Branded to Kill (Suzuki, 1967): BFI Southbank, NFT3, 6pm
This film, which is screening as part of the Japanese film Seasons in
the Sun season at BFI Southbank, is also being shown on June 29th. You
can find the details here.
Here is ther BFI introduction: Seijun Suzuki’s cult classic, a baroque tale of a hitman on a
kill-or-be-killed mission, was branded ‘nonsense’ by Nikkatsu’s
president Hori upon its release, and saw its director famously fired
from the studio. With its striking Pop Art aesthetic, sultry jazz score
and near- surreal parade of action sequences, it has achieved an almost
otherworldly patina over the years, with Shishido redefining cool as the
anonymous rice-sniffing contract killer who crosses crosshairs with
Annu Mari’s ethereal femme fatale.
The screening on 22 June will be introduced by season curator Jasper Sharp. Here is Sharp's detailed introduction to the season on the BFI website.
Chicago Reader review:
Reputedly one of Seijun Suzuki's finest works and unquestionably very
stylish in its 'Scope framings (Jim Jarmusch copied a few shots from it
in his forthcoming Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai), this 1967
gangster film stars Jo Shishido as Hanada Goro, Tokyo's “number three
killer,” who carries out a series of gangland murders while his boss is
seducing his wife. Then Goro flubs an assignment and finds himself
marked for a rubout. The film's cynicism and coldness led to Suzuki
being fired from Nikkatsu studio, sparking a major controversy in the
Japanese film world; it was a decade before Suzuki made another film.
With Annu Mari and Mariko Ogawa.
Here is an extract.