DUNKIRK
2017, Warner Bros. Pictures, 106 min, Dir: Christopher Nolan

At the end of May, 1940, hundreds of thousands of British, French and Belgian soldiers found themselves surrounded by enemy forces, trapped on a beach on the northern coast of France. The unprecedented evacuation of the Allied forces has gone down in history as the “miracle of Dunkirk.” With an emphasis on powerful visuals over dialogue, this stirring WWII epic dramatizes the operation through three interwoven stories taking place on land, on sea and in the air, and never has Nolan’s talent for nonlinear narrative been put to better use. The fine ensemble cast includes Fionn Whitehead, Harry Styles, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance and Tom Hardy. A huge box office success, the acclaimed film has been nominated for eight Oscars, for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Original Score, Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing and Best Production Design. “A tour de force of cinematic craft and technique, but one that is unambiguously in the service of a sober, sincere, profoundly moral story that closes the distance between yesterday’s fights and today’s.” - Manohla Dargis, The New York Times.


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.


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