The Quentin Tarantino Archives logo

Seijun Suzuki


#1

Eastern Eye has decided to release a couple of Suzuki films, so I thought it would be a good time to discuss who I think to be one of the great forces in Japanese filmmaking history.







Does anyone have a particular favourite? I think, for me, it’s a cross between Branded To Kill and Tokyo Drifter. However, there really isn’t anything like Branded To Kill. It is a film that will blow your mind.


#2

He’s like the oldest director in the world, haha. I remeber when we were talking about Operetta tanuki goten and Contrai said something like “isn’t he dead already?” ;D



I thing I took a cap of him directing Tanuki… let see… yeah, here







Other than Tanuki I’ve only seen three Suzuki films. Branded to Kill, Tokyo Drifter and Tattooed Life. All good movies, especially Tokyo Drifter but Suzuki was never really one of my favourite directors. I’ll try to check out more of his work at a later date.


#3

He’s very strange. For a director who pretty much fucked with the studios and turned out these bizarre, psychadelic films; when he’s interviewed he talks about entertainment. I expected him to be an “artist” who defied the studio system and made these way out films. Instead, he really just liked to use other methods to do pretty much what the studio wanted. But I guess they didn’t like it when it was too far out.


#4

Nikkatsu basically fired him after Branded to Kill. They considered it incomprehensible


#5

[quote=“Hung Fist”]
Nikkatsu basically fired him after Branded to Kill. They considered it incomprehensible
[/quote]

Yeah, it was kind of the last straw. They warned him to play it straight and then he releases his most bizarre film. lol


#6

Some sad irony there considering less than a decade later Nikkatsu went fully into roman porno and encouraged directors to make films as bizarre and inventive as possible… (without forgetting to have a sex scene every 20 minutes)


#7

What’s so special about Branded To Kill? Please educate an ignorant mind.


#8

[quote=“Scarface”]
What’s so special about Branded To Kill? Please educate an ignorant mind.
[/quote]

I actually wouldn’t go so far as to say your ignorant. As much as I love Branded To Kill, in my opinion it’s not like The Godfather where I can’t see anyone not getting it. I think, to me, it’s really just that Suzuki was such an inventive filmmaker and Branded To Kill was his masterpiece, his quintessential film. Tarantino said it the best when he pointed out that when Russ Meyer made Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, that was the film where everything he did worked. And Suzuki did that with Branded To Kill.



Also, a big part of the appeal for me is that he got a studio script and then made a film that is nothing like a studio film.


#9

[quote=“Angel”]
Tarantino said it the best when he pointed out that when Russ Meyer made Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, that was the film where everything he did worked. And Suzuki did that with Branded To Kill.
[/quote]

Can’t agree with that. While Pussycat would seem to be the only Meyer film where at least something worked, Branded to Kill is only one of the several Suzuki films where most or all things worked. The fact that Criterion has released 6 Seijun Suzuki films on dvd should say something.



Branded to Kill was more like the peak of his developement, which doesn’t equal to best movie. Myself I think Tokyo Drifter is a better movie.


#10

[quote=“Hung Fist”]
Can’t agree with that. While Pussycat would seem to be the only Meyer film where at least something worked, Branded to Kill is only one of the several Suzuki films where most or all things worked. The fact that Criterion has released 6 Seijun Suzuki films on dvd should say something.



Branded to Kill was more like the peak of his developement, which doesn’t equal to best movie. Myself I think Tokyo Drifter is a better movie.
[/quote]

Oh yeah, don’t get me wrong. I agree. I don’t think that Branded To Kill is his only good film. I’ve seen Tokyo Drifter more times than Branded To Kill, because I enjoy watching it more. Tarantino, I think, was pointing out that Meyer’s and Suzuki’s techniques didn’t always work for them, but they worked in those two films. I don’t feel that way. My interpretation is that Branded To Kill is a culmination of everything that Suzuki was as a director. It’s like the film that sums up his career.



Branded To Kill had the crazy characters (rice-sniffer…wtf?), the inventive camera techniques and the almost complete lack of continuity. Branded To Kill was when Suzuki went to his absolute extreme and stamped his big fucking seal on it. But I don’t personally think it’s his best film. I think it’s his most different (which pretty much translates as least accessible) which is why I always mention it first when talking about Suzuki.


#11

[quote=“Hung Fist”]
The fact that Criterion has released 6 Seijun Suzuki films on dvd should say something.

[/quote]
Criterion has also released 2 Michael Bay movies… and he sucks monkey cock…





I haven’t watch a Suzuki film yet. But i’ve seen some pics from his films and most of them look beautiful.


#12

[quote=“Bad Max”]
Criterion has also released 2 Michael Bay movies… and he sucks monkey cock…
[/quote]

Not that I have much respect for Criterion, I was just using that as an example most people would get… (or not fully get in this case)



I was not aware of their Bay releases, though.


#13

The Rock wasn’t a bad movie, it just wasn’t particularly worthy of a Criterion release. I guess they were just showing off their mastering skills on dvd.



On topic, I recommend you take a look at Youth of the Beast, Hung. It’s more like Tokyo Drifter. Sometimes I even like it more than Tokyo Drifter.


#14

[quote=“Angel”]
The Rock wasn’t a bad movie, it just wasn’t particularly worthy of a Criterion release.
[/quote]

They also released ARMAGEDDON! :o :-X


#15

The Rock and Armageddon are on criterion purely for financial reasons.