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.


EIGHT HOURS OF TERROR
HACHIJIKAN NO KYŌFU
1957, AGFA, 78 min, Japan, Dir: Seijun Suzuki

After a typhoon stops a train on its track, the passengers are forced to take a bus through the countryside. To make matters worse, some escaped criminals try to hijack the bus. EIGHT HOURS OF TERROR is Suzuki's riff on one of his favorite films, John Ford's STAGECOACH, as well as one of his best early thrillers. Text courtesy of Doc Films.


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