Capital Celluloid 2013 - Day 173: Sat Jun 22

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.
Jonathan Rosenabum

Here is an extract.

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