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.


BRANDED TO KILL
KOROSHI NO RAKUIN
1967, Janus Films, 91 min, Japan, Dir: Seijun Suzuki

When Japanese New Wave bad boy Seijun Suzuki delivered this brutal, hilarious and visually inspired masterpiece to the executives at his studio, he was promptly fired. BRANDED TO KILL tells the ecstatically bent story of a yakuza assassin with a fetish for sniffing steamed rice (the chipmunk-cheeked superstar Joe Shishido) who botches a job and ends up a target himself. This is Suzuki at his most extreme - the flabbergasting pinnacle of his 1960s pop-art aesthetic.


FIGHTING DELINQUENTS
KUTABARE GURENTAI
1960, Nikkatsu, 80 min, Japan, Dir: Seijun Suzuki

This is Suzuki's first film starring teen idol Wada Kōji. Kōji plays a young construction worker whose wacky antics annoy the stiff-necked adults of his town until he takes on a crooked real-estate developer and saves the community. It’s also Suzuki's first color film, and he paints the town red, as it were. Text courtesy of Doc Films.


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