Branded to Kill
Smashing the O-Line
Chinese superstar Zhang Ziyi and Japanese slacker king Joe Odagiri star in Suzuki’s bizarre fable involving an exiled prince, shape-shifting raccoons, and a princess. “Energetic, inventive and ever-so-slightly insane” (The Guardian).
An assassin battles her way to the top of her guild in Suzuki’s very loose sequel to Branded to Kill, updated with cartoonish CGI effects and infused with the metaphysical concerns of the Taisho Trilogy.
Suzuki’s final film in his Taisho Trilogy spins a fantastical tale from the life of a historical figure, the bohemian artist Takehisa Yumeji (1884–1934).
Suzuki’s hallucinatory Taisho-era drama blends reality, fantasy, and theater in a tale of a possible love suicide. “May well be Suzuki’s finest achievement outside the constraints of genre filmmaking” (Tony Rayns).
Introduction by Tom Vick (May 12 screening only)
Tasked with making a vehicle for actor/singer Tetsuya Watari, Suzuki concocted this crazy yarn about a reformed yakuza on the run from his former comrades. “One of the most brilliant genre movies ever made” (Tony Rayns).
A gang of tough prostitutes try to survive in the ruins of postwar Tokyo, but a lusty ex-soldier (Jo Shishido) soon upsets their fragile camaraderie. Part social-realist drama, part sadomasochistic trash opera.
Suzuki’s anarchic send-up of B-movie clichés stars Jo Shishido as an assassin who winds up a target. Cited as an inspiration by filmmakers such as Quentin Tarantino, Jim Jarmusch, and John Woo.
BAMPFA Student Committee Pick!
A comfort woman sent to the frontlines of Manchuria during the Sino-Japanese War fights back in Suzuki’s scathing portrayal of Japanese militarism.
Named the best film of the 1980s in a poll of Japanese film critics, Suzuki’s metaphysical ghost story involves love triangles, doppelgangers, and a blurred line between the worlds of the living and the dead.
Introduction & Booksigning by Tom Vick
A fearsome yakuza bodyguard (Akira Kobayashi) is torn between defending his boss against a rival gang leader and his obsession with Tatsuko, a femme fatale who reappears from his past.
Jo Shishido plays a disgraced ex-cop who pits two yakuza gangs against each other to avenge the death of a fellow officer.
With its jazzy musical score and sordid milieu of drug smuggling and human trafficking, this crime thriller features an ambitious and amoral reporter going up against a ruthless female gang boss.