TOKYO DRIFTER
TÔKYÔ NAGAREMONO
1966, Janus Films, 82 min, Japan, Dir: Seijun Suzuki

In this jazzy gangster film, reformed killer Tetsu’s attempt to go straight is thwarted when his former cohorts call him back to Tokyo to help battle a rival gang. Director Seijun Suzuki’s onslaught of stylized violence and trippy colors is equal parts Russ Meyer, Samuel Fuller and Nagisa Oshima - an anything-goes, in-your-face rampage. TOKYO DRIFTER is a delirious highlight of the brilliantly excessive Japanese cinema of the 1960s.


THE FLOWERS AND THE ANGRY WAVES
HANA TO DOTO
1964, Nikkatsu, 92 min, Japan, Dir: Seijun Suzuki

Director Seijun Suzuki’s classic spin on the traditional ninkyo yakuza genre, with Akira Kobayashi (BLACK TIGHT KILLERS) as a young antihero in a coal carters union in the turn-of-the-20th-century Taisho era up against a rival evil gang. He is also caught between the virginal Chieko Matsubara and the more worldly Naoko Kubo. Midway through the saga, his face is slightly disfigured, something that must have wreaked havoc with the sensibilities of matinee-idol/pop star Kobayashi’s younger female fanbase. Also with Tamio Kawaji as a sword-wielding assassin in Zorro cape and hat!


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