feral late 60s action films, Kanto Wanderer at first bears the resemblance of a work steeped in more classical traditions. The film marked Suzuki’s first outing in giri-ninjo, a traditional mode of Japanese storytelling that focuses on the thematic clash between duty and compassion. But while the sliding doors, kimonos and tatami mats conjure a bygone Japan, and the ground-level framings of domestic activity suggest old master Yasujiro Ozu, Suzuki quickly reveals his hand. Juxtaposed against the traditional betting parlor where modest gambler Katsuta falls for a seductive scam-artist while negotiating his loyalty to the established yakuza code is a more frantic, exuberant depiction of urban Kanto, where a trio of gum-chewing schoolgirls vie for the affections of various chinpira. As is often the case, Suzuki’s critique of outmoded behavioral expectations comes across largely through formal disruptions to the composure of classical mise-en-scène: spontaneous lighting changes within scenes, serrated jump cuts that radically reconfigure space, and a climax in which the surfaces of the set fall away to yield pure chromatic expressionism. Print courtesy the Japan Foundation.

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Friday May 20 at 7pm
Saturday May 28 at 9pm

Carmen from Kawachi
(Kawachi Karumen)

Directed by Seijun Suzuki. With Yumiko Nogawa, Ruriko Ito, Chikako Miyagi
Japan 1966, 35mm, b/w, 89 min. Japanese with English subtitles

Breezing along on suites of flamenco guitar and light surf rock, Suzuki’s female-centered bildungsroman affects a happy-go-lucky atmosphere if only to mask a narrative that is as critical of the machinations of modern Japanese society as any of his bloodier yakuza films. The title refers to Carmen, Georges Bizet’s four-act opera of amour fou, but Suzuki and screenwriter Katsumi Miki tailor the story to the formative years of Tsuyuko, a fresh-faced runaway seeking new opportunities in Osaka but continually brushing up against casually exploitative men. Suzuki structures the film around each of Tsuyuko’s prolonged affairs and even indulges her subjective reveries and nightmares, though destabilizing ellipses keep her psychological development at arm’s length—all the better to distill the impact of her eventual epiphany, as well as the act of vengeance that follows. A complex snapshot of the pornography industry in 60s Japan and a virtuoso use of widescreen tableaux make this an eccentric finale to Suzuki’s “Flesh Trilogy.” Print courtesy the Japan Foundation.

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Friday May 20 at 9pm

The Sleeping Beast Within
AKA The Sleep of the Beast
(Kemono no nemuri)

Directed by Seijun Suzuki. With Hiroyuki Nagato, Shinsuke Ashida, Hisano Yamaoka
Japan 1960, 35mm, b/w, 86 min. Japanese with English subtitles

A businessman vanishes upon his return from an overseas trip, and his daughter hires a reporter to help find him. When the father reappears, the reporter becomes suspicious and starts digging deeper, uncovering a secret world of heroin smuggling and murder—all tied up with a mysterious Sun God cult. This proto-Breaking Bad moves to an energetic pulp fiction beat all the way to its spectacular conflagration of an ending. Print courtesy the Japan Foundation.

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Saturday May 21 at 7pm
Thursday June 2 at 9:30pm – BRATTLE THEATRE

Pistol Opera (Pisutoru Opera)

Directed by Seijun Suzuki. With Makiko Esumi, Sayoko Yamaguchi, Kirin Kiki
Japan 2001, 35mm, color, 112 min. Japanese with English subtitles

When producer Satoru Ogura suggested Suzuki make a sequel to his most notorious film, Branded to Kill, the result was this eye-popping action extravaganza, which is less a sequel than a compact retrospective of Suzuki’s style and themes, updated with CGI effects and infused with the metaphysical concerns of the Taisho Trilogy. Makiko Esumi plays Stray Cat, the number three killer in her assassins’ guild. She battles her way to the top against characters such as Painless Surgeon, a cowboy who can feel no pain, and the mysterious number one killer Hundred Eyes. Along the way, Stray Cat detours into the land of the dead, where her victims lurk, and into the “Atrocity Exhibition,” where she battles foes amid grotesque paintings from throughout art history. Pistol Opera proves that, even in his seventies, Suzuki’s creativity was still firing on all cylinders. Print courtesy the Japan Foundation.

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Saturday May 21 at 9:30pm
Wednesday June 1 at 9:30pm – BRATTLE THEATRE

A Tale of Sorrow and Sadness (Hishu Monogatari)

Directed by Seijun Suzuki. With Yoko Shiraki, Yoshio Harada, Masumi Okada
Japan 1977, 35mm, color, 91 min. Japanese with English subtitles

Nearly a decade after being fired by Nikkatsu Studios, Suzuki returned to the director’s chair with this titillating tale of a model who is groomed to become a professional golfer as a publicity stunt. When she turns out to be good at the sport, her success leads a deranged fan to hatch a blackmail scheme. “Riddled with the director's wildly non-conformist use of non-contiguous edits, unhinged shot composition, and violent splashes of colour, crazed and chaotic and for too long buried in the sand bunkers of obscurity, this long-overlooked work simply cries out for revival” (Jasper Sharp, Midnight Eye). Print courtesy the Japan Foundation.

