KILLERS ON PARADE
MY FACE RED IN THE SUNSET | YUHI NI AKAI ORE NO KAO
1961, Shochiku Company, 82 min, Japan, Dir: Masahiro Shinoda

Also known as KILLERS ON PARADE, this stylistically audacious action comedy-drama stars Yûsuke Kawazu as a gifted-but-green hired gunman who falls for one of his targets, a young reporter (Shima Iwashita) whose exposés of shady business dealings have turned the heat up on local yakuza. But the crime bosses also have put back-up assassins on her trail – though they have some trouble hitting their mark. If you enjoy the dark humor of directors like Seijun Suzuki and Kihachi Okamoto, you will love this! In Japanese with English subtitles.


PALE FLOWER
KAWAITA HANA
1964, Janus Films, 96 min, Japan, Dir: Masahiro Shinoda

Aging yakuza soldier Muraki (Ryô Ikebe) returns from prison to an underworld he barely recognizes. Rival gangs have joined forces and his lethal skills and fealty no longer seem necessary. Adrift as a modern-day ronin, Muraki encounters the beguiling and mysterious Saeko (Mariko Kaga) in a gambling den; her reckless craving for excitement pushes them to dangerous extremes they are unable, or unwilling, to resist. An electrifying masterpiece of existential noir, so sleek and sensual in its imagery, editing and soundtrack it’s almost impossible to believe it was made in 1964. Toru Takemitsu's amazing score artfully combines natural sound and music into a compelling sonic mosaic.


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