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.


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!


BORN UNDER CROSSED STARS
AKUTARÔ-DEN: WARUI HOSHI NO SHITA DEMO
1965, AGFA, 98 min, Japan, Dir: Seijun Suzuki

Jukichi sells milk door-to-door to pay for school but his father secretly gambles away the money to the yakuza, leaving Jukichi to fight them off. CROSSED STARS is a hilarious coming-of-age film and one of Suzuki's most underrated. Text courtesy of Doc Films.


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