Branded to Kill

(Koroshi no rakuin)

Lecture/screening class (3 hours). Special admission applies.

  • The Films of Seijun Suzuki

    Curator of film at the Freer and Sackler Galleries, Smithsonian Institution

A cinematic masterpiece that transcends its genre.

John Zorn

Jo Shishido, Mariko Ogawa, Annu Mari, Koji Nanbara,

This fractured film noir is the final provocation that got Seijun Suzuki fired from Nikkatsu Studios, simultaneously making him a counterculture hero and putting him out of work for a decade. An anarchic send-up of B-movie clichés, it stars Jo Shishido as an assassin who gets turned on by the smell of cooking rice, and whose failed attempt to kill a victim (a butterfly lands on his gun) turns him into a target himself. Perhaps Suzuki’s most famous film, it has been cited as an influence by filmmakers such as Quentin Tarantino, Jim Jarmusch, Park Chan-wook, and John Woo. 

Tom Vick
  • Hachiro Guryu
  • Japanese
  • with English subtitles
Print Info
  • B&W
  • DCP
  • 91 mins
  • Janus Films/Criterion Collection