When Japanese New Wave bad boy Seijun Suzuki delivered this brutal, hilarious, and visually inspired masterpiece to the executives at his studio, he was promptly fired. Branded to Kill tells the ecstatically bent story of a yakuza assassin (chipmunk-cheeked superstar Joe Shishido) with a fetish for sniffing boiled rice who botches a job and ends up a target himself. This is Suzuki at his most extreme—the flabbergasting pinnacle of his sixties pop-art aesthetic. –The Criterion Collection
Seijun Suzuki (鈴木 清順, Suzuki Seijun?), born Seitaro Suzuki (鈴木 清太郎 Suzuki Seitarō) on May 24, 1923, is a Japanese filmmaker, actor, and screenwriter. His films are renowned by film enthusiasts worldwide for their jarring visual style, irreverent humour, nihilistic cool and entertainment-over-logic sensibility. He made 40 predominately B-movies for the Nikkatsu Company between 1956 and 1967, working most prolifically in the yakuza genre. His increasingly surreal style began to draw the ire of the studio in 1963 and culminated in his ultimate dismissal for what is now regarded his magnum opus, Branded to Kill (1967), starring notable collaborator Joe Shishido. Suzuki successfully sued the studio for wrongful dismissal but was blacklisted for 10 years. As an independent filmmaker he won critical acclaim and a Japanese Academy Award for his Taishō Trilogy, Zigeunerweisen (1980), Kagero-za (1981) and Yumeji (1991).
His films remained widely unknown outside of Japan until a series… read more
A neurotic nightmare of overwhelming proportions having Jô Shihsidos close-ups desperately holding together the melancholy of an absurd dance of assassins, guns, sex and paranoia.
Also: The adaptation Jafar Panahi never got to direct, Seijun Suzuki on DVD and Blu-ray and more.
The first ever Notebook Soundtrack Mix! HYPER SLEEP includes work that reflects jazz, classical, experimental and pop influences.
Recently released by Kino International, Seijun Suzuki’s Detective Bureau 2-3: Go to Hell Bastards! (1963) and Motomu Ida’s 3 Seconds Before
Branded to Kill is a movie that moves to its own musical time rather than to a normal, linear storyline. Rhythm supersedes narrative—with the help of elements like cinematography, lighting and… read review
Even director Seijun Suzuki admitted this was a terrible plot. I actually view Branded to Kill as a deliberate, experimental joke by Suzuki on his superiors. Sort of like a kiss off to them. The acting… read review
Offbeat and innovative 60s Japanese gangster film has style to burn – with ingeniously-staged violence, hip jazz music, ultra-cool quirky characters, hot sex, innovative camerawork, and striking visual… read review