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Sunday May 22 at 7pm

Capone Cries a Lot
(Kaiemon/Kapone oi ni naku)

Directed by Seijun Suzuki. With Kenichi Hagiwara, Yuko Tanaka, Kenji Sawada
Japan 1985, 35mm, color, 130 min. Japanese with English subtitles

In this surreal comic confection, a traditional naniwa-bushi singer moves to Prohibition-era San Francisco. He goes in search of Al Capone, whom he mistakenly believes is president, hoping to impress the gangster with his singing and popularize the art form in the States. Filmed mostly in an abandoned amusement park in Japan, Suzuki’s vision of 1920s America is an anarchic collage of pop culture images, from cowboys to Charlie Chaplin. One reason Capone is so rarely seen is that it reflects the racial attitudes of the time in which it is set by including, for example, a minstrel band in blackface. Such discomfiting images are balanced by scenes featuring an actual African American jazz ensemble that joins the film’s hero in jam sessions mixing blues, jazz, and naniwa-bushi. Print courtesy the Japan Foundation.

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Tuesday May 24 at 7:30pm – BRATTLE THEATRE

Eight Hours of Fear

 

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Wednesday May 25 at 7:30pm – BRATTLE THEATRE
Sunday May 29 at 5pm

Fighting Elegy
AKA The Born Fighter
(Kenka erejii)

Directed by Seijun Suzuki. With Hideki Takahashi, Junko Asano, Yusuke Kawatsu
Japan 1966, 35mm, b/w, 86 min. Japanese with English subtitles

One of Suzuki’s most outwardly farcical efforts, Fighting Elegy subjects the histrionics of military training to an approach both cerebrally ironic and unabashedly slapstick—a sort of hybrid of Dr. Strangelove and Jerry Lewis. In the years leading up to World War II, Kiroku (Hideki Takahashi) is an Okayama middle-school student torn between lust for the daughter of his Catholic foster parents and a clashing impulse toward gang warfare and rogue militarization. That the two are perceived as mutually exclusive by Kiroku and the bullish crowd he acquaints himself with offers Suzuki his rich satirical terrain, where phallic military instruments and procedures exist alongside actual unwanted erections. Among the film’s many pleasures are its hyperbolic hand-to-hand combat sound effects, its jarring shifts between poised choreography and bumbling fight scenes, and the manic uncertainty of Takahashi’s performance. Print courtesy the Japan Foundation.

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Thursday May 26 at 7:30pm – BRATTLE THEATRE

Zigeunerweisen

 

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Friday May 27 at 7pm

Kagero-za

Directed by Seijun Suzuki. With Yusaku Matsuda, Michiyo Ogusu, Katsuo Nakamura
Japan 1981, 35mm, color, 139 min. Japanese with English subtitles

According to film critic Tony Rayns, Kagero-za “may well be Suzuki’s finest achievement outside the constraints of genre filmmaking.” In this hallucinatory adaptation of work by the Taisho era writer Kyoka Izumi, a mysterious woman named Shinako invites Matsuzaki, a playwright, to the city of Kanazawa for a romantic rendezvous. While Matsuzaki is on his way, his patron Tamawaki appears on the train, claiming to be en route to witness a love suicide between a married woman and her lover. Matsuzaki suspects Shinako is Tamawaki’s wife, and the trip to Kanazawa may spell his doom. As in Zigeunerweisen, reality, fantasy, life, and afterlife blend together in Kagero-za—most spectacularly in the grand finale, in which Matsuzaki finds his life morphing into a deranged theatrical extravaganza. Print courtesy the Japan Foundation.

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Saturday May 28 at 7pm

Story of a Prostitute (Shunpu den)

Directed by Seijun Suzuki. With Tamio Kawachi, Yumiko Nogawa, Kayo Matsuo
Japan 1965, 35mm, b/w, 96 min. Japanese with English subtitles

Pouty-faced Yumiko Nogawa, who lent intense pathos as Gate of Flesh’s tragic heroine, reteamed with Suzuki to play an even more emotionally unguarded figure in the following year’s Story of a Prostitute, which again concerns itself with libidos, machismo and forbidden romance in a military milieu. Adapting the popular Taijiro Tamura novel Shunpu den, itself previously brought to the screen in 1950 as Desertion at Dawn, Suzuki only further stresses the antiwar ethos that met controversy from Occupation censors at the time of the earlier film’s release.

Nogawa plays one of many “comfort women” shipped to the frontlines of the Sino-Japanese War to gratify deprived soldiers, but a developing affection for her assigned commander’s aide jeopardizes her job performance. A doomed love scenario develops in the shadowy backrooms of the Japanese post, then intensifies when Chinese forces capture the lovers in the middle of an exploding battlefield. Unleashing an arsenal of dynamic tracking shots, chiaroscuro lighting and agonized freeze-frames, Suzuki gradually pushes Story of a Prostitute to the hot-blooded extremes of melodrama. Print courtesy the Japan Foundation.

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Sunday May 29 at 7pm

Yumeji

Directed by Seijun Suzuki. With Kenji Sawada, Tomoko Mariya, Tamasaburo Bando
Japan 1991, 35mm, color, 128 min. Japanese with English subtitles

Made ten years after its predecessor, the final film in the Taisho Trilogy spins a fantastical tale from the life of a historical figure. Takehisa Yumeji (1884–1934) was an artist known as much for his paintings of beautiful women as for his bohemian lifestyle. As played by rock star Kenji Sawada, the Yumeji of Suzuki’s film is a serial seducer haunted by thoughts of his own death while pursuing ideals of beauty in his art. Traveling to Kanazawa to meet his lover, he instead falls for a widow whose murdered husband inconveniently returns from the dead. Love, desire, life, and death collapse into one another as Yumeji’s art takes on an uncanny existence of its own. Print courtesy the Japan Foundation.

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Tuesday May 31 at 8:30pm – BRATTLE THEATRE

A Tattooed Life

 

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Wednesday June 1 at 9pm – BRATTLE THEATRE

Princess Raccoon

 

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